Interactive Learning


Developed by world-leading experts, this course provides over 15 hours of self-directed learning on the complete systematic review process for both new and experienced review authors. Here you can find out more about:

Intended audience

Cochrane Interactive Learning is aimed primarily for authors of systematic reviews following Cochrane methodology. It is useful for both introductory-level learners and more experienced learners who want to refresh and update their knowledge.

Various knowledge users may find Cochrane Interactive Learning helpful to gain a more in-depth understanding of the process of conducting a systematic review. Trainers may use it for blended learning, combining the online modules as an introduction to more advanced learning in a face-to-face setting. Find out more about how people are using Cochrane Interactive Learning.

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Overall development and authorship

Cochrane Interactive Learning was developed by Cochrane's People Services Department , in close collaboration with experts from Cochrane Methods Groups and e-learning partners. A full list of authors and contributors is available in the acknowledgements of each module page.

The content is based on Cochrane's standard author training materials and is in accordance with the reference resources such as Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and the Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews (MECIR).

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Structure and learning approach in modules

Cochrane Interactive Learning consists of 11 modules, each divided in several sections (topics) with one or more pages of content. Each page is built of several bite-size learning units, building knowledge one step at a time. This allows learners to easily navigate through the modules and learn at their own pace.

A variety of formats is used to present the content and reinforce the learning: scrolling web pages, media (including animations, video and audio recordings), interactive exercises, quizzes, worked-out examples, and assessments. Learners can filter the content, mark the favourite pages, and monitor their progress, which allows a personalized, self-directed learning experience.

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Assessments and certificates

Each module has an assessment for you to take, and an accompanying certificate to be downloaded on passing the module.

Assessments have been developed to test the knowledge that you have gained throughout the module, often testing your skills in applying the learning from the modules in scenarios. They are based on the learning outcomes stipulated for each module. You have two attempts to get each question correct. If you fail on your second attempt, you will fail the assessment and be directed to the appropriate page of learning to revisit your learning on that particular area.  You need to get all questions in the assessment correct in order to pass.

When you have taken the whole module (i.e. each page is marked as 'complete') and you have passed the assessment, you will be able to download your certificate [as a PDF] from the main Interactive Learning menu page.

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Updating the modules

Cochrane's Development Directorate monitors and updates the modules on a regular basis, to keep the content and learning experience up to date. In 2022 we completed a major update to ensure it is fully alligned with the methods set out in the latest version (6.3, 2022) of the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We have also made adjustments in the design of modules to improve the learners' experience. In this process, we reviewed the user feedback collected over the last couple of years and worked closely with the experts from the Cochrane Methods Groups. The following is a summary of changes to the course:

  • Across the modules, we made numerous edits to ensure the content is methodologically up to date. For example:
    • in Module 2: Writing the review protocol, we've provided a protocol template for intervention reviews, now availlable as a practice review in RevMan Web;
    • Module 3: Searching for studies have been thoroughly reworked to emphasise the essential role of Information Specialists in conducting systematic reviews;
    • in Module 4: Selecting studies and collecting data we’ve updated the PRISMA flow diagram;
    • in Module 5: Introduction to risk of bias we've referred to the new versions of RoB 2 tool for cross-over trials, cluster randomised trials and non-randomised trials;
    • in Module 6: Analysing the data we updated the existing resources (e.g. screencasts on using RevMan calculator) and added new ones (e.g. a tutorial on interpretation of subgroup analyses in systematic reviews);
    • in Module 8: Reporting the review we updated the section on Plain language summaries.
  • We have reworked a number of Assessment questions to make them less challenging for learners.
  • We have added navigation buttons to allow easier moving through the module pages.

We encourage learners to contact us if you have any comments about the content or functionality of the modules.

Terms and conditions

The terms and conditions for this course are available here.

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