Explaining the conceptual considerations of virtual university in medical education: a systematic review


  • Soleiman Ahmady Department of Medical Education, Virtual School of Medical Education and Management, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • Amin Habibi Department of Medical Education, Virtual School of Medical Education and Management, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Zohreh Koshgoftar Department of Medical Education, Virtual School of Medical Education and Management, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.




Virtual university, Medical education, Systematic review, Models


Aim: Most of existing literature on the concept of virtual university of medical sciences have been collected in a non-systematic manner. This issue highlights the need to conduct research on virtual university-related topics through systematic research evidence and empirical evaluations. The aim of the present study is to investigate the real complexity and diversity of the concept of virtual university of medical sciences.

Method: This was a systematic review with the BeHEMoTH approach and aimed to identify, review, analyze and integrate models, theories and frameworks related to the concept of virtual university of medical sciences. Eligible articles were searched in PubMed, ERIC, IEEE، ISI ،Scopus, Ecampus research unit from 2001 to 2022 using related keywords in three stages.

Results: A total of 13 articles were finally identified according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Pedagogical, technology, managerial, educational design, technology implementation, and educational-administrative management components were referred to in 5, 5, 4, 7, 6 and 4 articles, respectively. Thematic analysis of the models was carried out in two theoretical dimensions (pedagogical component, managerial component and technological component) and operational dimension (educational design, administrative-educational management and technology implementation).

Conclusion: The results of the present study emphasize the need to pay attention to these six components in the establishment and development of virtual universities of medical sciences. In order to improve the education process in virtual universities, the process quality evaluation framework can be used.


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How to Cite

Ahmady, S., Habibi, A., & Koshgoftar, Z. . (2022). Explaining the conceptual considerations of virtual university in medical education: a systematic review. Journal of Contemporary Medical Sciences, 8(5), 284–294. https://doi.org/10.22317/jcms.v8i5.1253