Integration of e-learning technologies in an interprofessional health science course
Advances in information and communication technology are influencing instructional formats and delivery modes for post secondary teaching and learning.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether interprofessional team process skills traditionally taught in a small group face-to-face classroom setting could be taught in a blended learning environment; without compromising the pedagogical approach and collaborative Group Investigation Model (Sharan & Sharan 1992) used in the course.
A required interprofessional team development course designed to teach health science students (Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Medical Laboratory Science, and Nutrition) team process skills was redesigned from a 100% face-to-face delivery format to a blended learning format where 70% of the instruction was delivered using a new synchronous virtual classroom technology (Elluminate www.elluminate.com) in conjunction with asynchronous technology (WebCT). It was hypothesized there would be no significant difference between the blended learning format and the traditional face-to-face format in the development of interprofessional team knowledge, skills and attitudes. The two formats were evaluated on demographic information, computer experience, and interprofessional team attitudes, knowledge and skills.
The three main findings are: (a) no significant differences between student groups on achieving team process skills, (b) an observation of differences between the groups on team dynamics, and (c) a more positive achievement of course learning objectives perceived by students in the blended learning class.
The results provide evidence to support our blended learning format without compromising pedagogy. They also suggest that this format enhances students' perceptions of their learning.
PubMed URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18278648