University of Murcia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 4346-4348
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
OpenCourseWare, or OCW, is a term applied to course materials created by universities and shared freely with the world via the internet. The OCW movement only took off, however, with the launch of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare at MIT in October 2002 and has been reinforced by the launch of similar projects at Yale, Michigan University, and the University of California Berkeley. MIT's reasoning behind OCW was to enhance human learning worldwide by the availability of a web of knowledge. The primary characteristics of OCW are that it is offered for free, does not lead to a degree, and does not grant access to faculty. The course “Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Small Animal” was published in 2010-2011 at the University of Murcia Web, and it consists of 19 theoretical themes, 7 practicals, as well as a series of 10 representative clinical cases and 8 specialized seminars. The course offers several related links, self-assessment tests with automatic correction and bibliography on the subject. There is a lack of studies which analyze potential advantages of OCW educational tool in clinical topics (such as it is the case in veterinary medicine topics). Therefore, the aim of this work was to assess the usefulness of this course by means of satisfaction survey questionnaires offered to students and to analyze the number of users. The questionnaires were presented in the lectures of the course on Gastrointestinal Endoscopy included in the Master on Veterinary Diagnostic Techniques of the Animal Medicine & Surgery Department of Murcia University. The students could voluntarily and anonymously fill out the surveys, rating them 1 to 5 points (from 1 meaning high disagreement to 5 meaning high agreement). The analysis of survey questionnaires shows that the use of TIC (technologies of information and communication) was significantly useful for the students, because comprehension of most of the contents required the use of multimedia educational materials (mainly of the audiovisual type). In fact, the student can watch the video and hear the explanation of each endoscopic exploration. The students valued the availability of such materials highly as an educational resource for studying or consulting via free online access. All the evaluated items were rated as more or equal to 4 in a 5 points scale. The most valued item was the possibility of watching endoscopic exploration videos several times. The mean value for all the items was 4.8. Other items positively rated by the students were the usefulness of this OCW course to review and overview specific topics, to provide a better understanding of clinical cases and the possibility to upgrade their knowledge on the subject in the years ahead. The total number of Internet users was 1720 in the analyzed period. Besides, for some foreigner students, OCW publication was useful to get to know the postgraduate studies offered by the University of Murcia. In conclusion, the publication of the OCW Course Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in Small Animals at the University of Murcia Web was greatly appreciated by the students, obtaining a high level of satisfaction in the questionnaires. The high users’ number demonstrates the broad diffusion of teaching materials achieved and its contribution to internationalization. Thus, the Open Course Ware learning methodology offers great advantages as a complementary tool to ordinary lectures at a postgraduate academic level (Master studies).
Open Course Ware (OCW), postgraduate studies, veterinary medicine education.