Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 1176-1180
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
The transition from traditional classroom teaching to online learning leads to new teaching and learning paradigms. Changes in philosophical points of view about education need new teaching tools and learning options that convert the student into a self-directed learner and a critical thinker. This paper presents the teaching tools and strategies developed and tested during a three years blended learning experience for pharmacology and veterinary therapeutics students.
The aim of this experience is helping students with the evolution of their learning in order to permit them to use a inductive scheme or pattern recognition during the study of the pharmacology, improving the acquisition of the subject knowledge.
During the b-learning course, students assist to traditional classroom for collecting concepts, ideas and facts and furthermore they can access to the “Virtual Classroom of Pharmacology” through the Campus Virtual of the our institution (Complutense University). The learning tools incorporated to the Virtual Classroom consist in workshops and discussion forums that are lean on shared tutorial support sessions, where students can exercise their knowledge and acquired capacities. These tutorial sessions are mediated experiences, where a special quality of interaction between the learner and the teacher is created. Professor is progressively transformed from teacher into knowledge provider, learning tutor and mediator.
Each teaching tool is based on different learning strategies and is designed to improve a variety of student capacities:
• On-line forums are tools where students can learn to argue and to think and construct new understandings; teachers works as moderator and learning guide.
• Workshops are designed to achieve, using different ways, a integrate basic (pharmacology) and clinical (therapeutic) knowledge:
- Pharmacological “sheets”: compendiums organized of the content of big sections of the program that facilitate examining, evaluating, reorganizing and integrating knowledge.
- Games: depending on type of game, they can serve to reinforce facts, terms, concepts or ideas, stimulate student interest on the subject, integrate knowledge or training to solve problems.
- Test makers and solvers: recognizing the important and notable knowledge and improving drawing and expression ability. Furthermore, they are useful to train students to take exams.

At present, two new tools are been incorporated: wikis (like a organizing, information resource and interdisciplinary tool) and conceptual maps (like a promoter of meaningful learning and critical thinking).
The main limitations of this study are two: we are not able to demonstrate that the learning and teaching tools and strategies used actually improved the acquisition of pharmacological or therapeutic knowledge (small size of the b-learning group compared with traditional teaching group), and we cannot know how this b-learning experience would evolve when it was available for a bigger student group.
Online learning, teaching tools, learning strategies, workshops, discussion forums.