DEVELOPING PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS IN A GROUP OF PUBLIC HEALTH STUDENTS WITH THE USE OF THE MICROSOFT TEAMS PLATFORM. ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION: A QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
Medical University of Warsaw (POLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
High social skills and competence are one of the most desired qualities that are expected of job applicants, including graduates of the faculty of Public Health. Public health professionals often work in management positions and should, therefore, have a wide range of social, problem-solving, self and team management skills as well as an array of public speaking skills, to communicate with their own employees, specialists in various fields, or the media.
Aim: Evaluation of the quality of education in the "Public speaking and the art of presentation" module conducted with the use of distance learning methods, via the MS Teams platform, as an innovative teaching method.
Materials and methods:
The course was delivered synchronously, in real time, with the use of the MS Teams platform, for two consecutive groups of second year students from February 23 to April 27, 2021. During the classes, all students were obliged to turn on their cameras. The course outline focused on developing practical skills with a detailed scenario for each class involving discussion, practical tasks and preparation of individual speeches on a randomly selected topic. At the Medical University of Warsaw, classes, lecturers and course content are evaluated by students through an online class assessment system. The course content is standardized, which allows for the assessment and comparison of the quality of teaching across teachers. Student questionnaires were distributed online for the first time. Due to the fact that these classes were conducted online, through MS Teams, for the first time, the course provider decided to offer an additional opportunity to evaluate teaching activities, to obtain student feedback that could be used to modify the course content or teaching methods in the future. Optional voluntary evaluation of the course was carried out during the last class and consisted of a questionnaire designed for this purpose, comprising seven questions (one optional question). The questionnaire was distributed using the Lime Survey platform. The qualitative analysis was performed with the use of the Atlas.ti program. Content analysis was performed to analyze the transcription of students' opinions.
A qualitative analysis of students' comments upon completion of the course demonstrated that the students evaluated the classes highly, especially in the aspect of the reduction of stress associated with speaking in public, and the possibility of recording the speech many times.
An innovative teaching method for developing public speaking skills in a group of public health students with the use of the MS Teams platform appears to be an effective way of teaching public speaking skills, when distance learning methods and techniques need to be implemented to develop practical skills. It appears that the study group appreciated the possibility of multiple recording of presentations at home and the reduction of anxiety associated with being evaluated by the teacher and other students, which can be a strong negative factor during traditional in-class teaching. The fact that the teacher provided immediate, individual feedback with emphasis on the student's strengths was an important factor attributing to the evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching by the students. Therefore, the presented method seems to be an effective way of online development of practical skills such as public speaking.
Keywords: COVID-19, distance learning, shaping skills, practical classes, public speaking.