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IMPLEMENTATION OF A BLENDED LEARNING METHOD BY AN E LEARNING COMPONENT IN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY LABORATORY BASED CLASSES VIA THE UCM VIRTUAL CAMPUS

The network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, i.e. e-learning, is used extensively in online education courses, in which learning outcomes comparable to campus based courses can be achieved. Furthermore, e-learning is also used as a blended approach to teaching and learning (i.e. b-learning) that complements “traditional” classes such as lectures and seminar-based classes with the aim to strengthen and develop a more effective student formation. In the current project, a b learning method was implemented in a pathophysiology seminar/laboratory based course by a group of thirteen lectures at the Pharmacy School, through the Moddle platform 6.2 Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) Virtual Campus. A detailed summary of the fundamental conceptual basis of each seminar together with a questionnaire was uploaded to the UCM Virtual Campus 2 days prior the seminar. Active and individual learning was then stimulated prior to seminar classes via hypothesis formation and predictions and students had to submit their questionnaire answers before the seminar started. Discussion sessions during each case-problem seminar were held for 2 hours where students had to work cooperatively to solve complex real problems, and the tutor acted as a coach guiding the discussions. Moreover, tutor feedback on student questionnaires pre-submissions was provided on active demand. After the seminar-based classes and during a period of 2 days, students had the chance to amend their e-learning submissions to the questionnaires through the UCM Virtual Campus. Use of the b learning approach as a support to-face instruction (theory and practice) promotes the development of critical thinking and communication skills, requires the search for information in books and databases, enhances communication skills and encourages public advocacy. Hence, students were assisted in developing a greater appreciation and a deeper approach towards the learning process by the use of this e-learning element used as a support to face-to-face learning activities in the laboratory.