COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN ICT APPLIED TO HEALTH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CADIZ, SPAIN
In order to achieve professional training and lifelong learning, competence training should be done from learning-based models, since they emphasize and encourage the student´s involvement, activity and role in the learning process through the establishment of learning outcomes.
There are different methodologies and strategies that encourage greater student autonomy. One of these, collaborative learning, gets the student more involved in his/her own training by providing him/her with a more active role in the learning process as opposed to simply listening to or being in class. Likewise, it helps them to define their role as a learner and to acquire the self-learning skills necessary to succeed both individually and as part of a study group. With the success of this methodology, the student will be able to face the challenges of the European Space of Higher Education (ESHE).
Based on this premise, we have designed an e-learning system to teach the thematic unit of ICT in Healthcare (2 ECTS), a section of the course “Biostatistics, Research Methodology and ICT in Healthcare” (9 ECTS) of the Nursing Program Degree, and the subject “Application of ICT to Health” (ICTAH: 5 ECTS), a core section in the Official Master Program of Innovation and Research in Healthcare (60 ECTS). Both of the courses are taught by the Nursing and Physical Therapy Department of the UCA during the current academic year.
The methodology, a “blended learning” format supported by the UCA virtual campus (Moodle Platform), includes in-classroom activities and “anytime-anywhere” learning activities. The teaching setting for both courses in the virtual classroom is based on time-space flexibility, information accessibility, electronic communication, individual and group tasks, interaction and individualized monitoring of the student throughout the learning process. This promotes a more active and participatory role both individually and at the group level in classroom sessions consisting of traditional lecture, although a higher or lower level of interaction can be attained according to the resources used by the instructors who teach the course.
The aim of this work is to obtain constructive feedback regarding the informational training of our students, following the introduction of ICTAH course, so that the teaching methodology can be tailored to the requirements of the ESHE. In order to do so, we have designed a questionnaire for the students to evaluate, among other things, various elements of the learning environment, their level of achievement versus their learning expectations and their overall satisfaction with the course.
Once the common section for the 4 different specialties of the Master (cooperation and development, advanced nursing, care dependence and manipulative physiotherapy) was completed, a questionnaire with a request for collaboration was e-mailed to the 79 students enrolled in the program. The total number of questionnaires received was 41 (52%). It is important to note that on a scale of 1-5, all learning-related items received high marks (average=4.2). Overall satisfaction with the course was also high (4.3±0.70). Furthermore, the marks regarding the adaptation of the methodology, materials and activities to the ESHE framework (4.2±0.97) were high as well.
Based on these data and the perceived satisfaction, we believe that the methodological innovation we have been developing in our discipline is a step in the right direction.