1 Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities (SPAIN)
2 De Montfort University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 956-963
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0313
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Higher Education Students (HES) may find the lectures as something far away from their everyday life. Professors feel a big gap between themselves and their pupils. Furthermore, some students can find that subjects are not connected in between them and make close boxes of knowledge. To show them the great net of knowledge they can build, we have redesigned an old strategy, the use of blogs in education, to break that gap and increase student interest in the lectures.

After the introduction of the Bologna Process in the European Higher Education Area, annual subjects have almost disappeared in behalf of shorter ones. This reduction might help the students pass their courses, but it brings up the problem of compartments in knowledge. Because of this, our project has been focused on the students of the Pharmacy Faculty which have 4 subjects associated to infectious diseases (ID) from 3rd to 6th semester (Microbiology, Parasitology, Immunology, and Biological Analysis) of a curriculum of 5 years (10 semesters).

Technological gap is a reality in between students and teachers because the internet and technology are used in a different way. HES have grown in a world where social media is a part of them, sharing their daily life with pictures, videos or comments. We have therefore thought to use this enthusiasm to create a blog to share and associate the knowledge they acquire in our classes, with news they find related to ID. The blog is edited by teachers, but written by students named the “Infectious Gazzete”.

Students have looked for information related to ID in different media. Once they have found attractive news, students have to practice their critical thinking and write a small blog entry containing a review of the subject using their lectures notes or books. By means of this activity, students can link the knowledge acquired in the lectures to the latest news in the field of ID. Before the entry is published in the blog, teachers play an editor role where the entry is sent back to students for improvement. Finally, the text is uploaded to the blog.

As the blog entries are published in an open blog, their peers are able to read and discuss the news. Because this activity is carried out during 4 semesters, students are also able to have a global and up to date view of every aspect related to ID. Furthermore, students from other Universities (The Montfort University, UK) have joined our initiative contributing to the blog.

A survey was carried to analyze students’ opinion on this initiative. Ninety-five students answer the survey with a mean age of 19,11 (± 2,11) years old. After statistically analyzing the results, the medians that favorably scored for the activity were for the statements: In general, I liked this activity. The realization of this activity is interesting and I consider that this project favors my Personal development. None negative impression was observed for any question.

Overall our project has improved students’ interest in the different subjects that could be used to interconnect the different topics addressed in the lectures. Moreover, the use of the blog as an open platform, make students feel the responsibility of being well informed and read about a topic before open publishing. The exposure of students to this experience creates a platform where we introduce our subjects into an open discussion in students’ families and friends, increasing the attention and interest of infectious diseases in their everyday life
Blog, critical thinking, ICT.