THE USE OF A WEBLOG BASED ON EDUCATIONAL CONTENTS AS A SUPPORT FOR COMPETENCY ACQUISITION IN NURSING STUDIES
The philosophy supported by the European Higher Education Area emphasizes the acquisition of transverse competencies within the different careers. The most important ones are the following: competencies related to the use of technology within the information and communication field, team work skills, problem based learning and creativity development.
The use of a blog can be a useful tool from an educative perspective to acquire these competencies simultaneously with the application of other learning strategies. By our experience, the process of designing and developing an academic blog can be a very productive experience for the students that supports the acquisition of more complex competencies over their academic Nursing career.
This experience of competency based learning was developed during the academic year 2010-2011 within the theoretical-practical module of the subject Medical and Surgical Nursing II, focused on the topic of self-care in people affected by Diabetes Mellitus and associated complications.
Students looked and selected the information from the different sources, complementing the initial documentation and guided by the teacher, who gives the basic instructions regarding the design of the weblog and the most reliable sources to obtain the required information.
The weblog was developed by a group of 3-4 people. Once it was finished, there was a debate about the learning process and finally the weblog was published online. Afterwards, all the groups established a link between their blogs, with a network-based design, creating a specialized information source. In order to evaluate the experience, an anonymous and voluntary survey was performed at the end of the module.
A total of 65 students participated of the project. The activity consisted on the design of a virtual space with the different documentation found through a literature and online search (contends, links, photographs, videos, etc.) about a specific topic selected from the subject program.
The students created a total of 9 blogs containing selected texts. Teachers and students expressed their positive evaluation of the experience although it required an initial effort on the innovation field.
The Project required an initial effort by teachers and students due to their lack of knowledge regarding the use of this type of technologies and resources. Despite the amount of work needed, they highly evaluated the team work learning and they were satisfied with the final results and proud of having a public space with educative information online. Teachers considered it very positive and found many benefits of its application within the selected areas.
This tool is a practical element which can facilitate the acquisition of transverse competencies related to the integration of new technologies on Nursing studies, improving the students´ learning process."