WEBLOG FOR PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN GROSS ANATOMY
Our university is developing different innovative educational projects in order to update conventional teaching methodology. These innovative educational projects are based on the use of information and communication technologies for problem-based learning. In this context, a weblog was used for problem-based learning by means of posting clinical case presentations.
Currently, the use of information and communication technologies is being promoted as a useful alternative for reducing presential lectures. Moreover, information and communication technologies enable us to create virtual communication networks between professors and students that facilitate teaching-learning, and learning based on the solution to problems. In this regard, the weblog is a tool that makes it possible to present clinical cases online and their resolution, at the same time enabling an exchange of impressions between students and professors while the clinical cases are being resolved.
Over the past three years, a weblog was created using the intranet of our Institution. Students gained access to the weblog using their institutional e-mail account and password. A clinical case presentation was posted every week of the course with questions relevant to the case. Every student had to identify the pathology, the anatomical basis of the disease, describe how to proceed professionally, and answer the questions posed. Also, students had to detect their class-mates’ errors and justify them. The professor asked new questions as the students posted their answers in order to create new clinical discussions between students. Finally, all clinical cases were revised and discussed by the professor and the students in the classroom.
Students were asked to complete anonymous questionnaires devised by the Office of Education Evaluation and Diagnosis of our Institution regarding their learning experience once they had received their academic grades. Possible answers ranged from 1 (strong disagreement) and 5 (strong agreement).
Over the past three years, the weblog has been used by 118 students for problem-based learning. Analysis of the questionnaire answered anonymously by the students revealed that 91.30 % of them recommended the use of the Weblog for problem-based learning. They felt that the clinical case presentations via weblog favoured learning (mean ± SD, 4.48 ± 0.58). Students thought that the methodology of work used in the weblog was adequate (mean ± SD, 4.22 ± 0.59). Moreover, students considered that the weblog was a practical (mean ± SD, 4.32 ± 0.71) and accessible (mean ± SD, 4.00 ± 0.52) method for problem-based learning.