OUTREACH ACTIVITIES ON INSTAGRAM IMPROVE EDUCATIONAL AND PHYSIOLOGY COMPETENCIES: RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COURSE OF THE ENROLLED DEGREE
Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
The skills that undergraduate health sciences students must acquire during their training are sometimes difficult to obtain with traditional teaching methods. Since social media (SM) is undoubtedly a useful tool to reach many diverse people, its use for outreach activities is becoming more and more common. As young people have been immersing themselves in SM, interactive tools such as Instagram or Facebook glimpse new strategies to acquire new competencies through the creation of posts based on Physiology topics. All these points led us to set up an institutional Instagram account where undergraduate health sciences students could regularly post on common health topics. The aim of this project was for students to acquire Physiology and educational competencies using SM while enrolled in Physiology courses at the University of Seville, School of Pharmacy.
The activity was intended for students of Physiology subjects taught in either Pharmacy, Optics-Optometry or dual Pharmacy&Optics-Optometry degrees during the first semester of 2021-2022 academic year (Human Physiology, HP; Pathophysiology, PP; and Cellular Biology and Histology, CBH). Student participation was voluntary, and they could get an extra 5% on their final scores. Professors explained all the activity details the first day of class and supervise all the process until the publication of the post. Students would select a topic on Physiology and prepare short videos that were published on a weekly basis on the Instagram account (@fisiofarma_us) The number of interactions and reviews of the posts by the students’ peers and other users were recorded and a survey was conducted among all participants.
Among 700 potential students, a total of 114 actively enrolled on this innovative educational project and 80 posts were published. The majority of posts (65%) came from students enrolled in our PP course (3rd year), while students enrolled in HP (2nd year) and CBH (1st year) participated to a lesser extent (20% and 15%, respectively). In any case, most of the participating students were women (88%). The results of the survey showed that 98% of participating students were highly satisfied with the activity. They also acknowledged having improved their computer (54%), analysis and writing (48%), and teamwork (45%) skills. In addition, 52% considered that the activity helped them find essential information on a given topic, whereas 26% placed special emphasis on the feeling of having improved their communication skills. Overall, all participants considered that this activity improved their competence in health science and increased the quality of teaching.
The use of SM such as Instagram improves both educational and Physiology competencies, supporting its regular use in the classroom as an effective educational tool. In addition, third-year students are more involved in innovative educational activities than sophomores and freshmen, possibly due to their greater knowledge in physiology-related subjects.
Keywords: Outreach activities, Instagram account, competencies, university, health science.