An original paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) demonstrates the use of a hybrid e-learning solution to host a postgraduate course in eHealth rather than using more traditional asynchronous e-learning methods. Sixteen students from six countries were recruited to participate in this live weekly webcast that met weekly for 2.5 hours for 10 weeks.
The technology consisted of an online webcast with a presenter-controlled talking head or copy of the presenterís computer screen showing slides as well as a live student chat room for use during class and during breakout groups. Handouts were made available prior to sessions and recordings after sessions. These were posted as blogs on the course website.
The features of the online course included:
-Webcast audience is online only
-Live quality video showing talking head of presenter
-Live slide or presentation display
-List of people participating can be seen by presenter and participants
-Photo of participants can be seen by other participants
-Participants can comment in real time by typing in chat room (text chat)
-Participants can be divided into breakout rooms for discussion
-Recording of talking head, PowerPoint presentation, and participant discussion
The eHealth course content included presentations and discussions of various forms of e-learning for patients and professionals, patients and computer use, patient access to medical records, research methods in eHealth, geographic information systems, and telehealth. The sessions were recorded including presentations(video and slides) and student interaction as text. Evaluations were sent via email to query participants on their assessment of this form of learning.
Sessions were described as generally very interactive, with most students participating actively in breakout or full-class discussions. "In a typical 2.5-hour session, students posted about 50 messages each." The authors concluded that "this model of synchronous e-learning based on interactive live webcasting was a successful method of delivering an international postgraduate module. Students found it engaging over a 10-week course." The study suggested that "synchronous methods such as interactive webcasting are a much easier transition for lecturers used to face-to-face teaching than are asynchronous methods, they should be considered as part of the blend of e-learning methods."Posted by rsk at November 19, 2009 11:05 AM