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ItemA Learning Design to Teach Scientific InquiryElliott, K ; Sweeney, K ; Irving, H (IGI Global, 2009)This chapter reports the authors’ experiences of developing a learning design to teach scientific inquiry, of integrating the learning design with learning objects to create online inquiry projects, and of investigating student attitudes following implementation in second year biochemistry units at a major Australian university. We discuss constructivism, problem based learning (PBL), and inquiry learning as the philosophical and pedagogical approaches informing the learning design, and highlight how critical components of each approach were transformed into a learning design. We specify the learning design and highlight its important features. The claimed efficiencies of the learning object approach were evaluated during the development phase. Outcomes reported here indicate that reuse was most cost effective if many, elaborate learning objects were reused. Little benefit was gained by the reuse of many, simple learning objects. Finally, student perceptions indicate benefits from the inquiry projects that warrant their inclusion in a traditional teacher-centred course.
ItemIntroducing an online community into a clinical education setting: a pilot study of student and staff engagement and outcomes using blended learningGray, K ; Tobin, J (BMC, 2010-01-26)BACKGROUND: There are growing reasons to use both information and communication functions of learning technologies as part of clinical education, but the literature offers few accounts of such implementations or evaluations of their impact. This paper details the process of implementing a blend of online and face-to-face learning and teaching in a clinical education setting and it reports on the educational impact of this innovation. METHODS: This study designed an online community to complement a series of on-site workshops and monitored its use over a semester. Quantitative and qualitative data recording 43 final-year medical students' and 13 clinical educators' experiences with this blended approach to learning and teaching were analysed using access, adoption and quality criteria as measures of impact. RESULTS: The introduction of the online community produced high student ratings of the quality of learning and teaching and it produced student academic results that were equivalent to those from face-to-face-only learning and teaching. Staff had mixed views about using blended learning. CONCLUSIONS: Projects such as this take skilled effort and time. Strong incentives are required to encourage clinical staff and students to use a new mode of communication. A more synchronous or multi-channel communication feedback system might stimulate increased adoption. Cultural change in clinical teaching is also required before clinical education can benefit more widely from initiatives such as this.