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      A novel collaborative e-learning platform for medical students - ALERT STUDENT

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Background

          The increasing complexity of medical curricula would benefit from adaptive computer supported collaborative learning systems that support study management using instructional design and learning object principles. However, to our knowledge, there are scarce reports regarding applications developed to meet this goal and encompass the complete medical curriculum. The aim of ths study was to develop and assess the usability of an adaptive computer supported collaborative learning system for medical students to manage study sessions.

          Results

          A study platform named ALERT STUDENT was built as a free web application. Content chunks are represented as Flashcards that hold knowledge and open ended questions. These can be created in a collaborative fashion. Multiple Flashcards can be combined into custom stacks called Notebooks that can be accessed in study Groups that belong to the user institution. The system provides a Study Mode that features text markers, text notes, timers and color-coded content prioritization based on self-assessment of open ended questions presented in a Quiz Mode. Time spent studying and Perception of knowledge are displayed for each student and peers using charts. Computer supported collaborative learning is achieved by allowing for simultaneous creation of Notebooks and self-assessment questions by many users in a pre-defined Group. Past personal performance data is retrieved when studying new Notebooks containing previously studied Flashcards. Self-report surveys showed that students highly agreed that the system was useful and were willing to use it as a reference tool.

          Conclusions

          The platform employs various instructional design and learning object principles in a computer supported collaborative learning platform for medical students that allows for study management. The application broadens student insight over learning results and supports informed decisions based on past learning performance. It serves as a potential educational model for the medical education setting that has gathered strong positive feedback from students at our school.

          This platform provides a case study on how effective blending of instructional design and learning object principles can be brought together to manage study, and takes an important step towards bringing information management tools to support study decisions and improving learning outcomes.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Health professionals for a new century: transforming education to strengthen health systems in an interdependent world.

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            The impact of E-learning in medical education.

            The authors provide an introduction to e-learning and its role in medical education by outlining key terms, the components of e-learning, the evidence for its effectiveness, faculty development needs for implementation, evaluation strategies for e-learning and its technology, and how e-learning might be considered evidence of academic scholarship. E-learning is the use of Internet technologies to enhance knowledge and performance. E-learning technologies offer learners control over content, learning sequence, pace of learning, time, and often media, allowing them to tailor their experiences to meet their personal learning objectives. In diverse medical education contexts, e-learning appears to be at least as effective as traditional instructor-led methods such as lectures. Students do not see e-learning as replacing traditional instructor-led training but as a complement to it, forming part of a blended-learning strategy. A developing infrastructure to support e-learning within medical education includes repositories, or digital libraries, to manage access to e-learning materials, consensus on technical standardization, and methods for peer review of these resources. E-learning presents numerous research opportunities for faculty, along with continuing challenges for documenting scholarship. Innovations in e-learning technologies point toward a revolution in education, allowing learning to be individualized (adaptive learning), enhancing learners' interactions with others (collaborative learning), and transforming the role of the teacher. The integration of e-learning into medical education can catalyze the shift toward applying adult learning theory, where educators will no longer serve mainly as the distributors of content, but will become more involved as facilitators of learning and assessors of competency.
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              Medicine 2.0: Social Networking, Collaboration, Participation, Apomediation, and Openness

              In a very significant development for eHealth, a broad adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches coincides with the more recent emergence of Personal Health Application Platforms and Personally Controlled Health Records such as Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault, and Dossia. “Medicine 2.0” applications, services, and tools are defined as Web-based services for health care consumers, caregivers, patients, health professionals, and biomedical researchers, that use Web 2.0 technologies and/or semantic web and virtual reality approaches to enable and facilitate specifically 1) social networking, 2) participation, 3) apomediation, 4) openness, and 5) collaboration, within and between these user groups. The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) publishes a Medicine 2.0 theme issue and sponsors a conference on “How Social Networking and Web 2.0 changes Health, Health Care, Medicine, and Biomedical Research”, to stimulate and encourage research in these five areas.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Medical Education and Simulation, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
                [2 ]ALERT Life Sciences Computing, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
                [3 ]University of California Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, USA
                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Med Educ
                BMC Medical Education
                BioMed Central
                1472-6920
                2014
                14 July 2014
                : 14
                : 143
                1472-6920-14-143
                10.1186/1472-6920-14-143
                4131539
                25017028
                Copyright © 2014 Taveira-Gomes et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                Software

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