July 29, 2011
Ending the ‘tyranny of the lecture: At an educational technology conference in Boston July 27, Harvard University physics professor Eric Mazur explained how he uses “peer instruction” to help …
From Bench to Webside
July 25, 2011 3 Comments
- I don’t like online learning — I like to be in the classroom where I can interact with other students.
- I’m too social for online learning — online learning is too isolating and lonely.
- Online learning is boring.
How about you? Share your preconceptions about online learning by commenting on this post.
Online learning is also known as eLearning (electronic learning). But let’s consider a different proposition. What if we engage in WeLearning rather than eLearning, or even iLearning?
iLearning (“I” Learning) — I want or need to learn something. I get on my computer or smart phone. I “Google” or use some more scholarly search tool to look up the information I am seeking. I choose from the available sites and information that seem to meet my learning needs. I learn what I need to know, and I might even discover related topics I didn’t expect would pique my interest.
eLearning (one example) — My employer requires periodic training on topics sucs as sexual harassment, human subject research, or HIPPA. I receive an email message informing me that I must complete the training online by some specific date. I log in and work through the units — slides that cover the material, with an occasional multiple choice question to check my knowledge.
WeLearning – I elect to take a course online. The course is billed as collaborative. I log on the first time and am asked to post my introduction. I read and reply to a few introductions posted by others, and our conversation begins. Soon, we become a community of learners. We are expected to use forums to sustain ongoing dialogue. We are expected to post assignments and then give and receive feedback among our scholar colleagues and faculty. We may be required to complete group projects. We learn with and from one another.
There is a time and a reason for each of these models, and many more. Designing Clinical Research for Students and Residents ONLINE is WeLearning.
July 23, 2011
August 1, 2011 marks the official start date for Designing Clinical Research (DCR) for Students and Faculty. The majority of scholars will assemble on Monday and Wednesday mornings in the traditional lecture hall at the Parnassus campus. Twenty self-selected learners will take the course completely online via the UCSF Collaborative Learning Environment, AKA Moodle.
The online course site was made available to students at noon on Tuesday, July 19. At 4:14 pm that same day, the first student logged in, explored the site, and posted an introduction. By 6:00 pm, two more students showed up and began to interact with each other. Remember! The course does not officially begin until August 1.
This course about research also doubles as research. Co-faculty, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD and Deborah G. Grady, MD, MPH along with researchers, Sarah Wilson, MD and Lawrence Haber, MD, as well as instructional designer and online learning consultant, Chrisanne N. Garrett, MAED will study the first offering of the online course. This small pilot study aims to answer the following question: how do learning outcomes, including knowledge and skill acquisition, and learner satisfaction compare between health science students who take the online DCR course and students in the traditional course?
The DCR course is structured to foster the development of students’ ability to write a clinical research proposal. For the final assignment, students write a five page proposal of their research study. We plan to take the twenty proposals written by the online students and compare them to twenty proposals randomly selected from the traditional course. Two K Program scholars, blinded to the author of the proposal, will read all forty proposals and rate the proposal based on the NIH scale of 0-9. We will then compare the scores of the online students to the scores of the traditional students. Additionally, we will collect formative and summative evaluation data from the online learners on both learning progress and satisfaction with the online learning environment.
This blog will serve as an ongoing report on the online course and, ultimately, on the results of the research study. Your questions and comments are most welcome.
July 22, 2011 1 Comment
This week’s NIH conference “Crowdsourcing: The Art and Science of Open Innovation” could be a hint that the research agency is seriously considering new ways to take advantage of the “processing power of lots of willing brains”.
ScienceInsider published a summary report that states:
NIH Director Francis Collins would soon sign papers that would ensure NIH is compliant with the America COMPETES Act, which gives federal agencies the authority to offer cash incentives for researchers to tackle high-risk, high-reward research questions that have eluded more traditional funding platforms, such as grants and sponsored research.
The America COMPETES Act was first passed in 2007 and was reauthorized in December. Under its authority, federal agencies outline a problem they’d like solved on Challenge.gov, then open the competition to individuals or teams, evaluate the results, and award a money prize to whoever turns in the best solution.