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01-09-2014 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2014 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 4/2014

Blended learning in health education: three case studies

Tijdschrift:
Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 4/2014
Auteurs:
Nynke de Jong, Maggi Savin-Baden, Anne Marie Cunningham, Daniëlle M. L. Verstegen

Abstract

Blended learning in which online education is combined with face-to-face education is especially useful for (future) health care professionals who need to keep up-to-date. Blended learning can make learning more efficient, for instance by removing barriers of time and distance. In the past distance-based learning activities have often been associated with traditional delivery-based methods, individual learning and limited contact. The central question in this paper is: can blended learning be active and collaborative? Three cases of blended, active and collaborative learning are presented. In case 1 a virtual classroom is used to realize online problem-based learning (PBL). In case 2 PBL cases are presented in Second Life, a 3D immersive virtual world. In case 3 discussion forums, blogs and wikis were used. In all cases face-to-face meetings were also organized. Evaluation results of the three cases clearly show that active, collaborative learning at a distance is possible. Blended learning enables the use of novel instructional methods and student-centred education. The three cases employ different educational methods, thus illustrating diverse possibilities and a variety of learning activities in blended learning. Interaction and communication rules, the role of the teacher, careful selection of collaboration tools and technical preparation should be considered when designing and implementing blended learning.
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