Scaling-up undergraduate medical education: enabling virtual mobility by online elective courses

Kukolja Taradi, Sunčana and Đogaš, Zoran and Dabić, Marina and Drenjančević Perić, Ines (2008) Scaling-up undergraduate medical education: enabling virtual mobility by online elective courses. Croatian Medical Journal, 49 (3). pp. 344-351. ISSN 0353-9504 (Print) 1332-8166 (Electronic)

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AIM: To evaluate online elective courses at Croatian medical schools with respect to the virtual mobility of national teachers and students and virtual team collaboration. ----- METHODS: A student-centered virtual learning environment developed within the framework of the European Union Tempus Programme allowed national educational services to design and deliver online undergraduate elective courses. Three online elective courses were created for second-year medical students of four Croatian medical schools by using Moodle, an open-source learning management system. The courses supported problem-, project-, and decision-based learning and required students to work in small collaborative teams using problem-solving and decision-making activities. The purpose was to foster teamwork and produce better outcomes than those potentially achieved through individual work. We evaluated the results of these online courses on the basis of the course test results and students' evaluation questionnaires. ----- RESULTS: Of 68 students enrolled in all e-courses, 97% (n=66) successfully passed the final exam. An anonymous online questionnaire was filled out by 83% (n=50) of the students. The majority expressed their satisfaction with the online electives, mostly because they had more contact with tutors and peers (n=47), better possibilities of self-assessment (n=38), more flexible learning (n=33), better access to learning materials (n=32), faster and easier information retrieval (n=31), and better quality of communication with tutors and peers (n=28). Although 38 of 50 students claimed that participating in e-courses was more demanding than participating in traditional electives, more than half (n=27) would enroll in an e-course again. ----- CONCLUSION: Elective e-courses may be a successful model of how faculty and students at higher education institutions can collaborate and integrate e-learning into their current curricula.

Item Type: Article
MeSH: Internet ; Education, Distance - methods ; Education, Medical, Undergraduate - organization & administration - trends ; Teaching - methods ; Croatia ; Humans ; Online Systems ; Questionnaires
Departments: Katedra za fiziologiju i imunologiju
Depositing User: Boris Čičovački
Status: Published
Kukolja Taradi, SunčanaUNSPECIFIED
Drenjančević Perić, InesUNSPECIFIED
Date: June 2008
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 16:10
Subjects: /
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