Online Collaborative Learning in Health Care Education
Catherine Westbrook [Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org], Pathway Leader MSc Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Faculty Health, Social Care and Education Department of Allied Health and Medicine, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom
At our University, the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education has delivered a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses via flexible distance learning for many years. Distance learning can be a lonely experience for students who may feel isolated and unsupported. However e-learning provides an opportunity to use technology to motivate students to interact with each other and their tutors and work together towards common goals. If done properly, this provides distance learners specifically with a sense of learning within a community and therefore enables them to learn more effectively. Five years ago, the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education started using a virtual learning environment (VLE) to expand and develop our materials and provide a variety of resources to support our students. In the postgraduate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) course this was further developed by implementing several collaborative learning initiatives where students work together online. The purpose of this was to attempt to improve the student experience of distance learning. The aim of this review is to analyze the effectiveness of three online collaborative tools used in the postgraduate distance learning MRI course and make recommendations for the implementation of similar initiatives throughout health care education.
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