15 Apr A scientific approach to eLearning
Blended learning is one of the latest buzz words in the world of eLearning development. In truth, a mix of online and more traditional face to face learning has been a staple of most 3rd level courses for the last decade. Our experience in developing both the Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, Blackboard et al., as well as actual online modules has us acting as enthusiastic advocates to this approach.
Clear benefits in developing online elements to courses include giving back much needed time to course contributors by allowing them capture part of their learning message and delivering it in a way that can be repeated with minimal involvement, allowing them time to concentrate on other academic work. For the user the convenience is of course that they can choose when they want to tackle parts of their course, giving them flexibility to work around their own busy schedule.
Our involvement with Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI) in the area of eLearning development is not new. In their previous guise as Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) we developed 4 online modules for their Clinical and Translational Research Scholarship Programme (CTRSP), a PhD programme that ran from 2012. This content was gathered from their 5 Partner institutions, UCC, UCD, Trinity College Dublin, RCSI and NUI Galway and delivered on the Blackboard platform.
Our approach to this was to create videos that could be easily accessed through the platform and viewed or listened to, along with links to further reading, resource documentation and sectional quizzes. The final exam element of each module, only part of the overall grading structure, was also created in and delivered through Blackboard with the report being accessible by supervisors directly after the exam.
We are currently upgrading some of this content as it was designed and built for cross institution and multi platform compatibility. Elements of this are currently being used by UCD and Trinity College with the other institutions, and indeed industry links, also looking to add the content to their own internal resources.
Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI) is a not-for-profit research partnership comprising NUI Galway, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and University College Dublin, their medical schools, associated academic hospitals and clinical research facilities, with the objective of accelerating the translation of biomedical research into improved diagnostics, therapies and devices for patients. CRDI builds on the achievements of Molecular Medicine Ireland which was established in 2008 by the five aforementioned universities, together with its predecessor the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (DMMC), a partnership initiated by UCD and Trinity College Dublin in 2002, with the inclusion of Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2005.