Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

3-2017

Abstract

Objective/Purpose: 1. Describe the benefits and challenges of establishing a campus-wide student-centered program to create online curricular content. 2. Gain insight about student perceptions and motivations for becoming curriculum content developers. Need for Innovation: Faculty receive constant encouragement to discover methods for transforming health science instructional materials using active learning. Faculty identify "lack of time" as the most significant barrier to developing blended and online materials. In 2014, our academic medical center issued a student-centered call for proposals to create online materials for the Interactive E-Learning Program as a means to include students in the curricular change process. By pairing student creators, many of whom are fluent consumers of technology and digital education, with content expert faculty, the program uniquely capitalized on the students desire to contribute with the identified need of faculty for production time. Instructional

Methods/Materials Used: The first call for student proposals was conducted in the fall of 2014, with the second in the fall of 2015. The competitive application required the following information: project members, faculty advisors, learning objectives, budget worksheet, description of the proposed module, and implementation plans for the curriculum. Awardees received $1000 per project for project expenses or student stipends. Students developed modules in six months with guidance from faculty advisors using resources available in the campus e-learning studio. Program completion was recognized by a letter of commendation. During the summer of 2016, students from both cohorts took part in a survey to assess their motivations and perceived benefits of participating in the Interactive E-Learning Program. Educational Outcomes: The two calls for proposals resulted in 30 funded student projects covering curricular topics for medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, allied health, and public health. A total of 58 students were involved and worked solo or in groups of 2-4 people. Survey results indicated students were motivated to participate by the desire to contribute to or enhance the curriculum and to develop their own e-learning skills. Students perceived an enhanced relationship with their faculty advisors and increased e-learning skills to be benefits of the program. Students also perceived participation in the program as a positive addition to their CV. Strengths/Areas for Improvement: The energy and creativity with which students approached the modules they designed resulted in many novel projects. The centralized e-learning studio and instructional design staff are strengths of the program, ensuring the modules meet instructional design principles, university branding requirements, copyright guidelines, and accessibility rules. An internal rubric and project checklist provided a guide for development and served as a tool for evaluation and feedback. Areas for improvement include the development of more interprofessional student teams that can lead to content applicable in more than one curriculum (eg professionalism skills, vital signs, medical history, etc). Approaches for identifying opportunities to implement the student-developed materials into courses on campus is also under consideration. Feasibility of Program Maintenance/Transferability: Many health sciences programs are facing curriculum redesign to meet the learning needs of current and future students or are seeking ways to engage students in the learning process. Based on our findings, extending the opportunity to students to become creators in partnership with faculty content experts was highly successful. Students are now more than just learners, but are also demonstrating altruistic behaviors to contribute and enhance curriculum for future students. After initial expenditures are made to acquire the proper software and hardware needed to support a formal e-learning program, the cost of maintaining such equipment is of small consequence when considering the impact of this program for the student developers, their faculty mentors, and the entire campus community.

Share

COinS