Enhancing the learning experience using Web 2.0 technologies

Flood, Michelle, Strawbridge, J., Morgan, A., Feeney, L., Gallagher, P. and Pitman, S. (2011) Enhancing the learning experience using Web 2.0 technologies. [Conference Proceedings]


Web 2.0 technologies are increasingly being used in the provision of online and blended learning. The technologies encourage and facilitate collaboration, reflection, generation of information and sharing of knowledge.Two elements of Web 2.0 technology were introduced to enhance the learning outcomes of second year pharmacy students in the module ‘Patient Care and Safe Dispensing’. The first, an interactive online learning forum, introduced the students to real-life problems. A photograph of a ‘problem’ prescription, taken to preserve anonymity, was uploaded on a weekly basis. Students then discussed the problem on-line in small groups. The second element was the creation of an E-portfolio to enable the students to record their professional competencies and reflect on their experiential learning. Student evaluation of the elements was conducted via an online survey. A response rate of 70% (n=36) was achieved. The majority of students found the learning forum helped them link theory with practice, integrate material from across the module, and develop their problem-solving skills. The majority also liked the forum as a learning tool and thought it took an acceptable length of time to complete. The introduction of the E-portfolio yielded a mixed response. The majority of the students did not like the e-portfolio as a learning tool, but felt that using the reflective diary section helped them become aware of their strengths and weaknesses in their knowledge, skills and attitudes and helped them learn from their experiences. These findings were in keeping with the literature, which suggests that students struggle with self-assessment and find reflection challenging.Web 2.0 technologies, introduced in line with constructivist learning methods, allowed student flexibility, promoted learner-centred processes, and enhanced the learning experiences of the students. The technologies will be now be utilised in the related modules within the spiral curriculum.

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NAIRTL 4th Annual Conference (Cork) 2010 Flexible Learning Conference Proceedings_sm.pdf

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