Volume 18, Issue 4 - November 2014

Introduction to the Special Issue on Blended Learning in the Health Sciences

Paige L. McDonald, The George Washington University

Anthony G. Picciano, City University of New York, Hunter College

In January 2014, The Chronicle of Higher Education conducted an opinion survey of college and university presidents (N=349), on their views regarding change in higher education. The Innovative University: What College Presidents Think about Change in American Higher Education, provided insights into what campus leaders think about higher education’s response to the wave of online technology that has inundated all aspects of human endeavor since the debut of the Internet and World Wide Web in the 1990s. In terms of instructional modalities, an overwhelming majority (81%) of presidents responded that hybrid courses that blend both face-to-face and online components are the future and will have a positive impact on higher education. In addition, when it comes to initiating change, most college presidents believe that government officials, politicians, and private industry have too much influence. Almost 80% believe that technological change should come from the faculty (Selingo, 2014).

This special edition focuses on the experiences at one university that exemplify faculty-led change. It is premised on the idea that faculty know their subject matter, curricula, and most importantly, their students better than outside drivers, and are in a pivotal position to affect change that provides meaningful improvement to their academic programs. The articles also provide evidence that online technology can be effective in instruction but is also in need of on-going adjustment and improvement.

Information and Communication Technology to Facilitate Learning for Students in the Health Professions: Current Uses, Gaps, and Future Directions

Ellen Costello, Mary Corcoran, Jacqueline S. Barnett, Marisa Birkmeier, Rhea Cohn, Ozgur Ekmekci, Nancy L. Falk, Thomas Harrod, Debra Herrmann, Sean Robinson, Bryan Walker

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences School of Nursing

Changes in the U.S. Healthcare System along with the need for institutions of higher education to prepare a work force ready to address the challenges of today and tomorrow have highlighted the need to incorporate technology in its broadest sense as part of the student learning experience. In health professional...

Educational Mixology: A Pedagogical Approach to Promoting Adoption of Technology to Support New Learning Models in Health Science Disciplines

Paige L. McDonald, Laurie B. Lyons, Howard O. Straker, Jacqueline S. Barnett, Karen S. Schlumpf, Linda Cotton, and Mary A. Corcoran

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

For disciplines heavily reliant upon traditional classroom teaching, such as medicine and health sciences, incorporating new learning models may pose challenges for students and faculty. In an effort to innovate curricula, better align courses to required student learning outcomes, and address the call to redesign health professions education, Health Sciences...

Using Technology to Promote Active and Social Learning Experiences in Health Professions Education

Elizabeth Ruckert, Paige L. McDonald, Marissa Birkmeier, Bryan Walker, Linda Cotton, Laurie B. Lyons, Howard O. Straker, Margaret M. Plack

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Time and space constraints, large class sizes, competition for clinical internships, and geographic separation between classroom and clinical rotations for student interaction with peers and faculty pose challenges for health professions educational programs. This article presents a model for effectively incorporating technology to overcome these challenges and enhance student engagement...

Learning Partnership: Students and Faculty Learning Together to Facilitate Reflection and Higher Order Thinking in a Blended Course

Paige L. McDonald, Howard O. Straker, Karen S. Schlumpf, and Margaret M. Plack

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

This article discusses a learning partnership among faculty and students to influence reflective practice in a blended course. Faculty redesigned a traditional face-to-face (FTF) introductory physician assistant course into a blended course to promote increased reflection and higher order thinking. Early student reflective writing suggested a need for learner familiarization...