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Occupational Therapy and Web 2.0 Technology

Posted Nov 03 2008 9:02pm
Given that we have adopted a PBL approach to undergraduate learning and are used to attempting the student centred experience, I am frequently involved in conversations with colleagues that question the time that we are still spending in face to face contacts with student groups in order to ensure that learning outcomes are being met.
Now that our journey is fast taking us through a steep learning curve of podcasts, wikis and blogs I am becoming convinced that web 2.0 technologies have a place within occupational therapy education. For example, PBL groups can set up wikis that enable them to truly share their learning and their research in consideration of the trigger in a way that does not identify them to the rest of the group - great for those that have confidence issues. At the same time tutors can see who is contributing (or not) and whether the information is accurate and evidenced in an appropriate way. Individual students can then be mentored as necessary to get the most from the learning opportunity.
Another example is that key note lectures can be podcasted so that students can access this as revision, or even to gain a fuller understanding of the topic in a way that suits their own learning committment and style. These can be attached to discussion forums that facilitate student question and comment which tutors can engage in. In this way the content is engaged with in a much more comprehensive way. Thus the face to face time decreases - but the contact time becomes more focused and more student led.
I think that one of the main obstacles to adopting web 2.0 technologies is not about tutor or student motivation to engage with these new concepts, it is ensuring that both groups have the necessary access to the processes and the time to "play" with the concepts before going public.
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