A lesson in listening: Is the student voice heard in the rush to incorporate technology into health professions education?

L Keiller, G Inglis-Jassiem


Background. Early indications are that blended learning in health professions education has a positive influence on student satisfaction and learning. This is encouraging, as the call to incorporate technology in teaching and learning in higher education is increasing. The student voice in the planning and implementation of blended learning strategies is, however, not adequately addressed in many of the studies to date.

Objective. To utilise videos and blogging in a problem-based learning physiotherapy module to enhance student engagement with content of problem based cases.

Methods. Students completed a needs-analysis and engagement questionnaire. Videos made by students were uploaded to the learning management system and subsequent use of these videos was recorded. Two focus group discussions were held to evaluate students’ perceptions of the blended learning strategies.

Results. Students perceived the level of engagement during case presentation periods to be satisfactory, but unsatisfactory outside of such periods. Focus group discussions identified the technology used in this study as being inappropriate for this population. Students had specific expectations of the roles of staff and students. There was a perceived lack of skill with regard to the use of the technology chosen.

Conclusion. There is a need for the student voice to be heard with regard to both the rationale for implementation and the type of technology used in blended learning strategy innovations. This study recommends that student-generated videos of clinical skills could be implemented successfully with adequate support from staff.

Authors' affiliations

L Keiller, Centre for Learning Technology, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

G Inglis-Jassiem, Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Blended learning; PBL; Physiotherapy; Videos; Student engagement

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2015;7(1):. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.371

Article History

Date submitted: 2013-12-11
Date published: 2015-02-23

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