Application of Web 2.0 Technology for Clinical Training

Application of Web 2.0 Technology for Clinical Training

Adela Lau (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China) and Eric Tsui (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-272-5.ch010
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In clinical training, students plan, implement and evaluate their learning activities by themselves. They apply theories and concepts in a real clinical environment and learn through social interaction and reflective thinking to experience, conceptualize, apply and create new knowledge to solve clinical problems. Since students are sent to different clinical locations for training and are mentored on a one-to-one basis, it is difficult for students to share their knowledge, make enquiries or interact with their peers and mentors for social and reflective learning. Web 2.0 provides a collaborative and social interactive platform that allows learners to exchange, share, acquire, codify, distribute, and disseminate knowledge. Its functions and features are able to construct a virtual and distributed environment for learners to gather, filter and update the knowledge over different internet sources. This paper thus aims to discuss the functions and features of Web 2.0 technology and its applications to clinical training.
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Web 2.0 Techology Development

Web 2.0 technologies include blog, wiki, podcast, social bookmark, tags, really simple syndication and social network software and has the features of social interaction and collaboration to facilitate knowledge sharing and exchange over internet platform (Lau et al., 2009). It allows community to publish and share content by themselves and to edit content collaboratively and interactively. Through such social interaction and collective intelligence, knowledge is created, exchanged, shared and created.


A blog is a user-friendly content management tool that allows users (bloggers) to publish their own content on the web (Santoro, 2007; Gooding, 2008; Kamel et al., 2007; Boulos et al., 2006; McGee et al., 2008; McLean et al., 2007). A blogger shares his writings (blog) with other bloggers who are in the community or the general public. Other bloggers write comments or share their feelings and opinions about the posted blog, or link it to other blogs. Through such blogs’ linking and sharing, communities with the same interest and discussion topics are formed. Bloggers share, exchange, distribute and disseminate their knowledge and experience through such social interaction and communication. In clinical placements, students are allocated to different clinics for placement. They take notes and share their clinical experiences with their mentor and peers. Blogs overcome the geographical problems and help students to post and share their clinical experience with peers or mentors in other locations, connecting them in a virtual social environment that results in clinical knowledge sharing, exchange, distribution and dissemination, and facilitates learning through social interaction and reflective thinking. By analyzing blogs’ linking, students with similar study topics are linked and clustered together to form an expert locator, topic directory or community. This helps learners to navigate the required clinical knowledge more easily, and to locate experts or peers with similar clinical experience for knowledge acquisition. Thus, blogs can be used as discussion forum, expert locator, topic directory or case repository for social and reflective learning in clinical training.

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