Web-Based Learning Environment for Medical Education: E-Fer, A Practical Tool for Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Wounds

Web-Based Learning Environment for Medical Education: E-Fer, A Practical Tool for Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Wounds

Josep Maria Monguet (Technical University of Catalunya, Portugal), João Costa (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Pedro Gaspar (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal) and Rogério Costa (Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-670-4.ch035
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Abstract

This chapter describes the saliency of learning environments supported by information and communication technologies, followed by a conceptualization of the virtual learning environments, highlighting their overall advantages, more specifically those in the field of medical education. Special attention is also paid to some learning methodologies and strategies and their applicability. Before describing the e-fer, as Web based learning system, the authors also introduce some practical examples of the use of information and communication technologies in medical education. The importance of this training platform for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic wounds is demonstrated here, with a description of its functionalities, as well as its characteristics such as case based learning and game based learning. At the end of this chapter, the authors present the research projects currently in progress, based on the e-fer, in areas such as the impact of the content adaptive model in learning processes, cost estimate as a result of non-training and the build up of communities of practice.
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The Learning Environments Supported By Information And Communication Technologies

In the current context, societies are gradually advancing towards an economy based on knowledge, and the technological and social developments demand new ways of accessing knowledge. The learning environments supported by the Information and Communication Technologies are used to a greater extent and aim to benefit the learning and communication between teachers and students.

The advancement and dissemination of the Information and Communication Technologies represent a powerful booster of new perspectives in distance learning through the online environments.

The technological development is changing the way contents are supplied and presented. Within these advancements, the growth and acceptance of the Internet is worthy of note. This phenomenon is quite visible in the development of Virtual Learning Environments in higher education (Lange, Suwardy & Mavondo, 2003).

Web based tools and the Information and Communication Technologies, in general, remove some of the barriers between the classroom and the real world, and provide room for students to develop their skills in expression, comprehension and use of ideas, in that they allow them to access a worldwide source of information and resources rather than have a limited and local access.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Communities of Practice: A group of people that is brought together by joining in a common theme or interest (domain), that work together and interact regularly (community), with the aim of solving a problem (practice). They refer to the process of social learning that takes place and the associated socio-cultural practices that develop and are shared when people with common objectives interact and strive to achieve those objectives

Web Based Learning: Often called “on-line learning” or “e-learning”. It includes theme contents to be used in online learning, and other tools such as discussion forums, communication (synchronous and asynchronous), video-conference, Wikis, blogs, to name but a few. It can also provide static pages with educational material for consultation or printing.

Worked Out Examples: Consists of an effective and efficient way of learning to acquire the relevant skills from worked examples, has particular effects in the initial skill acquisition. The students spend less time for learning and they are faster solving the problems and identifying his mistakes.

Virtual Learning Environment: Software designed to support learning activities that involve information and communication technologies, and that allow us to integrate multiple languages and multimedia resources, to present the information in an organized layout, develop interactions between people and objects of knowledge and elaborate and socialize productions. They are especially created to help teachers elaborate contents and administer them, as well as to allow a regular follow-up of the students’ progress. They are also considered to be additional tools to be used in in-class situations.

Cost Estimation: A calculated, probable total cost of a product, programme or project based on the information available. Cost estimation models are mathematical algorithms, or parametric equations used to estimate the cost of a product or project. Parameters are introduced to describe the attributes of the product or project (and respective prices). The model then calculates the product or project’s cost prior to its development.

Chronic wounds: On-going process, or when the integrity of skin and subcutaneous tissues is disrupted, tissues that fails to heal within an expected period of time.

Long Life Learning: This entails the entire long life learning activity, the aim of which is to improve and update knowledge, aptitudes and skills, within a personal, civic, social and/or work-related perspective.

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