Producing multimedia resources for teaching medical students about the social context of medicine: a partnership approach
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The UK General Medical Council (GMC) requires medical school graduates to be able to apply social science principles to medical practice (1993, 2009). At the policy level it is recognised that understanding of the social context of medicine results in drastic improvements to health care, morbidity and mortality (see, for example, Russell, 2009) but many undergraduate students tend to see the social sciences as ‘nice to know’ rather than ‘need to know’ (Armstrong 1979, Bolman et al, 1995, Benbassett et al, 2003, Litvia and Peters, 2008). The emphasis on disciplinary integration (Harden, 2000) and pedagogic transition from didactic to ‘problem based’ and ‘self-directed learning’ emphasises the importance of embedding learning in the real world and utilising students’ curiosity as the starting point for learning.
Harnessing and exploiting new technologies to enhance teaching and learning is key to Plymouth University’s teaching and learning strategy (2009–2012). Students often arrive at university equipped with devices that provide immediate access (‘anytime, anywhere’) to the internet and with sophisticated knowledge of multimedia that can outweigh that of lecturers (Oblinger and Oblinger, 2005; Wesch 2007; Wheeler, 2011.
Coupled with changes in medical education, TEL represents one way of helping to relate concepts from the social sciences to real medical settings through the use of real life case studies, interviews, wikis and even telematic linking.
Given the ‘technological savvyness’ of students, the pedagogic value of utilising learners’ own experiences and cultural references as a ‘way in’ to learning and the potential of stimulating students in the motivation of one another to learn, student produced multimedia resources may be a valuable way of progressing the teaching of social aspects of medicine. This project aims to engage learners in this process. The approach of involving students in the creation and sharing of subject content relates to the concept of Pedagogy 2.0 (McLoughlin and Lee, 2008) and can be applied to other disciplines. It can lead to greater engagement and motivation of students and ultimately, change the teaching and learning landscape with increasing focus on the process of learning. More specifically, the aims of this project are to explore how medical students might use multimedia resources to assist their learning; use these findings to inform the development of multimedia resources with a group of medical students, focusing on the social context of medicine; evaluate the new resources from the perspective of the students using them; disseminate findings and publish resources.
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