The number of student health professional expands each year, so it is crucial that the Faculty of Medicine raises the quality of teaching and learning in medical electronic learning education. Student health professionals should understand how cells work in health and disease conditions. Moreover, courses in Histology, Physiology and Pathology are core subjects for exploring the fundamental knowledge needed to learn about changes in structures and the function of tissues and organs at the cellular level for both the normal and abnormal status of a human body. Basically, these principles are correlated to form a whole that students must become competent in to succeed in health professional training. For example, students of the biomedical sciences, Chinese medicine and pharmacy should understand the pharmaceutical mechanisms underpinning how drugs interfere the metabolism of cells. Clinicians and pathologists should be able to diagnose the different stages of cancer and interpret clearly how cells misbehave. However, undergraduates always find these subjects difficult to study.
Mobile learning (m-learning) is a type of learning across multiple contexts with social and content interactions accessed through personal electronic devices. In the 21st century, interest in m-learning has been growing especially in the application of electronic education beyond the traditional didactic pedagogy. However, not much good m-learning courseware has been developed, especially for Apps that integrate teaching and learning in these subject areas. In this project, we aim to develop a new robust e-infrastructure App to facilitate students’ ability to revise their basic knowledge and enhance their experiential learning after the practicum. The innovative courseware will comprise key notes, interactive peer group discussions, annotations, histopathological cases, and evaluation exercises that make self-reflective learning more dynamic. The development of the proposed project will (1) provide an easily accessible medium to retrieve learning materials (application of one-stop service concept); (2) fill in the knowledge and technology gaps in the delivery of clinical information; and (3) facilitate face-to-face didactic teaching lectures.
At present, our team would like to propose a new design for innovative m-learning Apps, entitled electronic Histology Guide (eHisGuide), to enhance cellular level education including histology, physiology and pathology. We propose to conduct an evaluation to determine the usefulness of this innovative courseware for student learning. The major deliverables at various stages in the implementation of the eHisGuide are listed and discussed as follows:
Stage I: Design and update
This proposed project is collaborative, and will involve different departments. Collaborators with expertise from the various departments will develop the material and deliver it to the ITSC (Information Technology Service Centres) team who will build the eHisGuide.
Stage II: Implementation
After the prototype of the eHisGuide is developed and further optimized, a trial run will be launched for either an iOS or Android system. We will gather statistics from the preliminary results so that the prototype can be improved prior to execution. The eHisGuide will be delivered in the next academic year for the students to use.
Stage III: Evaluation
A Likert scale questionnaire will be designed for evaluation by the students and instructors. At the end of the semester, a group interview will also be conducted to hear the students’ learning experience with the topic.
Stage IV: Dissemination
After the data analysis, we plan to disseminate the study through various channels, including a local teaching and learning conference and an international workshop. Our team will also hold hands-on workshops to promote the use of the eHisGuide to enhance learning among the local educators.
The development of this new robust e-infrastructure mobile learning (m-lerning) project is to (1) provide an easily accessible medium to retrieve learning materials (application of one-stop service concept); (2) fill in the knowledge and technology gaps in the delivery of clinical information; and (3) facilitate face-to-face didactic teaching lectures.
Activities, process and outcomes
Our team design the innovative m-learning platform, entitled electronic Histology Guide (eHisGuide), which aim to enhance cellular level education including histology, physiology and histopathology. The micro-modules of eHisGuide have been gradually launched in the Blackboard, i.e. 2018 eHisGuide (MEDF-EHG-PILOT), for the trial run issue.
Deliverables and evaluation
For the data analysis, the respondents are positive as 100% of them like the eHisGuide. Also, 44% of them agreed and 56% strongly agreed that the eHisGuide can facilitate their learning; 50% of them agreed and 50% of them strongly agreed that the learning duration of each micro-modules is appropriate; however, 6% of them are neutral but 94% of them agreed or strongly agreed that they like to access the contents of the eHisGuide in the Blackboard. From the data analysis, the eHisGuide suit the health professional student’s learning need for cope with the day-one competence in their future career paths. More importantly, the Blackboard learning system provides the powerful electronic learning and user-friendly environment platform from which students can learn anytime without the geographical barrier.
Dissemination, diffusion, impact and sharing of good practices
Because the project is innovative for the pilot study, we are able to carry forward the improvements prospectively as it may be
- used to increase m-learning for students’ self-confidence in learning Histology, Physiology and Pathology;
- used as a prototype to promote such effective teaching and learning pedagogy with less stress management; and
- implemented in blend learning and teaching in other subject related areas within our University.