The Medical University of South Carolina: e-learning in Health Sciences
Charleston, SC, United States
The learning platform of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) annually receives about 2,500 individuals to take virtual courses geared to support their education processes, with student’s ages ranging from 16 to 50 or even 60.
Considering that MUSC focuses on matters related to health sciences, they have been very careful in creating contents for the platform, as they are fully aware of the need to properly separate subjects, given that some experiences are to be acquired in on-site classes, such is the case of clinical practices, which are difficult to replace with online simulated practices. Nonetheless, in the e-learning scenario, there is a lot of introductory content –for students’ first years – covering all the subjects to be studied.
This is why the College of Nursing at the University has stood out as experts in the implementation and management of the tools that the platform offers. Thanks to good instructor-student communication, uniform and consistent course design, and easy-to-access resources like audiovisual materials, (in this case videoconferences) students have enjoyed a closer learning experience. This results in a more satisfactory experience for professors and excellent student performance.
In this regard, it is important to recognize that courses are created by experts, who are part of each college’s staff, who have adopted a pragmatic attitude toward content development and maintenance, and therefore, encourage content creation. Thanks to this there has been a successful transition from traditional learning to virtual learning, as this has implied substantial time savings for both instructors and students, enabling different learning paces given that content is fully available 24 hours a day on the platform.
With the foregoing and according to the results and the experience acquired by MUSC, in future the platform design is expected to be more accessible so students with any visual impairment (or other kinds) gradually get a much more complete and dynamic learning experience and so make the most of all the content.
*Stanley Sulkowski – Director of Instructional Systems in the Department of Instructional Technology and Faculty Resources, Medical University of South Carolina.