More than a Conference: Building Online and In-Class Student Engagement by Attending USIs Health Informatics Tri-State Summit
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleMore than a Conference: Building Online and In-Class Student Engagement by Attending USIs Health Informatics Tri-State Summit
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Students today can no longer rely only on the ability to accumulate discipline-based information for career success. They need to be able to analyze and evaluate information, solve problems, work interprofessionally and communicate effectively. As educators, our role is to provide our students with the opportunities to participate in meaningful projects in which they play an active role in shaping and enhancing their learning experiences (Delialioglu, 2012).
This presentation will highlight assignments built in four different Health Informatics classes offered both online and in face-to-face settings through participation in a conference provided on campus (i.e., Health Informatics Tri-State Summit). This event was used as a vehicle to actively engage students in the material, as well as provide networking and participation in online communities that might not exist in real life. The presentation will emphasize the bridge that was built between online and face-to-face students by creating assignments that involved both groups of students. It will also address the value of engaging students as partners in learning and teaching as the faculty member transitioned from an instructor to facilitator because of this approach.
Transformative learning occurs when students are challenged to think not only critically but also creatively, as well as communicate and collaborate with one another (Freudenberg, Brimble, Vyvyan, & Corby, 2008). This can be accomplished by using information and technology, which need to align with the knowledge of learning (Keane, Keane, & Blicblau, 2016). As a result, students enrolled in three courses (i.e., Health Informatics (HI301.001); Electronic Health Records and Enterprise Systems (HI302.N01); Social Media Monitoring in Healthcare (HI304.001 and HI304.N01)) were required to attend the 2018 Health Informatics Tri-State Summit organized by the College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana. Instead of taking attendance, students received participation points based on social media activity during the conference. The students enrolled in HI301.001 were graded based on the meaningful tweets posted during the event. The students enrolled in HI304.001 and HI304.N01 were assigned to groups and became part of a fictitious consulting team charged with examining the Twitter activity. Their task was to identify an analytic tool that could track the social media activity of all participants during the event and write a report to be presented to the Conference Planning Committee. Students enrolled in HI302.N01 worked in teams and developed a presentation that was relevant to the topics presented during the conference. The group presentations were exhibited using robots that were controlled by students via an app on their mobile devices.
Attending the 1-day long conference presented students with an opportunity to learn how technology and social media can be used to increase the timely dissemination of health information, facilitate interactive communication, and most importantly, network and engage via social communities outside the classroom. Furthermore, students had the opportunity to listen to reputable speakers on current topics and research in health informatics and healthcare in general. Through the class activities that were designed in each course, students improved not only their discipline-related knowledge, but also teamwork and communication skills. Reflection submitted by students in the form of a blog indicated that they perceived greater confidence in their abilities. From an educator’s perspective, actively engaging students via participation in a conference proved to be an effective tool that can improve teaching and learning by placing concepts in the context, keeping course content up-to-date, and fostering a sense of community.
Delialioglu, O. (2012). Student Engagement in Blended Learning Environments with Lecture-Based and Problem-Based Instructional Approaches. Educational Technology & Society, 15(3), 310-322. Retrieved 12 18, 2018, from http://ifets.info/journals/15_3/24.pdf
Freudenberg, B. D., Brimble, M. A., Vyvyan, V., & Corby, D. E. (2008). A Penny for Your Thoughts: Can Participation in a Student-Industry Conference Improve Students’ Presentation Self-Efficacy and More? The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, 15(5), 187-200. Retrieved 12 18, 2018, from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/delivery.cfm/ssrn_id1683150_code498263.pdf?abstractid=1493416&mirid=1
Keane, T., Keane, W. F., & Blicblau, A. S. (2016). Beyond traditional literacy: Learning and transformative practices using ICT. Education and Information Technologies, 21(4), 769-781. Retrieved 12 18, 2018, from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10639-014-9353-5.pdf