Adapting a problem-based learning course for online delivery in the face of COVID-19

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Conference

TitleVeterinary Schools Council Veterinary Education Symposium (VetEd 2021)
LocationVirtual
PlaceUnited Kingdom
CitySurrey
Period7 - 9 July 2021

Abstract

Introduction
In January 2020, COVID-19 led to precautionary suspension of all face-to-face teaching at universities in Hong Kong. The third year problem-based learning (PBL) course of a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum was adapted for online delivery. Tutor groups met via videoconferencing and used live online shared documents and whiteboards for notes and concept mapping.

Methods
Students were surveyed using video conferencing for qualitative feedback. Quantitative feedback was acquired using a five-part Likert scale where 3/5 is a neutral response. Tutors kept notes on their experiences of the new system.

Results
Students reported that the group progressed slightly faster through cases delivered online (2.6/5), and that they attained a slightly deeper level of detail online (2.8/5) compared to face-to-face. Students reported no change in discussion structure (3/5). However, students were less comfortable in discussions online compared to face-to-face (3.4/5) and felt that the use of online digital tools impeded discussion (3.6/5) and concept mapping (3.2/5). Initially, some students reported technical issues. Tutors reported a more structured conversation, but felt engagement was challenging due to a reduction of non-verbal communication.

Discussion
Online PBL can successfully be used as a substitute for face-to-face teaching in an emergency situation for students who have had previous exposure to PBL. Based on positive feedback, the use of digital tools has now been integrated into PBL to enhance face-to-face learning. In addition, the use of Zoom conferencing is useful to allow remote attendance for students who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions. This study illustrates how we can learn to improve teaching following COVID-19.

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Adapting a problem-based learning course for online delivery in the face of COVID-19. / Parkes, Rebecca; Cormack, Catherine; Kenéz, Ákos.
2021. Paper presented at Veterinary Schools Council Veterinary Education Symposium (VetEd 2021), Surrey, United Kingdom.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review