The Curious Case of Blended Learning: An Evaluation of a Curriculum Innovation in the Global Mental Health Master’s Programme

AUTHORS

Laura Sharp 1 , * , Dimitar Karadzhov 2 , Julie Langan-Martin 3

1 Lecturer, Distance Learning Development Support, MSc Global Mental Health, University of Glasgow

2 Research Assistant, MSc Global Mental Health, University of Glasgow

3 Senior Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist, University of Glasgow

How to Cite: Sharp L, Karadzhov D, Langan-Martin J. The Curious Case of Blended Learning: An Evaluation of a Curriculum Innovation in the Global Mental Health Master’s Programme, J Med Edu. 2018 ; 17(3):e105640. doi: 10.22037/jme.v17i3.22343.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Journal of Medical Education: 17 (3); e105640
Published Online: January 08, 2019
Article Type: Research Article
Received: August 02, 2018
Accepted: October 11, 2018
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Abstract

Background: This study aimed to evaluate students’ satisfaction, perceived utility and engagement with a range of Blended Learning (BL) resources, in the context of the staged introduction of BL within the MSc Global Mental Health Programme.Methods: A descriptive mixed methods design was employed. An electronic questionnaire was completed by 18 (90%) of the enrolled on-campus students. Eight of them opted to participate in a collaborative workshop aiming to corroborate and expand upon the questionnaire findings, and generate ideas for optimising the BL components.Results: Overall, students were satisfied with the quantity and usefulness of the BL materials.Specifically, the easy access to, and diversity of, learning activities were recognised as instrumental in stimulating innovative ways of thinking, in addition to improving subject-specific knowledge. Students starkly diverged according to their reported use of materials as the foundation of independent study as well as perceptions of the difficulty level of the modules. Students reported lacking the confidence and knowledge regarding integrating the breadth of learning resources effectively to support their learning. Collaboratively, the students helped generate actionable programmatic changes aimed at improving the curriculum cohesion and enhancing learner engagement.Conclusion: Systematic evaluation of the initial stages of BL is critical. This study demonstrated the complexities of the staged introduction of BL in terms of ensuring learning efficiency, student satisfaction, learner development and programme cohesion. This study enabled the identification of strategic and feasible high-impact areas for optimising BL, and transforming them into stages of change.

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  • © 2018, Journal of Medical Education. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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