Engaging Students Through Blended Learning: Takeaways From a Medical Professor

Amrinder Kaur, JoVE Writer | 9 min read
Amrinder Kaur, JoVE Writer | 9 min read

Professor Gian Battista Parigi is the President of the Committee for International Cooperation for Development (CICOPS) & Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Pavia, Italy. 

When COVID-19 struck last year, Prof. Parigi looked at the hybrid model of instruction and worked tirelessly to ensure that the transition would be as seamless as possible for all his students. To do so, he used digital education resources for the medical course which is designed for a total of 6 years. The students at the University of Pavia are required to start practical training in the 3rd year.

The University of Pavia, together with hundreds of Institutions around the world, joined our 2020 STEM digital solidarity free access initiative.

During last week’s webinar: “Enhancing Hands-On Medical Skill Practice with Video”, Prof. Parigi discussed how he took advantage of the forced situation in order to innovate his medical course. 

He shared his experience about how a JoVE curriculum specialist assisted him with designing the hybrid course using JoVE playlists —  different JoVE videos combined to support instruction, lab training, or research needs.

 Here’s how to create a JoVE Playlist.

How it was done — 

Browsed and shuffled through collections to fit each playlist for each course year with the help of a curriculum specialist, Prof. Parigi came up with a total of 18 playlists mapped to the medical courses at the University of Pavia, containing a total of 300 JoVE videos -

Blended learning with virtual traineeship model was adopted by integrating JoVE multidisciplinary videos — to aid to the practical training as sought by the university:

Student groups were formed by combining 3rd and 4th-year students with a 6th-year student as a mentor. These groups watched relevant JoVE videos to reinforce key concepts and learn through demonstrations.

The JoVE videos lessons were immediately practiced within the groups through role-plays.

Prof. Parigi received an overwhelming and positive response from students.

During the webinar, Prof. Parigi shared his experience of developing hybrid science courses. Below are the top highlights of his discussion during the Q&A session of the webinar:

You can request the full video recording of Prof. Parigi’s webinar on Enhancing Hands-On Medical Skill Practice with Video here.

1. How well did the digital resources fit alongside traditional learning and how did your students respond to this change?

Prof. Parigi says that many of their lectures needed digital upgrades. Faculties are not as digitally sound like most of the students and that's why instructors need to adopt these interactive ways to teach, and to remain up-to-date. Blended learning is a new effective way of teaching and learning, and he says “we are definitely going to take these resources back to in-class training post pandemic as well.”

Students' response was encouraging and they positively acknowledged the Blended teaching model. They took an active interest in this type of learning since most of the students of this generation are well versed with the technology and this becomes easy for them to get along.

2. Was it difficult for you to create or edit the playlist?

No, since there is a proper guide from JoVE on how to make and edit a playlist along with continuous support from JoVE’s curriculum specialist

3. How did you encourage students to engage more during remote learning?

Through a blended learning model, student groups were formed, where they were listening and discussing JoVE videos together. The students found this interaction very encouraging and effective as per the feedback collected from them. 

4. Does the playlist have to be hosted on the JoVE platform or can it be integrated into University’s LMS?

Some of the videos were hosted on the university’s LMS but memory constraints made us prefer/utilize videos hosted on JoVE’s platform which required students to sign up on JoVE to access the videos, enabling JoVE to track students' activities as well.

The university’s LMS platform Kiro is a Moodle based platform so all the JoVE videos can be embedded easily at once in the main LMS such as Moodle, Brightspace, Blackboard, Canvas, etc.

To learn more about Gian Battista Parigi’s approach — and many more insightful takeaways from his experience, you can request a recording of this session here

Did you know? A dedicated team of on-staff Ph.D. scientists can create syllabus-mapped playlists for instructors for free and our subject matter experts have curated playlists of JoVE videos mapped to syllabi for commonly-taught courses, lab training programs, and more. They are structured by topic which helps to quickly locate the videos that best match the syllabus. Here’s how to create a JoVE Playlist.

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