Video Conferencing and Distant Learning: Teaching Postgraduate Health Informatics Courses through Video Conference Supported Collaborative Learning Environments

By Taghreed Justinia and Hanin Shalaby.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 04, 2014 $US5.00

Postgraduate learning no longer needs to be confined by geographical location. Traditional teaching methods have evolved with the aid of technology. Virtual, distant and collaborative learning environments have redefined the classroom experience. This paper more specifically examines using video conferencing technology within a postgraduate health informatics programme where students attend the same lecture from one of three classrooms located in different cities. The instructors deliver the course from one of the locations, while students in the other two sites interact with their instructors and other students via video conferencing. This paper discusses the setup, technological issues, knowledge management concerns, content sharing, collaboration methods, and alternate backup solutions as they were observed, from students’ and instructors’ perspectives. The dynamics of the video conference classroom interaction are explored in detail through an observational ethno-methodological study, and findings are triangulated using interviews, focus groups and a survey. Practical suggestions and key challenges are highlighted and recommendations are provided.

Keywords: Video Conference, Distance Learning, E-learning, Virtual Classroom, Virtual Teaching, Collaborative Learning, Content Sharing, Collaborative Learning, Ethno-methodology

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.1-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 04, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 969.344KB)).

Dr. Taghreed Justinia

Assistant Professor Health Informatics and Assistant Director Information and Communication Technology, Information Technology , Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

My background and experience are in the information technology (IT) and health informatics fields. I have a special interest in IT leadership, in organisational behaviour, and the socio-technical aspects of applying medical informatics solutions; in leadership and change management; and in organisational strategy. As an IT executive, I have a special interest in strategising and planning health care IT projects, leading and managing large-scale corporate change programmes, and improving health care and IT through quality management. On the academic side, I am involved with graduate and post-graduate teaching, and in defining educational health informatics curriculums at the BS, MS and PhD levels. I am also involved with developing training programs in health informatics for health care professionals. My research interests are in the above mentioned areas as well as in qualitative research, and I hope to encourage qualitative research methods in a largely quantitative field. I hope to be a positive role model for women, wives, and mothers who choose health informatics or IT as their careers, and have enjoyed my academic and practical roles in both areas.

Hanin Shalaby

Dalhousie University graduate, Faculty of Health Informatics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

I have a background in nursing and recently obtained a Master of Science in health informatics from Dalhousie University, Canada.