In outer regional or remote areas, electronic resources can be an effective tool in clinical education.
Teleconferencing allows a number of people to link up from different locations. Mather and Marlow (2012) found that the introduction of audio teleconference to facilitate and support students undertaking a rural or remote placement led to enhanced communication between students, Clinical Educators and University staff members.
Many workplaces will have web conferencing facilities, that allow participants to link up using web cams. If there are no work place facilities there is free software that can be downloaded (e.g. skype) that enable video or teleconferencing.
A webinar is a live interactive experience. It is an online event where a facilitator or presenter broadcasts a seminar or presentation. Through the use of a webcam and specialised software (e.g. GoToMeeting), participants can hear and see powerpoint presentations, videos or other content and hear the speaker. Participants can ask the presenter questions in real time.
Internet and websites
There are a number of valuable websites providing students with information about frameworks for practice and practical therapy ideas. It is important that the student can evaluate the reliability of the information available on the internet.
Chat rooms, blogs and other social media platforms can be used to enhance the clinical placement.
If you need an update on the range of social media platforms and the use of social media in clinical education, try these short articles by Dr Caroline Bowen:
There are a number of web based e-learning resources available. One example is Moodle. Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a free web application that needs to be installed in a web server. It can be used to create online dynamic learning sites for students.
References and additional readings
Bowen, C. Webwords 44: Life Online. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology,14(3), 149-152.
Bowen, C. Webwords 46: Social Media in Clinical Education and Continuing Professional Development, Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology,15(2), 104-106.
Jones, L., McKenzie, M. & Wong, M. (2010). The Use of Videoconference Technology . Creating Innovative and Interactive Fieldwork Education Experiences. In L. McAllister et al., (eds.). Innovations in Allied Health Fieldwork Education: A Critical Appraisal, 167-175.
Mather, C & Marlow, A (2012). Audio teleconferencing: Creative use of a forgotten innovation. Contemporary Nurse, 41(2): 177-183
McLeod, S & Barbara, A. (2005). Online technology in rural health: Supporting students to overcome the tyranny of distance. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 13, 276-281.