Using Web 2.0 to Promote Clinical Research Training

We planned our international training program using the concepts of Web 2.0 as to enhance learning, communication and collaboration.

Our collaborative distance-learning training program is part of the Scholars in Clinical Science Program (Harvard Medical School) offered to participants from Boston and throughout the world. It is designed for individuals who wish to gain basic and advanced training in clinical trials before moving into the field and for those who have experience in this area and aim to broaden their role in the design, management, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials using innovative learning tools such as Wiki and web blogs.

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning is an educational technique in which learners/students work together to solve a problem, complete a task or discuss an idea. This method is based on the notion that learning occurs naturally during social interactions; it occurs during the communication of learners.

In a collaborative learning setting, learners have the opportunity to discuss and engage with their peers as to defend their ideas, beliefs and questions; therefore helping with engagement and learning. An important concept is that learners benefit when exposed to diverse viewpoints from students with different background.→ read more...

Principles and Practice of Clinical Research

Our 6-month collaborative distance-learning basic course on clinical research covers the basics of clinical research (such as: how to formulate a research question, select study population, randomization and blinding methods) to statistical methods (data distribution and classification, statistical tests, sample size calculation, survival analysis, missing data and meta-analysis); data collection, monitoring and reporting (include training in manuscript writing); and study designs (observational studies, non-inferior and adaptive designs and randomized clinical trials).

This course starts on March 19, 2009. Deadline for enrollment: February 15, 2009.→ read more...

"How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education"

In his book, "Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principle of Teaching Can Transform Education", David Perkins, Professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, discusses the seven principles of learning. According to this author, learning should be a natural process as, for instance, when we learn how to play baseball. In order to achieve this, we should learn by "wholes" instead of learning by elements or parts. For instance, when one is learning how to play a song, one sings the entire song. Therefore, according to this Harvard educator, there are seven learning principles: "1. Play the whole game; 2. Make the game worth playing; 3. Work on the hard parts; 4. Play out of town; 5. Uncover the hidden game; 6. Learn from the team...and the other teams; Learn the game of learning".

We also believe that learning by wholes is a more natural and therefore efficient process. In particular, the item 6 ("Learn from the team....and the other teams") is aligned with our basic educational method of collaborative learning. In fact, collaboration might make the principle by wholes possible.