ITSHEC’s Training activity “Capacity building on teaching-learning strategies to support students’ transversal skills development” comprised a 5-day training program offered to Healthcare and Social Sciences Teachers. The goal was to provide teachers with both theoretical and practical methodologies regarding Transversal Skills development. The course combined theoretical and practical sessions. It took place in the University of Split, School of Medicine in Split, Croatia, between 6 and 10 March 2023.
The “Training Activity for Teachers” was organized in the context of the European project ITSHEC Integration of Transversal Skills into Health and Social care, Higher Education and the Curriculum – and involved teachers from different European Universities: University of Split (UNIST) – Croatia; Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) – Finland; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and Escola Superior d’Infermeria del Mar (ESIMar Nursing School) – both from Spain and VR Learning experts from Immersium Studio. ITSHEC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ project of the European Union.
First day was dedicated to explaining to the participant teachers the ITSHEC project, which aims to improve the training of healthcare and social work professionals in terms of transversal skills throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate training journey. Because we recognize the relevance of transversal skills in addressing the challenges of the future for healthcare and social work professionals, this project is developing practical tools to aid in acquiring and developing key competencies in different educational environments: face-to-face training, simulation and e-virtual learning. We presented the resources designed for the project: Pedagogical Framework, Methodological Guide, Toolkit and Virtual Reality tools. We analysed our teaching practice in a workshop, by identifying main difficulties during the design of learning activities and defining personal challenges and learning objectives for the training week.
Second day, Tuesday, we worked on cooperative learning methods with the Jigsaw methodology. Cooperative learning is a pedagogical practice that involves professionals working together to achieve goals that otherwise not be achieved working alone. Cooperative learning is a recognized way to promote learning in different kinds of subject areas as well as to develop thinking skills, conceptual understanding, problem solving, reasoning, social skills, perspective-taking and personal self-development.
That same day the participant teacher could experiment with the Gamification methodology together in groups, but also to become aware that competing between teams can be good in some exercises but in some cases can cause bad consequences if we do not apply it correctly.
Teachers also worked on Role playing methodology with two activities planned to show teachers how role playing has to be applied with students. The activities were: Activity 1 “Identifying the cyberbullying as an issue with young patient” and Activity 2 “Addressing the concerned parent”. They worked in small groups to be able to exchange opinions and experiences easily.
Third day, Wednesday, began with an introduction to PBL (Problem Based Learning) and explaining how to design and use problems in PBL sessions. In PBL the learning process starts with a problem that generates learning needs and it is student-led and the teacher plays the role of facilitator of learning. Teachers were challenged to simulate a first session of PBL through a case named “The indiscreet screen” about a doctor of primary health care that had some difficulties on her working day. Several skills such as analysing and solving complex problems, self-directing learning, working in a team, oral and written communication, and searching for critically managing information, were developed in PBL sessions.
We also worked on Cinemeducation, that is using films in healthcare and medical education. It emphasises the psychosocial aspects of healthcare and medicine, and it has been used in teaching family systems theory, end-of-life care, medical professionalism and medical ethics, psychiatry and mental health services. Cinemeducation is very useful to teach complex topics.
Fourth day, Thursday, we began working on Virtual Reality, introducing teachers to XR/AR/VR/MR and Immersive Learning and later on we made an activity in groups to design learning experiences. To design an activity for students it is necessary to take in account a lot of parameters, such as the pedagogical goals, contents, interactive activities, methodology, feedback and learning outcomes from the learning experience, think about what competences we want to develop, timing, material support, evaluation, etc. A great effort should be done to plan a good activity with the expected results.
The last activity was piloting the second resource on VR with medical students on upskilling Learning to Learn transversal skill, which was produced by Immersium Studio in co-creation with the rest of the project’s partners. Students could immerse themselves in the experience using their mobile devices in order to compare the difference between a total immersion, that they did in a previous training week with Virtual Reality glasses, and a non-total immersive experience. Later we discussed the differences between using VR glasses or not, and also students gave us feedback about the immersive experience.
Last day, Friday, the teachers had the opportunity to prove Virtual Reality headsets, and see the two resources we have designed for the project by the moment (we are developing the third one). Later on we discussed their impressions, things that we could improve, and how this immersive technologies could be implemented in higher schools.
We are very enthusiastic about the participation of the teachers in the different activities that we have proposed during the week, since they have carried them out with great interest. The methodologies we have learned and teached such as PBL, gamification, cooperative learning, role playing or immersive learning are very useful in terms of improving transversal skills. The feedback we are getting from them is fantastic and is allowing us to refine the outputs of the project. We are very happy that the activities that we are developing within the project and also in this training week for teachers, will be useful in the educational field, especially in the health sector.
The ITSHEC project aims to improve the training of healthcare and social services professionals in transversal skills throughout the undergraduate and postgraduate training journey. ITSHEC is co-funded by the Erasmus+ project of the European Union.
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