On the Road to Virtual Europe - Redux

Authors: Pulman, A.

Journal: Electronic Journal of eLearning (EJEL)

Volume: Volume 5

Pages: 297-304

ISSN: 1479-4403


Virtual Europe is a web-based European community from which health education scenarios may be accessed for learning and teaching purposes. Featuring a map giving access to country specific resources, it is populated with different cultural case studies allowing contrasts between cultures to be examined. For example, a student could evaluate the differences between UK, Belgium and Dutch approaches to the care of a patient in a particular situation. The project is initially funded by the Consortium of Institutes of Higher Education in Health and Rehabilitation In Europe (Cohehre).

This paper offers a unique view on the benefits and limitations surrounding the development and implementation of a European health based virtual community. How will it facilitate the elimination of barriers for international mobility of students and staff? How easy is it to integrate into differing European health curricula? How does it compare to the experiences offered by new virtual environments? During the first year, the pilot version of Virtual Europe was created incorporating cardiac and burns case studies. During the second year of the project, the aim is to refine the pilot and incorporate further case studies. During the third year of the project, Virtual Europe will be utilised within partner institutions as a learning and teaching tool. The project team are working to evaluate the user-friendliness of the system on an on-going basis encouraging feedback from the students and academics that will use it. Tutorials will be used to evaluate how successfully lecturers are able to utilise and integrate it within their curriculum. Evaluation will be iterative and formative, with feedback used to identify potential changes that will be incorporated into subsequent pilots, group sessions and system enhancements.

The paper presents a cogent and stimulating analysis of an e-Learning virtual health education project which is interprofessional in outlook; interdisciplinary in approach; intercultural in background; interactive in design and international in scope.


Source: Manual

Preferred by: Andy Pulman