Adapting social media as a scaffolding tool for teaching health informatics
Health informatics is an applied hybrid discipline of health and life sciences, computer
science and business. Teaching this subject to undergraduate students, presents the
challenge of learning without the assistance of internship or work experience that enable
placing the learning in context. We used the university’s learning management software as a
form of social medium to stimulate discussions in preparation for 2 assignments, while
creating an environment in which scaffolding could occur for both students and teachers.
We found that the online discussions were valued by the students and added value to their learning, because they could use their social presence in a format familiar to them, and also use a process of
collaborative knowledge creation about health informatics.
An iterative action research process was used, which included an assessment of student
digital mindedness, scaffolded online discussions that were assessed as part of each of the
two assignments, and a questionnaire at the end of the semester.
Day, K. & Wells, S. (2009) Adapting social media as a scaffolding tool for teaching health informatics. Presented at the ascilite conference in Auckland in 2009.