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The Formative Developmental Evaluation of an Online Module in Health Promotion using Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication

Patricia E. Black, Judith Misson, Luke Bracegirdle

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the design and development, and describes the formative develop- mental evaluation, of an online module on Health Promotion for community pharmacists, using a web interface supported by FirstClasse within the Department of Medicines Management’s Online Learning Zone.
The literature reports the reluctance of some learners (and tutors) to embrace computer-mediated communication (CMC) for learning and teaching. The development of the technology and the learning materials using CMC is costly. It was therefore important that the university department evaluated learners’ reactions to a prototype interface and module before making further investment in this delivery medium.
A qualitative, phenomenological approach to explore learners’ experiences was employed. A semi-structured guide-list for face-to-face interview was developed to explore learners’ perceptions of the delivery system and its usability, and their experiences of studying and learning using asynchronous CMC.
The feedback from participants, together with observations from the course team, suggests that asynchronous computer-mediated communication does improve the quality of student learning.
The findings are potentially useful to others develop- ing online learning.


Keywords

Asynchronous; Computer-mediated; Evaluation; Learning; Online; Pharmacy


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