DR. DAVID MARC- BRIDGING THE DISTANCE IN DISTANCE LEARNING

Learning/Teaching Practice: Interactive learning communities

Innovative Tool:

YouTube Live

YouTube Live allows users to stream live class sessions, and record for later review by students.

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Learning Environment:

Dr. Marc is the program director for the Master of Science in Health Informatics program and teaches courses in data analytics and research design. In his online data analytics course, he demonstrates ways of analyzing healthcare data using a publicly available software product called RStudio. RStudio requires students to use the R programming language to summarize data, conduct statistics, and create graphs. There tends to be a steep learning curve to the R language.

Recorded lectures and demonstrations offer students a great way to learn the content, but many students require further engagement to really grasp the concepts and tools. In an effort to support student learning in an interactive and open community, Dr. Marc offers an optional weekly live session using YouTube Live where students can ask questions, request additional demonstrations, and have an opportunity to get to know their fellow students and faculty. These sessions are held weekdays during the evening so students that are working during the day can have the opportunity to join the sessions. They are also recorded and made available immediately via YouTube.

Effects on Learning:

Not only have the live sessions offered students an opportunity to expand their knowledge on a difficult subject matter, but the sessions have helped to build a stronger community of online learners. Students get the chance to develop relationships with their fellow students and faculty.

Effects on Teaching:

By logging into a meeting, flipping on a webcam, and having a real conversation about the subject, live synchronous sessions have allowed Dr. Marc to develop an online classroom where the distance dividing students and faculty is forgotten and the focus is on learning and community.