Online Education Student Retention- Should We Apply to Med Schools?

At UC Irvine, we like to think we are on the more tech savvy end of medical education. We were the first medical school to obtain iPads for our students, fully loaded with course books on it. We utilize these resources among many others: Google glass, laptops, robots, etc. Even our classes are recorded and to be reviewed and offered online at a later time. But what effect has technology had on our education? A handful of undergraduates now offer online courses, many of which have become quite a hit (Coursera being a major leader).

A recent article suggests that there is actually a science to the success of some online courses. The shorter and more succinct the videos, the more likely students are to continue enrolling in the course and complete the course. The article mentions trying to pair down on information and provide them in more digestible “knowledge units.” The goal of these units is to satisfy the three main purposes and missions of any course:

– delivering a single unit of content

– evaluating a single unit of content

– certifying knowledge about that content

Check out this article to see the logical reasoning behind this nugget of truth:

http://simplystatistics.org/2015/02/04/knowledge-units-the-atoms-of-statistical-education/

-Chanel F., MS4 UC Irvine

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