eLearning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. Information and communication systems, whether using the internet, local networks or CD/DVD, serve as specific media to implement, facilitate and improve the learning process. eLearning applications at Swiss TPH include web-based and computer-based learning. Our eLearning programmes follow a blended learning approach with a mix of self directed learning using the program itself, and traditional lectures and exercises.
At Swiss TPH there is almost 70 years of experience in diagnosing parasitic diseases. The aim of this eLearning programme is to bring all this experience and expertise together in an attractive and interactive product addressing the multifaceted and very complex clinical aspects of parasite diagnostics.
This learning software allows beginners to gain experience in diagnosing the most important helminth and protozoan diseases of humans. For this purpose, one can gain basic knowledge through short overviews of parasites, diseases, diagnostic methods and strategies. Even more important, one can train diagnostic capabilities using a virtual microscope. The course leads the student from basic training to more complicated diagnostic exercises. Our purpose is to facilitate a first approach to Diagnostic Medical Parasitology embedded into a strong didactic concept.
Although this programme cannot replace working with a real microscope or consulting diagnostic textbooks and atlases it is the first available comprehensive eLearning programme on parasite diagnostics on the internet.
This learning programme accompanies the block course of the same name offered by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute to third-year students taking the BSc degree in biology at the University of Basel. It is not an independent distance-learning course, but is part of a "blended learning" programme in which classroom teaching is complemented by independent study using the learning software and other teaching materials. Our learning programme is intended to encourage students to learn independently, to stimulate their learning process and to enable self-evaluation through the provision of tests.
The design of our learning software is based on didactic considerations like exemplary and self-directed learning and hence should encourage additional self-instigated exploratory learning, both during the course and afterwards
BEPI (Basics of Epidemiology) is a web based blended learning offer for Master and PhD students to expand and improve their basic knowledge in Epidemiology and to apply it to epidemiological case studies and to the use of existing data bases.
BEPI is based on the Epidemiology chapter of the Swiss Public Health textbook (Ackermann-Liebrich U, Meier C, et al. In: Gutzwiller F, Paccaud F, eds., Sozial- und Präventivmedizin: Public Health, 3., vollst. überarb. Aufl., Bern: Hans Huber; 2007, p. 37-71) and presents a collection of epidemiological case studies from non-Anglo-Saxon cultures, didactically reground for background information.
BEPI is available in German and French and has been developed in the frame of Swiss Virtual Campus and realised by the LernTechNet, New Media Center of the University of Basel using flash technology.
Medical students should learn how to form evidence based judgments in concrete problem situations. This requires the ability of understanding scientific publications and of judging the significance and limitations of their results. For this purpose, medical students must acquire a fundamental knowledge of statistics. Moreover, in their practical research work, they need to be able to apply basic statistical techniques.
BOMS is a course that offers medical students problem-oriented learning and interactive exercises in statistics. Inclusion of case studies in the exercises enhances the attractiveness of the course and helps to cement the learning process. Students' basic knowledge of medical statistics and their ability to solve practical problems in this area can be tested directly with BOMS.
The technical framework is based on a customised ZOPE platform with Java applets to visualise and experiment with statistical concepts.
This eLearning programme was already designed in 2001 and implemented as an integral part of the course "parasitology and parasitism" to students taking the BSc degree in biology at the University of Basel. In addition, these interactive learning software acts as a knowledge base for the block course "Infection Biology and Epidemiology".
The thematic structure of the educational software is designed to help to lead to a progressively deeper understanding of parasitology and epidemiology. With a selection of 6 model parasites - from the most important zoological phyla - the programme is based on the concept of exemplary learning.
For the future we plan to update the programme in terms of content as well as technologically.