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Use of the Online Discussion Board in Health Professions Education

Contributions, Challenges, and Considerations

Donlan, Pamela PT, DPT, EdD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Spring 2019 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 124–129
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000252
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Abstract: Online discussion boards offer opportunities for individualized and interactive learning in higher education and are frequently used in health professions education. This article investigates the ways in which discussion board activities foster cognitive and affective domain learning among health professions students and contribute to the professional competencies that are required of emerging clinicians. In addition, pedagogical challenges, including the need to develop sophisticated interpersonal affective domain skills, promote problem-based learning, and prepare students for standardized examinations, are addressed. Considerations for practice, which include the importance of specific teaching strategies such as the shaping of student and instructor roles, scaffolding, and online debates and role-playing, are discussed.

Dr. Donlan: Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA.

Correspondence: Pamela Donlan, PT, DPT, EdD, Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA,02115; e-mail: p.donlan@northeastern.edu.

Disclosures: The author declares no conflict of interest.

Received June 21, 2018

Accepted March 27, 2019

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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