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Use of a blog as a tracking tool for student-supervisor interaction in a Biomedical Informatics course: Future portfolios

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Author(s): M. R. Sheriff | J. U. Weerasinghe | G. Ponnamperuma

Journal: Sri Lanka Journal of Bio-Medical Informatics
ISSN 2012-6077

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Blog | Biomedical Informatics | Portfolio | Medical Education Informatics

ABSTRACT
A blog can be considered as a diary of online thoughts. Derived from the term web log, blog is a method of posting entries to a specific URL. Initially used for text entry, blogs have now evolved into interactive and multimedia rich posts of information which can be maintained using various devices.While the existing methods of communication between the student and the supervisor such as official letters, telephone conversations, face to face meetings, and online meetings are being practiced there are problems of using these multiple methods over a longer period of time because of the difficulties in maintaining a chronological order, cataloguing minutes of meetings and excess paperwork. It may question the supervisory role of consultants and address the affective domain of learning. Blogs seem to give significant advantages in organising activities of a research project as well as aid in reflective learning. A survey of scientific literature shows active use of blogs in both medical teaching and training and as an aid to reflective learning.A blog was maintained for 40 weeks between September 2010 and July 2011 by a student of the MSc in Biomedical Informatics course which was overseen by two supervisors. In the course of maintaining a blog, its use as a tracking tool and reflective learning medium was evident.It can then be concluded that a blog can be seen as a useful aide in tracking student progress in a Biomedical Informatics course and has potential to be used in other medical disciplines as an adjunct to portfolio.
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