Student perceptions of a blended learning approach to paramedic education
thesisposted on 17.07.2020, 00:00 by Lorraine Oliveri
Distance education has been used in various forms since the 1800s. The progression of distance education has seen the paper-based system replaced by modern computing technology for a more effective approach. CQUniversity has a long history of offering distance education across a wide range of disciplines. The Bachelor of Paramedic Science is one of the health-related undergraduate courses offered by distance since 2011. At the time, CQUniversity was the only Australian university that offered an entire pre-employment undergraduate course in paramedicine in a distance mode. Currently, there remain only two universities offering a distance course. Rather than using a standard approach of on-campus lectures and tutorials, CQUniversity uses a blended learning mode which incorporates online (distance) and face-to-face components to the unit. A student enrolled in the blended mode of study views all lectures and resources through a learning management system in an online environment at a time and in a place that suits the student’s personal circumstances. In addition to the online management system, blended learning students travel to a university campus to attend an intensive teaching block known as a residential school for several days during the study term. The residential school activities include tutorials to learn and practise clinical skills, simulated paramedic scenarios and practical assessments. This research is concerned with the perceptions of the end user of this non-traditional blended learning approach to paramedic education, the students undertaking the ‘Foundations of Paramedic Clinical Practice’ unit. The unit is the first of the clinical units in the undergraduate course and teaches basic patient care assessments and life-saving skills and procedures. It is essential students can gain the knowledge and skills in this unit as it provides an integral foundation for more advanced skills and procedures later in the course.