Video conferencing: an effective solution to long distance student placement support?

Teri Taylor

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Abstract

Background Within many health related degree programmes, students receive support during placements via visiting tutors. Literature discusses the importance of this support but economic and environmental arguments indicate a need for alternatives to supporting a student in situ. This project investigated the logistics of and perceptions towards using video conferencing as a means of providing this support. Methods A pilot project was undertaken in which an in situ, support meeting was replaced with a meeting via video link. All participants completed evaluative questionnaires and students attended a follow up focus group in order to explore responses in more depth. Results and discussion Use of the medium identified key logistical hurdles in implementing technology into existing support systems. All participants expressed enthusiasm for the medium with educators expressing a preference. Students identified concerns over the use of this medium for failing placements but could not identify why. As a result of evaluation, this project has raised a number of questions relating to the fitness for purpose of video conferencing in this context. Conclusion Future research aims to respond to the questions raised in evaluating the value and purpose of placement support and the nature of conversations via the video conferencing medium.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
JournalWidening Participation and Lifelong Learning
Volume11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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