The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2005 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

ONLINE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY COURSE: INCORPORATING AN INTRODUCTORY RESPIRATORY THERAPY COURSE INTO THE UNIVERSITY CURRICULUM.

Douglas S Gardenshire, MS, RRT. Department of Cardiopulmonary Care Sciences. Georgia State University. Atlanta, GA.

Table 1. Credit Hour Generation FY 04
  Summer Fall Spring
RT 112 743 759
MT 210 246 237
Total 322 989 996

BACKGROUND: Technology-enhanced education is becoming an important part of higher and professional education. WebCT, a provider of web-based technology that allows faculty to enhance their instruction via the creation of world wide web-based educational environment, provided an opportunity to expand an existing medical terminology course into the university curriculum. Understanding medical terminology is vital when entering a number of medical professions, including nursing, nutrition, respiratory therapy, and physical therapy. Medical terminology is ideal for the web since students will be using drill and practice exercises to learn the material. The use of online discussion offers students an opportunity to go beyond drill and practice exercises and achieve higher order thinking skills.

PROBLEM
: It was discovered that many health-related programs at this university offered a component of medical terminology in their curriculum. The medical terminology portions were presented in or throughout introductory courses with little time spent on terms, spelling and pronunciation. Basic Medical Terminology Online was created to attract students in the college to the course and allow for a lower division elective. This web-based course made the material available to anyone in or outside the university, on a self-paced basis. A programmed learning, word building approach was used to learn word parts for constructing and analyzing new terms. Emphasis was placed on spelling, definition, usage, and pronunciation.

RESULTS:
Basic Medical Terminology Online attracted more students from our college. It attracted students from across the university with various majors. This project was seen as a way to meet student needs and generate additional credit hours. The medical terminology course has generated 65%, 25%, and 24% respectively of the total credit hours for the respiratory therapy department for summer, fall, and spring semesters.

CONCLUSION:
Faculty wanting to develop an online course should be familiar with WebCT or any web-based platform that will be used. The need to develop bulletin board materials for discussion and evaluation materials for the course are essential for success. Development and offering of university wide courses is a great way to generate credit hours and recruit non-majors. Students who may be interested in such a course include majors in physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, respiratory therapy, and may include non-health majors such as social work, and criminal justice.

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