Facilitating practical knowledge by using ECT
Practical skills constitute essential knowledge in occupational therapy. The knowledge is situation- and experience-based, generated from within the situation. In a particular program for educating Palestinian Occupational Therapists in Gaza, facilitating such knowledge proved to be difficult. Due to travel restrictions and an unstable political situation, teachers and students were separated. Educational communication technology (ECT) like videoconferences, internet and videos became new and necessary tools. This article is based on results from an action research project which followed the process of using flexible forms of learning and developing an internet based learning programme named Ergonet. The learning process of the students using it was examined with the aim of answering the following research question: How can flexible forms of learning be developed and used to facilitate practical knowledge in Occupational Therapy education? The development and implementation of Ergonet as a supporting device in students’ learning of practical skills is described through the experience of the teachers involved. The results indicate how rote-learning and lack of reflective and critical thinking, firmly established among Palestinian students, have been challenged and changed by the didactic use of Ergonet.
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