Blended Learning Methodology
Human Study e.V. pays special attention on the interaction with each and every student and their intensive communication with the teaching personnel. Mentors are available to students on a convenient and constant basis. In order to implement such complex programs and meet students’ expectations, Human Study e.V. uses a specific blended distance-learning methodology and latest available technology specifically designed for the facilitation of this type of education:
- Website: An interactive website has been developed to serve as the center of all online educational activities as well as for the generation of the web content and databases.
- Virtual Classroom: Students are provided with all educational content and materials through the currently most contemporary Virtual Classroom.
- Comprehensive Presentations – Professors and clinical instructors use PowerPoint as the standard tool for the presentation of lectures.
- Recorded Video Lectures – The latest distance-learning technology software is used by professors and clinical instructors to deliver video recorded lectures.
- Live-Streaming – Human Study uses specialized software to deliver live-streamed lectures, facilitate direct communication with the entire class, clarify certain subject areas, and so forth. This tool is also used for oral examinations at the end of each semester.
- Digital Pads – Professors and clinical instructors use digital pads to facilitate transfer of their hand-written lecture elaborations directly to the screen visible by students. This tool is useful for teaching subjects as Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics which might require teacher’s engagement in explaining certain problems in a step-by-step manner.
- Educational Video Materials: Students receive professional educational video materials in order to better study in a complex but clearly explained and understandable format without the need for more sophisticated equipment.
- Chat and Discussion Forums: A chat channel placed on the website is a tool used for individual communication between students and teachers. Furthermore, discussion forums enable students to communicate among themselves and identify and answer questions in different areas of interest.
- Clinical Case Presentations: During every semester students are obliged to prepare assignments as clinical case presentations/research papers.
- Weekly/Monthly Tests: Intermediate evaluation in the form of mini-exams serve as a self-evaluation for students and for teachers to evaluate the progress and identify any problems the students might encounter. Test questions are delivered to students constantly via Internet on a weekly and monthly basis.
Due to specific characteristics of the blended distance-learning process, the programs also include:
- On-site Hands-on Practical Symposium Workshops: Each semester Human Study e.V. organizes comprehensive on-site prosthetic/orthotic workshops with real patients. These workshops are led by renowned experts in their fields. These practical workshops and interactive seminars are organized in order to focus on contemporary practice and methods used in the P&O profession according to the educational curriculum.
- Tutoring System: Each student has the possibility to have his/her own personal academic mentor who supports them through the entire process. Many mentors are HS alumni who are empowered to transfer their knowledge and experience to other students. These mentors strive to be understanding, supportive, and accessible. Students can consult them at any time related to problems they face during their studies, but also for any professional problem they do not know how to solve in their every-day work.
- Semester Exams: Shortly following the end of each semester a theoretical and practical examination takes place in order to evaluate the academic knowledge and practical skills of every individual student. A positive mark after each semester exam is obligatory for proceeding to further stages of HS education.
- Quality Supervision by ISPO: In order to ensure the quality of our educational programs, the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) as primary organization responsible for education in prosthetics/orthotics in the world, monitors the quality of the HS program. The Evaluation Board typically consists of a team of high-level experienced international professionals, medical doctors and accredited orthopedic technologists.
- Final ISPO Exam: According to the official ISPO protocol, upon the completion of each semester students are obliged to take theoretical (written) and practical exams. At the end of the program they must sit the Final ISPO Exam before an independent commission.
- Theoretical part: written examination is divided into segments in accordance with the topics from all educational semesters
- Practical part: the student is obliged to provide a presentation of his/her diploma work, which must include the fabrication and patient evaluation and fitting of a definitive orthotic device and a definitive prosthesis for the assigned patients.
Students are also subjected to intense oral scrutiny by the examination team. A serial of practical exercises is performed by students during final examinations in order to prove the acquired level of knowledge and hands-on skills for various disciplines in Prosthetics and Orthotics.
More About Virtual Classroom
Once the students are enrolled in one of the Human Study e.V. online programs they are given a user name and password to be able to log-in and attend classes. They receive educational materials in different formats including online lectures, videos and reading materials as well as all online assignments in this virtual environment.
All weekly activities are clearly organized in the syllabus. Students can view assignments, due dates and grading criteria, which helps them plan their time and work. Not all of their course work requires online work — much of the writing and project work can be done offline.
Students choose when and where to log in for participation in the class, which allows them to fit class requirements into their busy schedule. Online classroom takes place in an asynchronous environment, which means that students are free to participate in a way that suits them best, as long as they meet the attendance and academic participation requirements for the courses.
One of the greatest strengths of the Human Study e.V. online learning environment is the opportunity to discuss issues and gain ideas from mentors/instructors and other learners at any time via the web platform by simply initiating a discussion/question topic.