International Videoconferencing for Public Health Education: Linking the U.S. and Germany
Authors: Burke, Sloane C.; Chaney, Beth H.; Kirsten, Wolf
Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 January 2010, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 53-59(7)
Abstract:Background: Video-linking with other countries provides a low-cost vehicle for students to learn more about health issues of other cultures and reflectively discuss the public health promotion and education activities of those countries in real time. Purpose: This article presents a case study of international videoconferencing in the higher education setting. Methods: Undergraduate students enrolled in three different public health courses at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina, USA were linked with graduate students enrolled in the public health master's degree program at the Freie Universität (FU) in Berlin, Germany for two videoconference sessions during the fall semester of 2008. A pre-post knowledge scale was administered to assess the impact of the learning modality with the student participants. Results: Utilizing this technology for fostering intercultural communication proved to be an effective method of instruction for student participants. Discussion: Intercultural communication has become a marketable skill for future public health professionals, and incorporating these communications skills into professional preparation programs provides unique learning experiences for students. Translation to Health Education Practice: Videoconferencing technology provides learners with synchronous experience for interacting with other cultures furthers understanding about global perspectives. Today, globalization introduces challenges and opportunities for health educators. Moreover, increasing communication and fostering dialogue between the future public health leaders improves knowledge levels and ideas for resource utilization.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2010