The Virtual Health University: An eLearning Model within the Cuban Health System.

  • Jardines J
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Abstract

This paper describes Cuba's experience with the Virtual Health University (VHU) as a strategic project of INFOMED, promoting creation of an open teaching-learning environment for health sciences education, through intensive and creative use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and a network approach to learning. An analysis of the VHU's main antecedents in its different stages of development provides insight into the strategic reasons that led to the establishment of a virtual university in the national health system during Cuba's so-called Special Period of economic crisis. Using the general objectives of creating, sharing, and collaborating which define the VHU's conceptual-operative framework, the three essential components (subsystems) are described: pedagogical, technological, and managerial, as well as the operative stages of educational design, technological implementation, and teaching-administrative management system. Each component of the model is analyzed in the context of global, modern university trends, towards integration of the face-to-face and distance education approaches and the creation of virtual institutions that assume the technological and pedagogical changes demanded by eLearning.

Author-supplied keywords

  • elearning
  • infomed
  • medical education
  • telehealth
  • tic

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Authors

  • José B Jardines

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