Education has traditionally taken place in physical classrooms, where educators and students can interface in person. But in recent years, online learning and the use of digital curriculum has become a popular option for education, letting individuals study from any place and at any time.
Digital learning is a welcome development in modern education. A 2018 study found that digital learning increased student retention and graduation rates while decreasing the cost of higher education. With online tools, college is fast becoming a more affordable, accessible, and realistic option for greater amounts of people.
However, online learning is not only helpful and convenient for students; it is also beneficial for educators and learning institutes. With digital curriculum, a diverse assortment of online learning tools, educators have access to many new teaching options and materials.
This is especially true for health science programs in professional schools or universities. To understand why, let’s break down what digital curriculum is and how health science educators can use it to improve learning in their classrooms.
Understanding Digital Curriculum and its Benefits
What is Digital Curriculum?
Digital curriculum is any online software that teachers and students use for learning. The software offers educators and students many streamlined, time-saving, and educationally beneficial solutions. Examples include:
- Pre-prepared teaching and learning materials
- Automated class tracking software
- Streamlined classroom management systems
These features all make for high-quality, flexible learning environments that allow educators to focus on their teaching and students to succeed in their learning.
Digital curriculum can be used for entirely online courses or as part of hybrid courses—which include both traditional brick-and-mortar elements as well as digital components. Many institutions have already begun incorporating digital curriculum in their programs to increase accessibility, affordability, and learning effectiveness.
Better Teaching and Learning Experiences
Digital curriculum provides unique benefits and tools that build on teaching methods and learning experiences in the traditional classroom.
A learning management system (LMS) keeps the class curriculum in one easily-accessible space. It keeps course content neatly organized and provides many useful features for both health science instructors and their students—such as adjustable syllabi, student progress trackers, and customizable course elements.
Students in particular benefit from many digital learning tools that are unavailable in traditional classrooms. For instance, students can use self-paced practice exams to learn and review material in ways that suit their learning needs and time constraints. Students also have access to interactive lecture components and online forums that provide extra details, information, and opportunities for active participation.
All told, digital curriculum makes for an excellent alternative or complement to traditional classroom learning by affording quality education tools to educators and students around the world.
Challenges of Regularly Creating Effective Health Science Lesson Plans
Health science educators carry the heavy burden of training future healthcare technicians, administrators, and clinicians who will work directly with patient care. Instructors must guide their students in understanding the course information, successfully completing the course components with satisfactory grades, and actively engaging with the course materials.
Instructors must carefully craft and continually revisit lesson plans and curricula for students to understand technical medical terminology and complicated health science topics. However, effective lesson planning can bring many challenges.
Presenting complicated information to health science students in a clear, concise, and digestible manner is an innately tall task. Using traditional classroom tools, it is often difficult to demonstrate the nuances of certain biological systems or explain the fine details of a particular medical procedure.
Furthermore, course facilitators often have to modify their lesson plans to adjust to the pace of their students. Instructors also frequently have to personalize their lesson plans to adjust for individual student needs. Even more crucially, educators must continually revise their lesson plans to ensure that they are up-to-date with health science developments.
Fortunately, digital curriculum provides educators with many online teaching tools. These tools are meant to ease the process of creating effective health science lesson plans on a regular basis. Digital resources like these also enable educators to more easily develop class structuring that increases information clarity and strengthens student understanding of health science topics, such as anatomy and physiology.
Digital Curriculum Offers Flexibility
Digital curriculum helps solve the challenges associated with regularly creating effective health science lesson plans and enhances health science education by affording greater flexibility in teaching methods and student learning.
When an institution adopts digital curriculum educators have access to high-quality class materials, such as premade lecture components and course activities. They can customize their lessons to effectively present complicated information and use online tools to provide holistic learning experiences with audio, visual, and interactive components.
Because the content is digital, students can study from anywhere and at any time—so long as they have internet access. They can learn at their own pace and engage more deeply with their lessons. Furthermore, digital content makes it easier for students to find the information they’re looking for, increases computer literacy, and promotes greater classroom collaboration.
Critically, digital media and content are more easily updated than traditional textbooks. Course facilitators can modify their class materials at any time and therefore keep their curricula and lessons up to date with health science advancements and discoveries—all without needing to go through textbook publishers or editors.
While they can be implemented and used solely online, digital curriculum tools are also useful for hybrid courses. For instance, they are an excellent option for providing supplementary materials—additional information, further reading, learning activities, lecture components, and assignment information—that instructors may not have had time to cover in class.
With its flexible and varied instructional tools, digital curriculum can greatly improve health science education and provide both instructors and students with the tools they need to succeed.
Digital Curriculum Helps Increase Student Motivation
Students often struggle with motivation. Whether it’s a temporary slump or a more chronic problem, low motivation often means less classroom engagement, decreased understanding of course materials, and lower test scores. But oftentimes, simply modifying the learning environment can make a big difference.
Digital curriculum has many tools to address the issue of student motivation. Because digital curriculum is highly customizable, educators can cater their courses to students with diffrent learning styles. Its plethora of tools provides students with many avenues to learn; with digital curriculum, every student can find a way to learn that feels both natural and engaging.
When learning doesn't feel like a chore, information tends to stick better, which benefits both the educator and their students.
Better Lesson Plans, Better Outcomes
Educators modify their lesson plans not only to ensure content correctness, but also to promote greater student understanding. Using digital curriculum, course facilitators can more easily track student progress.
Metrics ranging from forum participation, assignment scores, and written feedback all help educators gauge the effectiveness of their lesson plans. With the available data, instructors can modify and even personalize their lesson plans to ensure greater student understanding of and engagement with course content.
With a digital curriculum, instructors do not need to start from scratch. Digital learning tools come with access to quality, pre-prepared health science lesson plans, course activities, interactive lecture tools, and stimulating assignments. Using these tools, educators can rest assured that they are providing health science students with the resources they need to succeed in their studies.
Digital Curriculum Cultivates Personal Accountability
Students that seek certification or degrees through online courses must be engaged and motivated. Certified digital learning programs often come with hallmarks of traditional classroom learning, such as due dates and participation requirements. However, online courses often lack the physical presence of peers or instructors to keep students attentive.
Hence, although online courses are more flexible and accessible than traditional classrooms, students that use digital learning tools and technology must work harder to hold themselves accountable and effectively manage their time to work through courses.
The benefit of this fact is that students must push themselves harder and rely more on themselves when committing to digital learning, completing a program through digital curriculum means that they have acquired greater accountability, self-discipline, time-management skills, and attention to detail. These skills are highly transferable, especially in health science professions, and will benefit students long after course completion.
Digital Curriculum Means Lifelong Learning
Digital learning is both accessible and effective. It allows people from a variety of backgrounds to obtain a quality education. Whether a student has a unique work situation, is raising a family, or simply prefers greater flexibility in their studies, digital curriculum provides the freedom and tools for an enriching and meaningful learning experience.
One of the biggest attracting factors of online learning is that it can be done at any time. For many courses, students can register whenever they’d like and work through the material at their own pace—or simply audit the material if they elect to ignore the assignments. Old courses can also be reused for new students, so instructors do not have to continually teach from scratch, and students don’t miss out if they choose to register later.
Online learning can also be done from any place. With digital learning tools, students have the opportunity to connect with learners from all across the world via forum boards or discussion threads. Digital curriculum, therefore, combines many traditional classroom tools—lectures, assignments, and more—with unique opportunities for students to collaborate with individuals that come from diverse backgrounds and offer unique perspectives.
Whether the goal is a career change or simply personal enrichment, digital curriculum provides students from all around the world with affordable, convenient, and enriching learning experiences.
Why Choose Digital Curriculum?
Digital curriculum and online learning help colleges and universities optimize full-time equivalency (FTE) and student credit hours (SCH) so that more students can earn degrees without having to put their lives on hold.
Online platforms also help educators construct better health science lesson plans and provide tools for much more effective and detailed health science education.
Whether digital curriculum is used for entirely online health science courses or as part of hybrid courses, it is revolutionizing health science education and improving how educators approach teaching, conduct classroom management, build and present lesson plans, and facilitate student success.
Caduceus offers top-quality health science curricula to universities. Our online course materials cover topics ranging from anatomy and physiology to nutrition and medical terminology. Our team is dedicated to creating online courses that offer an affordable, yet effective solution to your instructional needs. We guarantee engaging health science content that will create a strong educational foundation for future health professionals.
Get started today with a free 30-day trial to bolster your health science curriculum and provide your students with top-quality education materials. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.