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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848

Abstract

VAN DER MERWE, Belinda. Design-based research for the development of a flexible learning environment. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2019, vol.24, pp.1-8. ISSN 2071-9736.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v24i0.1050.

BACKGROUND: Students enrolled for the Bachelor of Radiography degree at the Central University of Technology Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, spent many weeks off campus at hospitals during workplace learning. A design-based research approach was applied to analyse an educational problem, namely that students apparently fail to apply the theory of radiation safety regulations to protect themselves and patients. AIMS: The purpose of the study was to develop authentic activities and assessment for radiation safety requirements, to provide flexible learning in a blended environment to students off campus. SETTING: The second-year radiography students of 2016 and 2017 responded off campus to the QuestionPro survey. METHOD: Authentic learning and assessment opportunities were contextualised and compiled to align with learning outcomes of the safety regulations as confirmed during a Delphi process. Flexible learning opportunities were delivered via electronic mail (email) and WhatsApp. Assessment responses from the students were received via mobile phones with a Web-based software tool, QuestionPro. RESULTS: Of the 117 students, 92.3% responded to the QuestionPro survey. From the incorrect responses, learning areas that needed revision were identified, as well as the areas in the X-ray departments of the hospitals showing non-compliance with the requirements for radiation safety. CONCLUSION: The three outcomes of this design-based research included the formulation of design principles, a designed product in the form of a Website and professional development of the researcher. The design-based research principles that were tested involved the use of knowledge in real life and measuring if students were effective performers with acquired knowledge.

Keywords : design-based research; flexible learning; authentic learning and assessment; real life; mobile phone; effective performers.

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