The bridge course pilot programme at the Charité Berlin: An innovative mix of performance assessment, peer-assisted learning (PAL) and online learning, created with Avallain Author.
The Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of Europe's largest university hospitals, affiliated with Humboldt University and Free University Berlin. With numerous Collaborative Research Centers of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft it is one of Germany's most research-intensive medical institutions.
> 80 %
Utilization Rate Among Registered Users
Digital Activities Created by Students in Avallain Author
> 400 students
Empowered to Learn and Teach
To pilot a user-friendly authoring system to enable Charité Berlin students to create highly customised, visually engaging online learning and teaching resources to support Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL).
Each year, up to 700 students begin their medical careers at the prestigious Charité University of Medicine in Berlin (the Charité Berlin), bringing with them very different levels of knowledge in foundation subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and histology.
In order to overcome these differences, students require initial evaluations, followed by highly personalised learning and instruction, best provided by a combination of flexible online study, and student-led, Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL). Peer-Assisted Learning should benefit even those instructing others, as they improve their skills through creating and preparing their own teaching materials, assimilating and summarising information, and offering answers in an erudite yet accessible manner.
The Charité Berlin wanted the Bridge Course pilot to provide students with the opportunity to evaluate their knowledge through graded tests in the various foundation subjects.
The Bridge Course should then support Peer-Assisted Learning, offering an authoring platform to enable students to create and customise content quickly. All functions should be very user-friendly, requiring only basic initial training, but should also offer a high degree of personalisation, to enable students to design resources to suit their very specific needs. Finally, the Charité Berlin required that the authoring system should create high-quality visual content, despite having been written by various authors. In order to meet all of these requirements, the Charité Berlin evaluated a wide range of authoring platforms before selecting Avallain Author.
The authoring interface had to be simple to use, to avoid discouraging users unaccustomed to publishing tools, but highly functional, in order to deliver complex content in a range of advanced subject areas.
In addition, the tools needed to offer a significant amount of freedom in terms of design, enabling students to present engaging activities that correctly illustrated the point of their lessons. Students would often collaborate on a single resource, so the system would need to support multiple authors.
The majority of the Charité Berlin’s required features were core functions of Avallain Author, and so required neither customisation nor additional time nor cost.
Due to the strict separation of function and design in all of Avallain’s technology, students are free to use the simple tools to design a striking, content-appropriate look and feel, while guided by a robust and tested platform. Developed to support enterprise publishing with multiple authors and editors, Avallain Author also offers built-in support for peer-to-peer collaboration.
The Charité Berlin and Avallain collaborated to make the Bridge Course pilot a resounding success. Building upon the existing features and functions of Avallain Author, the pilot was implemented successfully within the given budget and time constraints.
The students were very enthusiastic about the quality of the learning opportunities provided through the courses, and consequently, the Bridge Course was used by 83.9% of registered learners.
Jan David Gerken
Student coordinator for the project
"Efficient learning for students and teachers is dependent upon making the presentation element of courses as useful and practical as possible. This requires a powerful authoring tool, such as Avallain Author, which is of the highest quality and enables even the most complex learning content to be implemented interactively."
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