Virtual teaching is a great challenge for the entire university system, since most careers are based on the teaching of face-to-face classes. In this context, there are faculties more affected than others because they offer careers with a large amount of practical content in their study plans. An obvious case is that of the medical schools. PageI12 spoke with authorities, teachers and students of that
academic unit at the UBA to learn about the impact of virtualization
of the contents and how is the teaching process in the
framework of social isolation. The subjects are advancing in the dictation of theoretical classes, with included evaluations, and they are postponing the practical contents for when the face-to-face can be retaken. So that students do not lose the year, it was established that in 2021 they will be able to take the corresponding correlative subjects and, when the pandemic allows it, they must take and take an exam on the practical contents.
At the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the Medical Sciences degree has 48,730 students. “In the course we have many theoretical-practical subjects corresponding to the Biomedical and Clinical Cycle that are being taught virtually. That is, there is a percentage of the content that can be taken remotely, through the platforms. However, there are many practical hospital subjects that will inevitably have to be taken when the quarantine is lifted, “explained Carlos Damin, a toxicologist and general secretary of the UBA School of Medicine.
As for the evaluation system and approval regime, Damin pointed out that the chairs are taking partial exams through the virtual platform. Instead, the final exams in July were suspended and rescheduled according to the evolution of the pandemic, since they can only be taken in person.
“The chairs are taking exams with the multiple choice modality or answering questions in a certain time. So far they have been going smoothly, “Damin said.
The Faculty of Medicine adhered to the resolution of the UBA rector’s office that allows each academic unit to “flexibly” temporarily until March 31, 2021, the correlations that are applied in the different study plans. “What the Secretary of Academic Affairs resolved is that those students who have passed the theoretical part of a subject, can continue studying the theoretical content of its correlative. Once the attendance is resumed, the student must take the practical activities corresponding to each of the subjects taken under the distance modality, “said Damin.
Oscar Torres, director and teacher of the Technician in Hemotherapy and Immunohematology at the Faculty of Medicine, told this newspaper that “the experience of teachers in distance learning is very disparate.” “There are a lot of people who are not used to teaching classes virtually. Many teachers had to learn very quickly to teach content virtually. ”
“Teaching in Medicine in general has a very close tradition to the relationship of the teacher and the student, since the practical part is fundamentally done on a human being, making it impossible to do it at a distance,” Torres said. “As much as one wants to explain to the student, it is essential that the student can feel or interrogate a patient or a blood donor, as is the case of what is taught in Hemotherapy,” he added.
Santiago Maffia is a teacher of the Anatomy subject, one of the subjects of the first year of the Medicine career. “We in the chair already had experience with virtual because we had been working with a digital environment for many years, where we uploaded content. But it was a pedagogical support and now it became the only available modality ”, he explained.
“Through videos, pictures, study guides and notes we give the contents to the students. There is also an online atlas where they are prepared with references, “said Maffia, who noted that the evaluation form” is mixed since it includes a theoretical part with classic multiple choice questions and then another practical part of identifying structures through of pictures”.
Agustina Larsen is in the third year of her medical science career. He is currently studying Pathology and Pharmacology.
“The virtual course involves many inequalities for various aspects. One has to do with the resources that the students have, which implies being able to access virtuality and have a place of study without distractions. But it also affects teachers, since those who teach us are mostly ad honorem teachers and many also work in hospitals in this context, “said Agustina.
As for the exams, Agustina said that she already had a multiple choice exam with the possibility of doing it for one day. “The subject of the evaluations implies a problem especially for the boys of first and second year, who have many practical subjects and require exchange with the teacher. The virtual assessment leaves many students out of the system, “he said.
Juan López is also a third year student of Medicine. “At first it was difficult for me to adapt to the virtual modality, especially since the platform had never used it and, furthermore, each chair has its own peculiarity in terms of how it delivers the content.”
“I believe that teachers are making the greatest effort possible to teach us. They upload Power Point, recorded seminars and send bibliography to read. Perhaps the platform could be more up-to-date but for now it works well, “Juan agreed.