7 Essential Elements Of Digital Health Science Education

March 5, 2019

The results are in: Digital learning is good for both students and learning institutions. A 2018 study of community colleges and universities found that digital learning contributed to higher retention and graduation rates, while also lowering institutional costs $12-$60 per credit hour.

In previous posts, we’ve further explored the benefits of digital learning in detail. Now it’s time to get practical. Whether your course is fully online or has a classroom component, make sure it includes these essential elements.

7 Essential Elements of Digital Health Science Education

Student Self-Assessment

Increased transparency for students and teachers is one of the key benefits of a digital course. Student self-assessment is crucial to help students understand their own performance and to help teachers evaluate and optimize the course.

A survey of health science students by the Journal of Health Science & Education found, “student self-assessment methodology can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in student perception of their knowledge or skill, which may lead to specific curriculum modifications/enhancements.”

Make sure your course provides ample opportunities for students to check their own knowledge and report their findings.

Exam Proctoring

In a fully online course, geography is not a barrier to learning. Students never have to gather in one place. That’s good for learning, but it can make formal assessments challenging. Without rows of desk and a teacher to walk between them, it can be hard to keep exams honest.

The way you will conduct exams should be part of strategizing and implementing your digital health science education course.

Personalization/Interactive Components

It’s easy to put together a one-size-fits-all online course, then expect students to adjust their learning to fit the curriculum. But part of what makes digital learning most effective is the ability to fit the curriculum to the student, instead.

To maximize student success, your course should be customizable and interactive rather than static. Students should be able to adjust the pace of learning, how they consume new information, and what supplemental materials they use to master the course content.


Most students learn their best when they have a variety of different types of instruction. In a physical classroom that might include lecture, discussion, images, and video. An effective digital course should include these elements, too.

As you incorporate multimedia elements into the course, it’s important to make sure they work properly across platforms. Many students will be using laptops, tablets, even smartphones as their primary means of access, so compatibility and responsiveness are key.

Course Management System

Administering an online course means keeping track of a great deal of moving pieces. There’s the initial setup and rollout, monitoring student progress, grading, administering tests and quizzes, compiling reports, all of which get more complex the more courses you offer. Fortunately, all of the above is easier with a course management system.

If you have an existing learning management system like Canvas and Blackboard, it’s important to make sure your course is compatible. Otherwise, look for courses that have a course management system built into their offering.

Technical Support

The technology that goes into digital learning is truly wondrous…until a student is having trouble logging in on test day. Even the most sophisticated digital learning materials are not immune to technical difficulties.

It’s important to make sure your course vendor partners offer robust support, preferably live and around-the-clock. It’s a component that you might never need—but absolutely indispensable if you do need it.

Teacher Involvement

The technology that goes into making a digital health science course successful is only part of the equation. Thankfully, you already have the other piece of the puzzle: A teacher who is engaged with the course, available to students, knowledgeable and communicative. While it’s possible for students to self-direct and learn without any teacher input, the most successful courses feature regular teacher involvement.

Choose the Right Partner for Digital Health Science Education

Digital health science education can enhance the learning process, help students succeed, and help universities control costs. Make sure your courses include the elements above to make sure faculty, students, and institutions all realize the greatest benefits.

The right vendor partner can help bring these elements together. Caduceus creates interactive, multi-dimensional health curriculum that engages students and promotes learning. Explore our courses here.

Are you an educator looking for turn-key curriculum solutions for your health science course?
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