Identifying opportunities to integrate digital professionalism into curriculum: a comparison of social media use by health profession students at an Australian university in 2013 and 2016
Mather, C and Douglas, T and O'Brien, J, Identifying opportunities to integrate digital professionalism into curriculum: a comparison of social media use by health profession students at an Australian university in 2013 and 2016, Informatics, 4, (2) Article 10. ISSN 2227-9709 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Social media has become ubiquitous to modern life. Consequently, embedding digital professionalism into undergraduate health profession courses is now imperative and augmenting learning and teaching with mobile technology and social media on and off campus is a current curriculum focus. The aim of this study was to explore whether patterns of social media use for personal or informal learning by undergraduate health profession students enrolled at an Australian university across four campuses has changed over time. A previously validated online survey was administered in 2013 to a cohort of health profession students as part of an Australian survey. In 2016, the same survey was distributed to a later cohort of health profession students. Three open-ended questions to elicit descriptive information regarding the use of social media for study purposes were added to the later survey. A comparative analysis of both cohorts was undertaken and social media acceptance and penetration was shown to increase. Health profession students are now more interactive users of Facebook and Twitter, and they have become more familiar with career development sites, such as LinkedIn. The maturation of social media platforms within a three-year period has created realistic opportunities to integrate social media for personal and study purposes into the health profession education curriculum to ensure student understanding of the necessity for maintaining digital professionalism in the workplace.
connected learning, curriculum, digital professionalism, education, health profession, mobile technology, social media