Page 19 - JRCERT Update Articles
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          Distance Education and Pedagogy for

          Radiologic Science Programs

          Lisa F Schmidt, PhD, R.T.(R)(M), CRT(R)
          Mahsa Dehghanpour, EdD, CMD

                  istorically, medical imaging programs have   Innovative Teaching Methods
                  consisted of traditional learning styles     Innovative teaching methods and technologies,
                  including face-to-face didactic instruction   including distance learning, hybrid programs, and
         Hwith hands-on learning in simulation               simulation laboratories, have become prevalent to
          laboratories, where imaging equipment and phantoms   maintain an active learning environment. In this
          are used to mimic patient procedures. However,     environment, the instructor’s role changes from a
          COVID-19 has helped to expedite the transition to   dispenser of knowledge to a facilitator of learning.
          supplement or replace traditional learning styles with   The extent of technology integration in instruction
          computer-based learning.  Many medical imaging and   depends on faculty’s level of knowledge and skills
          radiation therapy educational programs are transition-  in working with technology and the availability of
          ing to distance learning and simulated laboratories for   resources to students. However, when it comes to
          a variety of reasons. Wertz et al argued that traditional   effective teaching and learning, pedagogy and tech-
          pedagogical techniques are not suited for modern adult   nology are equally important.
          learners in the radiologic sciences because today’s adult
          learners have experienced some form of higher educa-  Virtual Simulation
          tion through self-paced learning environments. A self-  Distance learning can increase the use of virtual
          paced learning environment consists of feedback that is   simulation, which enables instructors to employ
          learner-controlled and given in real-time.  Educators   remote access to treatment planning systems and
          are using pedagogical innovation in the profession   provide simulated imaging procedures in patient care
          as well as adapting to modern learning theories by   learning environments. With virtual simulation pro-
          transforming traditional programs into hybrid pro-  grams, such as Simtics (SimTutor Ltd), Shaderware
          grams consisting of face-to-face and distance learning   (Shaderware Ltd), and Medspace, students can learn
          methods.  With this progression in radiologic science   anatomy, patient positioning, and procedures, and
          education methods, the Joint Review Committee on   develop familiarity with imaging equipment, qual-
          Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)        ity control, and image review.  Adopting virtual
          provided guidelines for programs implementing dis-  simulation instead of live simulation in medical
          tance learning methods that require programs to have   education can reduce the potential adverse effects
          procedures for maintaining the integrity of distance   that can happen during real-world practice.  Some
          education courses.  In addition, JRCERT encourages   radiation therapy programs provide access to Virtual
          innovation in education, including the delivery of dis-  Environment Radiotherapy Training systems, which
          tance education.  A distance education checklist in   provides a simulated virtual example of a radia-
          accordance with the 2021 JRCERT Standards for an   tion therapy treatment environment.  The faculty
          Accredited Educational Program is available for pro-  can instruct students on radiation therapy practice
          gram faculty and site visitors.                    while students participate in a simulated hands-on

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