EDUMECENTRO 2022;14:e2205

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Virtual education: pedagogical and technological challenge for Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences

Educación virtual: reto pedagógico y tecnológico para la Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Villa Clara

 

Elizabeth Leal García1* https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2833-0573
Cándida Orizondo Crespo1 https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4092-4489
Julio Alberto González Rodríguez2 https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9915-1447

 

1 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Department of General Training of the Faculty of Stomatology. Villa Clara. Cuba.
2 Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Department of International Relations and Foreign Scholars. Villa Clara. Cuba.

 

* Author for correspondence. E-mail: elizabethl@infomed.sld.cu

 

 

Submitted: 16/12/2021
Accepted: 29/06/2022

 

 

To the editor:

As a result of the health crisis imposed by COVID-19, humanity is transforming its conceptual, contextual and historical references in record time. There is an accelerated development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that requires having the necessary skills for its correct use in the search, production and dissemination of information, and knowing how to communicate it through electronic environments.(1) Its intensive use in the teaching process makes some researchers to question whether we are facing a new pedagogical paradigm or not arising from learning assisted by these technologies.(2)

In Cuba, medical education had to readjust its educational system and use the alternative of virtual education assisted by ICT.

The objective of this letter is to socialize the authors' criteria on the urgent need to train the faculty of Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences in the technological order to develop virtual education with quality in the process of training and overcoming health professionals, given the advantages offered by this modality and the still latent threat posed by COVID-19. This education allows for a creative, flexible, motivating and open teaching process where pedagogical mediation is based on technological advances, and the teacher continues to play his role as guide, even when technologies help the learner to solve problems, to better understand the objective reality of the environment.(2)

However, it is known that there is a gap between knowledge and skills for the use of ICT between teachers and students in the classroom. The so-called generational duel is latent between digital natives and teachers who have been working in university education for some time without full command of technologies for their application in the teaching-learning process.

The authors know that the country and the university, for different reasons, face obstacles in the accelerated use of ICT, difficulties in the use of the Internet in any space and time, connectivity problems and limited access of teachers and students to interactive platforms. ; however, we believe that progress must be made in resolving these problems and the pedagogical and technological preparation of the faculty should be immediately accelerated in order to be in better conditions to continue developing a quality training process that will support it in the next accreditation processes and reaccreditation of careers and the institution. It is vital to learn the new techniques proposed by ICT in the educational field worldwide.

The correct use of ICT through virtual education can contribute to the improvement of medical education without always demanding the face-to-face modality, which would optimize human and material resources in this process. Many experiences are presented by various universities in the world in this sense.

This modality has to be designed from the pedagogical-didactic, technological and social foundations; active participation in the construction of knowledge and the formation of skills where ethical values are weighed, requires knowing its didactics for its integration in ICT, characterized by telematics networks, virtual teaching-learning environments, microelectronics, the new scenarios and highly interactive educational resources and communication tools that favor integration and contextualization processes.

Virtual education must become an education without distance, despite its distinctive characteristics of non-coincidence in space and time.(3,4) In this modality, various resources must be combined, the characteristics of the academic year, the teacher and the student,(5) and keep in mind that in the didactic foundations in a virtual learning environment, functions are defined for the teacher, the role of the students is specified, there are organizational factors, a methodology, theoretical starting positions and didactic strategies. These aspects must be mastered by teachers for their correct implementation;(6) aspects to be taken into account in the training, which: «... should not be assumed as a temporary response to the situation that is faced, but as a guideline in order to satisfy one of the quality indicators required by academic excellence».(7)

Dear editor: the achievements obtained in medical education at our university must be maintained and rise to the challenges of this century with a faculty prepared to guarantee the quality and social relevance that this education demands today. It is pertinent to undertake this effort in an integrated and accelerated manner. Cuban universities are already advancing in this direction.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

1. Tejedor S. Los docentes universitarios frente al cambio a la educación virtual impuesta por el coronavirus. Artigos: Soc y Estado [Internet]. 2021[citado 20/01/2022];36(03):[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en: https://www.scielo.br/j/se/a/4YSmXPhS8bHNHSp4pGhQ4Tk/?lang=es

2. Andreu Gómez N. La Educación a Distancia. Resultados investigativos y acciones estratégicas en la Universidad Central «Marta Abreu» de Las Villas. Rev Dilemas Contemporáneos: Educación, Política y Valores [Internet]. 2019 [citado 20/01/2022];6:[aprox. 21 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.dilemascontemporaneoseducacionpoliticayvalores.com/

3. Rodríguez-Hernández C. La interactividad en ambientes virtuales en el posgrado. Rev. Cubana Educación Superior [Internet].2019 [citado 20/01/2022];38(1):[aprox. 7 p.]. Disponible en: http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0257-43142019000100024

4. Domínguez-Torres C. Aula invertida a distancia vs. aula invertida convencional: un estudio comparativo. Iatreia [Internet]. 2021 [citado 20/01/2022];34(3):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0121-07932021000300260&lang=es

5. Ortiz Aguilar W. Estrategias didácticas en entornos virtuales de enseñanza-aprendizaje universitarios. Opuntia Brava [Internet]. 2020 [citado 20/01/2022];12,(4):[aprox. 11 p.]. Disponible en: http://opuntiabrava.ult.edu.cu/index.php/opuntiabrava/article/view/1105

6. Lima Montenegro S. La educación a distancia en entornos virtuales de enseñanza aprendizaje. Reflexiones didácticas. Rev Atenas [Internet]. 2017 [citado 20/01/2022];3(39):[aprox. 13 p.]. Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/journal/4780/478055149003/478055149003.pdf

7. Enríquez Clavero JO. COVID-19 y educación a distancia en Estomatología. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2022 [citado 20/04/2022];14:[aprox. 4 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.revedumecentro.sld.cu/index.php/edumc/article/view/1706/html

 

 

Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

 

 

Authors´ contribution

Elizabeth Leal García: literature review on the subject, writing, review and final preparation of the article.
Cándida Orizondo Crespo: bibliographic review on the subject, conceptualization and methodology of the subject, review of the article.
Julio González Rodríguez: bibliographic review on virtual education experiences in other world universities, review of the article.