Contribution of Cloud-based Virtual Education in the Healthcare Field.
Cloud Computing is an internet-based technology that is involved in many sectors internationally and also have multiple definitions that the providers agree on depending on their own product’s portfolio, one of its many definitions “Cloud Computing is a computing platform that offers computing power for scientists when they are exceeding institutions’ local computing capabilities” (Armbrust et al., 2009). With its rapid growth, cloud computing has further extended to involve number of different industries, including academic and healthcare industries (Arevalillo-Herráez, Arnau, González-Calero, & Ayesh. (2012).
The building of a Cloud-based virtual learning environment provides an updated approach to share educational content for continuous learning and training, it also gives personalized interactions and feedbacks per individual’s performance (Zhao & Forouraghi, 2013). It has contributed to reduce the pressure on the institutions and relieve the burden on both user and participant. As the cloud-based virtual learning has proven effectiveness in enhancing the interaction and trackability of the student activity, reducing the cost, improve the accessibility and utilization of resources (García-Peñalvo, Cruz-Benito, Maderuelo, Pérez-Blanco & Martín-Suárez, 2014). Many educational institutions are facing an issue in building IT Infrastructure for their teaching activity and session, which can be solved by using a Cloud-based system.
This literature review explores Cloud Computing network contribution in virtual learning purposes, providing a cost-effective solution while maintaining the same quality of service that could be implemented in any learning institution in the future (Aldakheel & Lee, 2020).
1.2 Problem Statement
Comparing the current IT infrastructure process in implementation of virtual learning software to the needs of personalized learning, flexibility and on-demand service from users and participants reveals how much the current IT infrastructure is not likely able to sufficiently meet the desired requirements in an efficient and effective manner. The process of adding more servers to the current IT infrastructure owned by each distant learning institution is very expensive and complex, takes time, effort and does not satisfy and supply the demand (Metz. 2010). Therefore, a new IT infrastructure needs to be explored, which makes Cloud-Computing an appealing alternative solution (He, Cernusca, & Abdous. 2011).
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1.3 Proposal (Project) Objectives
· Support healthcare professional skills development via implementing cloud architecture that support virtual world communication.
· Providing a cost-effective technological solution while maintaining the quality of healthcare education.
· Providing effortless accessibility to educational service without worrying about infrastructure technical support services.
· Encourage a collaborative learning environment with interactive features.
2. Review of the Literature (case study – advantages – problem-solving)
2.1 Case Study
A cloud architecture used for training a postgrad pharmacist student by using a 3D application similar to Second Life (SL) to generate, collecting and analyzing the data, a layout pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) was made for a training scenario with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards. The aim was to improve the insight of the process done by the student without a direct supervision by the teachers and in anytime.
By applying the cloud architecture, we got the ability to upload the interactive activity to the cloud to trace the student and make report and revise the information and assessment to evaluate the student.
In order to achieve a proof concept of suggested cloud architecture, they implemented a system that collect data from the virtual world, that help to achieve the goal to prove the data in the system, and retrieval of the date for the teachers and analysts.
Three technologies have been used for developing the system Linden Scripting Language (LSL) to send the data from the virtual world and avoid the latency, Django Web Framework to improve the multiple web application and services , and finally MongoDB to keep perform the data layer. After applying the technologies they made an experimental test with 5 postgraduate pharmacy students to perform the audit training process without having to deliver the final report.an implementation of a small web tool to search and retrieve the checkpoint results that contain the date and time of the performance.
2.2 Advantages of Cloud-Based Education
Cloud based virtual learning lab have many advantages that impacts the users, the educators, and the institution. For the users, the main advantages are its availability of the resources, its portability that enables them to work from multiple devices, users will be able to access their work or the system remotely easily with no restrictions, and they can avoid any distractions such as network problems, hardware, software, and maintenance restrictions (Aldakheel & Lee, 2020). All these factors will help them to accomplish their work or tasks faster. It was proven that Cloud technology enhances the students’ outcomes (Vaquero, 2011).
In the case of the educators, it is known that the educators won’t be worried about technical problems and maintenance issues that could affect the learning or training process (Vaquero,
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2011). The educator will be able to expose the users to real situations and show variable complexities of training or the course to users (Vaquero, 2011).
The institution is also a beneficiary of the cloud-based learning process, due to the reduced cost which is accomplished by less maintenance ……….
Flexibility of the Cloud models public, private and hybrid that designed to fit each institution requirement from infrastructure, security, operating system, and application.
· Remote access
· Back up: Storing knowledge resources so it can be modified, retrieved and shared easily.
· Cost effectiveness
· Less Technical problems? Security & less crashing
· Virtual learning environment can be easily tailored depending on the wanted tools.
2.3 Problem Solving
The success of using cloud-service in developing virtual learning environment is strongly dependent on its flexibility in design, module, and access. Hence it can free the users and administrators from the traditional challenges and limitations that are correlated to E-learning using a software or an application: as setup or constant maintenance (He, Cernusca, & Abdous. 2011).
Virtual environment does provide an immersive opportunity to participants for a real-life simulation to practices and enhance their skills and educational requirements. Creating a high-fidelity training session is essential for participants to experience, practice assessment skills and communicate with a high immersive simulation patient. Programming such a learning technology does contain a large amount of data that cloud-services can handle to be available for access at any time a learner requires. (García-Peñalvo, Cruz-Benito, Maderuelo, Pérez-Blanco & Martín-Suárez, 2014)
3. Proposed Methodology (Application design and implementation)
Cloud computing network provides a platform that gives the institution the flexibility in design, runs, and manages health educational applications without the obscure of building a vast infrastructure. There are three models of cloud computing serves, platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), or infrastructure as a service (IaaS). The platform is being selected based on the institution’s need, the learning session’s complexity, and the teaching process. (Aldakheel & Lee, 2020).
A platform as a service PaaS is the most suitable platform for implementing the framework and creating a virtual learning session since the institution can develop, customize, and manage her application. In contrast, all the servers, operating systems, and networking governed by the vendor. PaaS offers a platform for developing software delivered through the web. (García-Peñalvo, Cruz-Benito, Maderuelo, Pérez-Blanco & Martín-Suárez, 2014)
However, implementing infrastructure as a service IaaS gives the institution full authority over the entire infrastructure, offering expansion and scalability to embrace the technological education experience’s growth. (García-Peñalvo, Cruz-Benito, Maderuelo, Pérez-Blanco & Martín-Suárez, 2014)
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Can we implement the virtual learning lab in Saudi Arabia? It’s possible since using a cloud-based network doesn’t require building or having infrastructure; otherwise, PaaS or IaaS platform design provides the institution with suitable infrastructure and operating systems. All that institution needs are to create the application.
4. Expected Results (importance and expected result)