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A Blended Training Approach Using Videoconferencing for Distance Education.
In 2004, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) recognized the need to expand its outreach activities to minority students. To meet this objective, NLM sponsored a program presenting information on varied health sciences topics to minority students interested in health sciences careers. An existing initiative, NLM's Adopt-A-School program, provided an initial foundation for this project. As part of the Adopt-ASchool program, NLM staff provide training at a nearby school site, and students make field trips to the library. In addition, summer work opportunities are provided for some students. To explore the feasibility of providing a more flexible variant of this program that would extend the training component to more distant schools, NLM partnered with King Drew Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles to deliver a distance learning program via synchronous videoconferencing and collaboration technologies. This brief describes approaches used in and preliminary evaluation of the training.