Friday, May 15, 2009

Rapid Elearning – Tools of the trade

The Higher Education Academy Subject, Centre for Health Sciences and Practice, E-learning Special Interest Group will be discussing Rapid Elearning – Tools of the trade.

The workshop, is to be held on Friday 26th June 2009 and will be hosted by SONET Applied Research Centre/RLO-CETL, School of Nursing, Midwifery & Physiotherapy, University of Nottingham

The programme includes sessions on Creating Reusable Learning Objects using Articulate Presenter and the virtual learning authoring system Pivote.

Location: Centre for Integrative Learning, Hallward Library Level 1
Rooms 105 & 106
For maps etc see

For further information contact: OR

It is a shame that this event clashes with the NI2009 congress in Helsinki, but personally I have to give my apologies because I will be at Glastonbury Festival.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

HEA HS&P Festival of Learning - final day

I went back to Walsall today for the final day of the Higher Education Academy, Health Sciences and Practice Festival of Learning.

The opening keynote presentation was given by Professor Jill Thistlethwaite, Director of the Institute of Clinical Education at the University of Warwick.She gave some reflections on Interprofessional Education including her experiences in Australia and Canada. Her presentation moved from personal and cultural differences to tensions about whether IP practice was needed before IP education could be introduced or whether education should lead the way. She gave many examples of the blurring of boundaries between health and social care professionals and some of the barriers to adoption including aspects of power and hierarchy.

The workshop I selected for my next session was about collaborative learning using classroom and online technology - choosing and using technology to enhance learning, led by Heather Thornton, Anna Anders and Scott Rickard from the University of Herfordshire. They started from ideas about what collaborative learning might mean and discussed the organisation of groups and setting up tasks before moving on to look at the appropriate technology for different modules with different learning outcomes. The design of classroom learning spaces which encourage collaboration was touched on before the main talks on how podcasts and wikis had been used and evaluation of these approaches which have been given by students and staff.

I had to leave before the final panel discussion, before driving back to Bristol for some (face to face) teaching.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

HEA HS&P Festival of Learning

Today I traveled to the University of Wolverhampton's Wallsall Campus for the first day of the Higher Education Academy Health Sciences and Practice Subject Centre, Festival of Learning.

I went primarily to put up a poster reporting the work of a project I was involved i led by Dr Pam Moule at UWE & funded by the HEA subject centre in which we carried out a survey and case studies to identify the elearning applications being used in HEIs and share examples of innovative individual and organisational best practice. I was told today that the reviewers had finished looking at it & once we have done a few minor edits it will be published. This should be in a few weeks and I will add details on this blog.

The conference was opened by Dr Margaret Sills, the Academic Director of the centre who welcomed participants and dealt with "housekeeping issues" including, for the first time, the use of text messaging to contact the organisers within the Festival of Learning" and to submit questions for the expert panel on Thursday. Margaret then introduced the first Keynote speaker.

Healthy Universities: Practising what we preach? was the topic of Mark Dooris, the director of the Healthy Settings Development Unit at the University of Central Lancashire. He set out the background to his recent work and examined why universities should be a part of the wider healthy settings work and what make their specific issues different from the Healthy Schools project and similar work. He described the different approaches in HEIs from the survey work his recently undertaken for the HEA & Department of Health. They had concluded that there is a need fr some national work, albeit with a "light touch" flexible and responsive framework to take this forward.

I next attended a workshop led by Alan Hilliard and Jenny Lorimer from the University of Hertfordshire describing their experiences with podcasting and the use of Electronic Voting Systems (EVS). They amde their workshop tuely interactive by getting participants to group together to come up with benefits and issues with large groups lectures and then very rapidly getting a "volunteer" from each group to record a two minute podcast on mobile MP3 recorders. These will be made available on the subject centre website at:

They then described how large group lectures had been replaced in a radiography module by podcasts which the students accessed in advance of small group work, which had been well evaluated by staff and students. The Q&A session drew out a variety of approaches, success stories and difficulties from other institutions. This was followed by some participative demonstrations of the Turning Point EVS including the use of conditional branching where the information presented depended on the group response to previous questions, which I'd not seen before.

I will be back for the final day of the Festival of Learning on Thursday.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

E-learning in health and social care study day

On Friday I attended (and help to organise/run) a study day of the Higher Education Academy, Health Sciences & Practice e-learning special interest group at the Glenside Campus of the University of the West of England.

Dr Pam Moule opened the day and gave the first presentation about the work we had undertaken for the HEA HS&P "Scoping e-learning: use and development in health sciences and practice" over the last two years. She set out the aims of the study and the two phase data collection with a survey and then case studies which had identified 5 themes:
* Facilitating factors
* Inhibiting factors
* Innovative technologies
* Pedagogy
* Training

She then led a discussion of the findings of the study and their implications for practice.

The second speaker was Dr Heather Wharrad from the University of Nottingham, School of Nursing Educational Technology Group (SONET) who entitled her presentation RLO's are good for Health: Community based approaches. She described the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for RLOs before giving descriptions of the characteristics of a reusable learning object and their approach to their production and use. The key points were illustrated with a case study from Nottingham's Non-Medical Prescribing Course, and outlined the positive evaluation from students.

The next two speakers were from Coventry University. The first was Imran Ali who described the myriad of innovative technologies being used within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Of particular interest to me and many in the audience was Echo 360 which they are currently implementing for lecture capture.

Imran's presentation was followed by Elinor Clarke who moved the innovative technologies forward with a discussion of Web 2.0 technlogies in use within the faculty, particularly InterProfessional Learning Objects and touched on Second Life (under the banner of Second Learning) to support their pedagogical aims.

After lunch Anne Smith described the "Reading Experience" with the E-learning framework in use at the University of Reading and the real life considerations which impinge on elearning use with her students. She particularly highlighted issues around the impact of e-learning on the assessment process.

Following Anne's presentation the attendees broke into smaller facilitated groups to identify examples of good (and bad) practice in relation to e-learning to aid wider sharing as an outcome of the HEA HS&P project, and gave comments on the draft "Guidance for e-learning implementation". Pam closed the day by thanking all participants and giving an outline of future activities within the HEA HS&P e-learning SIG.

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