What am I?

Friday, 1 June 2012

HEA Health Sciences Conference Nottingham 2012 - some thoughts

The conference on 31 May 2012 had its focus on TEL, the Framework for Technology Enhanced Learning, published in November 2011 by the DH. It sets out the future directions of technology enhanced learning and emphasises potential benefits it has for patient safety and enhanced patient care.

Simulation, of course, has an important role to play in health care education, and ASPiH (Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare) did attract a lot of interest and attention as the new communication network for everyone involved in simulated practice. It evolved from two other organisations, i.e. NAMS (Association of Medical Simulators) and CSN (Clinical Skills Network). (Note to myself: look into joining the SIG (Special Interest Group) for Technicians and Learning Technologists within ASPiH.)

One important topic that came up during Q and A sessions in the big auditorium was the availability (respectively un-availability, see below) of a great many e-learning resources. It seemed to be a commonly agreed request that people who invest time and skills in finding valuable resources and publish their findings should be in some way rewarded. Something like 'digital fellowship' was mentioned in this context. It was also requested that generally only projects with an 'open access' policy should receive funding in the future. The NHS has produced a great variety of relevant e-learning packages. A lot of them can only be accessed by owners of an NHS email address. It was good to hear that there seemed to be a consensus regarding the urgent request of creating resources as OER (Open Educational Resources).

The micro teaching sessions did reveal that here in Brookes we're already doing quite a few things considered as good practice elsewhere, for example using video with OSCEs (which were then called 'VOSCEs') and using web-based conferencing systems. For my own research the Sheffield experience of Serious Games in medical education was relevant, demonstrating an interactive resource involving decision making trees. The decision making was based on short video sequences. I can easily imagine that this resource manages to draw students into the learning process, and that it's very effective. So that's something to learn from. However, it's a bespoke solution which involved at least one year development time, which included a software developer ... hence it's not sustainable from my perspective. My quest 'how to create resources which 'draw students in' yet are affordable is therefore ongoing ...

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