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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