Using Technology in Professional Education
This paper discusses and explores the development of an interactive multi-professional online package that updates and supports health and social care professionals who are responsible for assessment and learning in practice settings. The package is innovative in that it aims to present content that is relevant and useful to fourteen health and social care professions delivered from nine Universities across the Yorkshire and Humber region of the United Kingdom. Despite there being many available opportunities to attend study sessions; it has become evident that increased workloads and limited staffing resources are making it progressively more difficult for healthcare professionals to attend any form of activity that requires them to leave the practice environment. One of the benefits from providing the content online is that the update activity can be undertaken as and when convenient for the mentor, 24 hours a day-7 days a week, with the facility to stop and restart as needed.
The structure of the online package divides the content into generic and profession-specific sections. The generic section is designed for the mentor to review their current knowledge of mentorship; to enable them to reflect on their experiences of mentorship; and then update their knowledge and awareness of contemporary mentorship. The profession specific sections provide the mentor with up-to-date information that is relevant to the courses from the Higher Education Institution(s) that their mentees come from. Integral to the package are problem based learning scenarios and the ability to undertake the update as a member of a group that promotes inter disciplinary learning.
The effectiveness of the package has been measured through heuristic evaluation identifying that the on line package allows freedom to access the information at a time convenient to the user; promotes questioning abilities of the users and provides a platform to link theory to practice.
Keywords: Online Learning, Health Care Professionals, Interdisciplinary Learning, Higher Education, Problem-Based Learning
Dr Karen Ousey
Principal Lecturer, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield
Senior Lecturer, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield