Students of the health care professions generally undertake a number of clinical placements during their training. Whilst they are in practice a clinical practitioner will assess the studentâs competence against a set of learning outcomes and give ongoing feedback to the student. Due to the workload of the supervising practitioner, the assessment processes can be fragile, which in turn can impinge on the studentsâ learning. At the same time students in practice are away from their usual learning environment, and it can be difficult for them to access their learning resources at the time that they discover the need. The principle, upon which this project is based, is that practice based learning and in particular the mentoring process, would be improved if the student and mentor had access to tools which allowed on the spot on-line entry of results of assessments, such that feedback would be immediate, and thus followup actions could be decided instantly.
This project aims to provide a mobile learning toolkit to support practice based learning, mentoring and assessment. This toolkit will provide an interface so that course leader can specify, in a flexible manner, the learning outcomes to be met, the method of assessment (including the form of the result, how it will be recorded, and by whom), the timing of the assessment(s) and the feedback to be given in response to the results, suitable learning resources to support these learning outcomes, and the actions to be taken when assessments are not completed in a timely manner. Such a toolkit could be used on a variety of programmes, both HE and FE, and in clinical and non-clinical contexts, where work place assessment is an integral part of the course.
The toolkit will enable deployment of the mentorâs assessment interface on a number of platforms, ranging from PCâs through to PDAs and Smartphones and will also provide tools such as RSS feeds to simplify distribution of the learning resources. The project will contribute to the JISC community by adding mobile assessment tools to the E-framework.
The consortium is a well-connected group. The Computer Scientists who will provide the toolkit have previously worked together within the JISC Reference Model projects. Within both TVU and Southampton the Computer Scientists have previously worked with their Nursing and Healthcare departments. Southampton and TVU both have recently been placed in the same NHS area, and the Bournemouth and Poole College is an established FE partner for Southampton University. The following scenario, taken from Nursing, illustrates the problems and the need for such a toolkit.