We are very excited to announce that the first international collaborative student project will go ahead in February 2010. During this project fourth year physiotherapy students from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa will collaborate with fellow foundation year students from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. The project is being organised and supported by Rachael Lowe, the Physiopedia founder, in collaboration with Michael Rowe from the University of the Western Cape and Aileen Barret from the Royal College of Surgeons.
The project is an elective module where students will be invited to participate. The students will be allocated into groups of four students (two from each nation) and tasked with working together to build pages/content in Physiopedia. The topics that the students will work on will investiate key physiotherapy skills and also explore cultural differences between the nations.
At the end of this project students should be able to:
- Demonstrate evidence based practice skills such as literature searching and critical appraisal
- Demonstrate scientific writing and referencing skills
- Demonstrate an ability to work in teams, agree goals and time frames, roles and responsibilities
- Demonstrate web-editing skills
Students will also have:
- An increased understanding of the clinically related topics that they have investigated
- An insight into the cultural differences in the physiotherapy profession in different nations
- Experience of online collaboration
For more information on this project see the ISP1 page in Physiopedia or follow the #ISP1 in Twitter.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to cross post the latest post the I made at my own blog as I think (I hope) that the readers of this Physiopedia blog may find it quite interesting, if not inspiring!
The movement for open educational resources has been noticeably gathering pace recently and has sparked quite a lot of debate within the e-learning community. The recent Open Education Conference in Vancouver certainly had a lot of buzz (and tweeting) around it!! The term “Open Educational Resources” (OER) was first adopted at UNESCO’s 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. They defined OER as follows:
“OER are teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”
Basically OER are all about sharing. In a brave new world of learning, OER content is made free to use or share, and in some cases, to change and share again, made possible through licensing, so that both teachers and learners can share what they know. There are many examples of institutions that have made a big effort to provide OER which everyone can benefit and learn from. This movement certainly makes self directed online learning a real possibility for our continuing education and professional development. However, those that will benefit the most are people whom otherwise have limited access to information. There is an urgent need to improve the availability and use of healthcare information in developing countries.
People in the developing world are dying for lack of knowledge. Today, 1.3 billion people lack access to basic health care services and many more are at risk of receiving poor quality care. A major contributing factor is lack of access to relevant, reliable healthcare information. The New York Law School/HIFA2015 White Paper: Access to Health Information Under International Human Rights Law, concludes that health information is an essential component of many identified and established human rights. The resulting HIFA2015 campaign has the goal that by 2015, every person worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider. The challenge is to ensure that everyone in the world can have access to clean, clear knowledge – a basic human right, and a public health need as important as access to clean, clear water, and much more easily achievable.
My contributions to these efforts come from my Physiopedia project. Essentially Physiopedia is an OER that provides free information to health care workers. As well as being a place where education can take place, I really do hope that physiotherapists across the world will see the benefits that contributing information to this site can bring. It really doesn’t take that much effort to create a page in Physiopedia and if all physios in the UK alone created just one page using the unique knowledge that we all have, that would immediately be 48,000 pages!!! Not only is it a great CPD activity in itself but contributors can also feel good in knowing that they are contributing to improving health care in the developing world.
EIM run an Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Residency program which is a planned program of post-professional clinical and didactic education for physical therapists designed to advance the physical therapist resident’s preparation as a provider of patient care services in orthopaedic physical therapy. the 2009 EIM Residents recently completed an assignment which involved making pages in Physiopedia as part of the capstone course in their residency training. They created some great pages and really helped us to increase the content within Physiopedia, so thanks to all those involved including Eric Robertson who co-ordinated the project.
This rolling stone hasn’t had a chance to gather any moss recently! We are delighted to announce that we now have over 100 great articles full of content. Mainly in the musculoskeletal field and with special thanks to the efforts of the students at the Mediacl College of Georgia and Evidence in Motion our content is rapidly growing.
The educational projects that have taken place in Physiopedia have so far been a great success, and initial feedback from the students and tutors has been resoundingly positive. We hope that other institutions will be encouraged by the success of these projects and join us in this global collaborative effort. It’s not all about educational institutions though, there are many other opportunities to be involved either as an individual or as a health care organisation. For individuals writing, reviewing and updating pages in Physiopedia is a great continuing education and professional development activity, and for physiotherapy and physical therapy departments and clinics Physiopedia is an innovative tool for staff and service development projects, see our Health Organisations Guide for more information on this.
So join us, encourage others, spread the word, let’s keep that stone rolling!!
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland have been impressed with the innovative elective module that Aileen Barrett ran for her foundation year students in Physiopedia. In their recent magazine, Cirriculum Matters, they published a small piece about the project that Aileen ran highlighting it’s success. We hope that this will be a lasting partnership between with the RCSI and hope to run more interprofessional student projects with them!