I’m going to be blamed for showing some favouritism because here’s another post about the University of Leeds. However, I’m unashamed to promote the great work and the prestigious TechWorld.COM “mobility project of the year” award achieved by Gareth Frith and his colleagues within the medical school and the partnership with the Assessment in Learning and Practice Settings (ALPS). ALPS is a collaborative Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) with an impressive collection of Yorkshire universities.
Enough scene setting, what was the award for? Here is an extract from the project award notice which Gareth has kindly given me permission to reproduce.
Computing Awards 2008
Public Sector Project of the Year
The award winning Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS), was created as a collaborative programme between five higher education institutions in the north of England. Its aim was to implement an innovative new method of mobile learning and assessment by providing 900 students from the health and social care faculties at the universities of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, Bradford,
Practice placements for students’ training in health and social care careers, such as medicine, nursing, or social work are essential for the development of students’ skills and confidence in a practice work environment.
The technological aims of the £1 million
After a thorough procurement exercise in early 2007 to decide who would provide
ALPS began the implementation with a three-month pilot scheme, once this was successful, each of the participating universities, all of which had different email platforms, Virtual Learning Environments and Active Directories, were fully connected within a six-month time period.
Improved teaching assessments:
University tutors have been able to upload assessment forms to the T-Mobile MDA Vario for their students to complete while taking part in their work placements. Each assessment is customised to the individual student so that they are relevant to courses and learning styles. Tutors are able to access the student questionnaires which cover core competences such as team work and communication, reflecting on these skills as they practice them in a work placement environment, rather than having to wait for these assessments when the students are back at the University campus. Finally, they can use the MDA Vario to log in to a secure area, connected to the university’s teaching systems, to record and store the student’s assessment.
Enhanced learning methods:
Using the Vario’s Mobile Broadband speed connection, students can access learning resources from a central virtual learning repository at high-speed, and can reflect on their work placement on a live blog built into the assessment programme.
The multimedia capabilities of the T-Mobile MDA Vario has also enabled users to upload their e-portfolios (including video and sound files) online, giving tutors real-time access to their students’ achievements. The e-portfolio records all of the student’s own educational and professional experience, acting as mobile curriculum vitae that can be accessed at anytime.
Return on investment and future growth
Within one year of the programme, T-Mobile and its partners have successfully enabled
Gareth Frith, Technology Enhanced Learning Manager for