The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Wendy Kitson-Piggott

Professional development in the health sector: How to know what is available and what is required to offer quality training using distance education

Wendy Kitson-Piggott

Lya Visser
Learing Development Centre

Wayne Labastide

     Full text: HTML
     Last modified: August 25, 2006
     Presentation date: 11/01/2006 10:00 AM in NT Hanover
     (View Schedule)

PROPOSAL FOR WORKSHOP – double session


In 2005 and 2006 an assessment study took place in the Caribbean region in 23 different countries to obtain information on the human resources and technology available and needed in order to plan training for medical laboratory staff in the region using distance education. Key issues were collection of data on the countries’ preparedness/interest in distance education, the training capacity offered/available, the existing connectivity, the skills to be acquired, and the preparedness of the future students to engage in distance learning.

The approach to the workshop

The proposed highly interactive workshop is based on this recent extensive assessment. Participants are expected through discussions based on a real case, to discover how they would go about to design such a study, to carry it out and to make use of the collected data. Emphasis will be on the need for a systematic approach, a high level of understanding of cultural differences, and a real effort to identify priorities, problems and possibilities/opportunities.

The workshop management team will, through group work, share their experiences (positive and less positive ones) with the participants.

During the first hour of the workshop participants are expected to work in a group and creatively reflect on one of the following topics.

• Key indicators for regional collaboration and methods of collecting data on these indicators
• Ways of identifying regional training needs (governmental and institutional)
• Identification of training opportunities, using distance education (governmental and institutional)
• Methods to collect information on training needs of (medical) staff and on their preparedness to engage in distance education learning.

The second hour will be used to present and discuss the outcomes of the group-work in a plenary session.

The last half hour will be used to link what has been presented and discussed by the different groups to the reality of the extensive assessment study the organizers of this workshop have carried out. Focus will be on what lessons have been learned.

Expected outcomes

An increased understanding of the need to carefully and systematically plan “innovations” by involving the various stakeholders. Recognition of the value of an independent coordinating body that can avoid duplication of efforts and ensure a rigid quality control component so that efficient and effective use is made of existing capacity.

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