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Mobile learning device wins global learning award

A project which allows health and social care students to use mobile devices to complete and upload assessments whilst on work placements has received a prestigious award from an international learning consortium.

Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS), a collaborative project in which the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John is a partner organisation, received a Gold Award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium. The Learning Impact Awards are designed to recognise the most impactful use of technology worldwide in support of learning.

Partners from Leeds Metropolitan University presented the work of ALPS at the Learning Impact 2011 Conference in Long Beach, California and received the award in the Research and New Developments category. The ALPS submission was judged by a panel of global experts and international delegates at the conference, who rated it as an outstanding example of technology being used to address education challenges.

ALPS is an ambitious, collaborative programme that has involved five universities (Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan and York St John), 16 health and social care professions, service users and carers, the NHS, the Strategic Health Authority and commercial partners. Its mission is to improve the competence and confidence of graduating health and social care students by improving the standard and delivery of work based learning and assessment.

The ALPS partners worked collaboratively to develop an interprofessional mobile assessment and e-portfolio system and to use this across the five universities to support 360 degree performance feedback and reflection. The developed system has enabled York St John University’s Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students on work placements to use mobile devices to complete and upload assessments and feedback instead of having to rely on paper or a PC. As well as mobile assessment, the mobile devices have also been used to improve students’ access to learning materials.

Peter Gray, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences and Site Lead for ALPS at York St John University said:

“A high status international award for the work of the ALPS is a fantastic vote of confidence in the ability of colleagues to position themselves at the forefront of the development of exceptional learning opportunities for students.”

The Global Learning Impact Gold Award not only recognises the great value of the research and development work that was undertaken by ALPS, but also the impact that the ALPS programme has had in helping to champion and embed mobile learning within the five universities and more widely across higher education.

Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) is a collaborative programme between five Higher Education Institutions with proven reputations for excellence in learning and teaching in health and social care: the University of Bradford, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Leeds (lead); Leeds Metropolitan University, and York St John University. There are 16 professions across the partnership from Audiology to Social Work, and a wide range of partners including Yorkshire and the Humber NHS, practice networks and professional bodies. ALPS has three commercial partners; MyKnowledgeMap, ecommnet and T-Mobile.

ALPS is one of the 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to promote excellence across all subjects and aspects of teaching and learning in higher education. Funding of £315 million over five years from 2005-06 to 2009-10 represents HEFCE's largest ever single funding initiative in teaching and learning.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk


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