The overview page presents an introduction and background story of what the mPLAT project is set to achieve. In summary 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 follow up actions could be decided instantly. The mPLAT project aims to provide a mobile learning toolkit to support practice based learning, mentoring and assessment. The toolkit will enable deployment on a number of platforms, ranging from PC’s through to PDAs and Smartphones and will also provide tools such as RSS feeds to simplify distribution of the learning resources.
The story so far.....
We have completed an agile co-design of the first toolset with domain experts from the University of Southampton School of Nursing and Midwifery (one of our project partners). The first tool to be deployed will assist the student and mentor to build a learning plan for the placement, based on the learning needs of the student and the opportunities offered by the placement. The first toolset was designed and built using an iterative agile process.
In August 2007, we deployed our first user pilot in a simulated placement setting, while in November 2007, we deployed user trials in clinical settings. This stage started with a cohort of University of Southampton School of Nursing PG Diploma students and mentors. The trial involves a deploying the toolkit with mentors and students in dispersed clinical wards in the Southampton area. (Note: Ethical approval for the user trials in University of Southampton NMW was completed).
An overview of the four stages of
the Agile Development with co-design
Presentation at JISC Portfolio Sig meeting December 2006
Sitthisak, O., Gilbert, L., Davis, H. C. and Gobbi, M. (2007) Adapting health care competencies to a formal competency model. In: The 7th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2007), July 18-20, 2007, Niigata, Japan.
The story now.....
The mPLAT 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 mPLAT tools are deployable on any Microsoft Pocket PC device. We have chosen HTC TyTn smartphones for our evaluations.
- We have developed web browser versions of the mentor tools so that mentors can choose to use either a PC or a mobile device, depending on preference and availability.
Smartphone mPLAT Toolkit
We are currently working through a series of trial based evaluations at clinical sites associated with the University of Southampton, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Thames Valley University and Bournemouth and Poole College
Using feedback from our first trial at Southampton, we are developing new deployment strategies that we are describing as ‘co-deployment’, mirroring the co-design participatory methods used in the mPLAT tools design. These new strategies recognise domain experts as first class members of the deployment team. We will try out these strategies with the team and students at TVU in May, evaluate their effectiveness and then start the full trial in September.
We are beginning preparations for the third trial at Bournemouth and Poole College, using the new co-deployment strategies.
Faulds, S., Howard, Y., Zhang, P., Millard, D., Wills, G. and Gobbi, M. (2008) mPLAT Mobile Placement Learning and Assessment toolkit for Healthcare Students. In: The Higher Education Academy on ePortfolios, identity and personalised learning in healthcare education.
Millard, D., Faulds, S., Gilbert, L., Howard, Y., Sparks, D., Wills, G. and Zhang, P. (2008) CO-DESIGN FOR CONCEPTUAL SPACES: AN AGILE DESIGN METHODOLOGY FOR M-LEARNING. In: IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning 2008.
Zhang, P., Millard, D., Wills, G., Howard, Y., Faulds, S., Gilbert, L. and Sparks, D. (2008) A Mobile Toolkit for Placement Learning. In: The 8th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT 2008), July 1st- July 5th, 2008, Santander, Cantabria, Spain.