Technologies to Drive Collaboration

Tuesday, 14 July 2009: 3:45 PM

Luke Millard, BA, MA
Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Helen K. Burns, PhD, RN, FAAN
School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Stuart Brand, PhD, BSc
Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Purpose: In order to maintain excellent practitioners who possess a deep understanding of the complexity of healthcare, nursing curricula must constantly undergo change. This change involves not only what is taught in the traditional classroom, but also how the material is taught and by whom.  Distance education, the virtual classroom, use of the internet and human simulated laboratories have merged with the traditional classroom to provide innovative teaching strategies that promote better student learning outcomes.

Methods: The partners will reveal how the partnership was initiated and the substantial work that has taken place to maintain and develop it.  The key role played by technology will be explored as technology (simulation) was one of the key reasons the partners came together, but has also provided the vehicle for sustainability, further development and enhancement. Results: When a partnership begins there is a risk, but a successful partnership will cultivate mutual trust, respect and collaboration for both parties.  In 2006 a learning partnership was developed between the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and Birmingham City University (BCU).  Although the mission of the organisations differ, one a high profile research focused university, and the other an up and coming learning and teaching focused university, both found common interests and forged an unlikely alliance.  Building on each institution’s strengths several partnership themes were created including the use of simulated technology in the curriculum; student exchanges; publications, use of on-line discussion boards and virtual teaching. 
Conclusion:This session will discuss mechanisms to create educational partnerships. Strategies for a successful partnership as well as present and future collaborative projects will be discussed.  These will draw on the experiences of Pitt and BCU as the partners stumbled through early discussions to identify areas of shared interest that were ultimately formalised within a partnership agreement between the Universities that will provide the basis for exciting exchanges over the coming years.