6 October 2008

Learner-centred, web-based video recordings and interactions are part of a new elearning initiative being developed at UQ through an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) grant.

Three UQ research teams received ALTC grants in the recent round, each to the value of $220,000, under the Priority Project program of the ALTC Grants scheme.

UQ’s Dr Craig Engstrom, from the School of Human Movement Studies, will collaboratively lead research into eCAPS, an integrated system for the online clinical assessment of practical skills.

The University of Queensland will work with the universities of Melbourne and British Columbia (Canada) to develop and implement eCAPS, which will feature practical skill sets such as upper and lower limb joint examination, neural tension test and joint injection techniques.

eCAPS will be implemented into the University’s existing online postgraduate Sports Medicine program for general practitioners.

Dr Engstrom said eCAPS would help enhance the development of practical skill sets in an online environment, which lacked the “face-to-face” contact of traditional education programs.

“Over the next two years we’re looking forward to developing and evaluating eCAPS to help advance current elearning models by embracing higher levels of learner interactivity through web-based video technologies /simulation learning environments,” Dr Engstrom said.

Dr Engstrom will collaborate with fellow team leaders Dr Peter Hay and Professor Doune MacDonald, along with clinical project officers Dr Anita Green and Dr Peter Friis from the School of Human Movement Studies, and Professors Karim Khan (University of British Columbia) and Peter Brukner (University of Melbourne) on the project.

Fellow ALTC grant recipients Associate Professor Nancy Pachana, Dr Kate Sofronoff and Dr Mia O’Brien will undertake research to help improve and strengthen Australia’s clinical psychology profession.

The project will re-evaluate postgraduate training needs to help meet the profession’s growing client load and include joint collaborations from Griffith, James Cook, Macquarie and Swinburne Universities.

“Clinical psychology in Australia has moved through many new developments in the last decade,” Dr Nancy Pachana said.

“As with many professions, training in clinical psychology often lags behind cutting-edge content as well as pedagogical theory, so with this grant we are hoping to reinvigorate and reconfigure the clinical psychology training curriculum in Australia, in particular with an eye to international best practice models.”

Final ALTC UQ grant winner Associate Professor Julie Duck, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) and her team Professor Susan Hamilton, Professor Sarah Derrington, Professor Merrilyn Goos, Associate Professor Peter Sutton, Dr Glen Coleman, Ms Maureen Bowen and Mr Keith Webster, will use the funding to look at university assessment policies.

“We will review the impact of assessment policy on practice at The University of Queensland over the past 10 years,” Dr Duck said.

“Our project was motivated not so much by a view that something is wrong with assessment policies, but by recognition of the fact that we could perhaps do better in terms of processes for policy review.

“Arguably, UQ has been ahead of other universities in implementing policy change in assessment but we need to close the loop in policy review.”

The research will include interactive workshops with an internal and external reference group to identify key issues with the formulation, implementation and interpretation of assessment policy.

The investigation will be used to develop a set of guidelines and a step-by-step process for Australian universities to review their assessment policies.

Media: Eliza Plant at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619)