Free Open Access Medical Education

For some years now, I have noticed that medical educators are looking at learning innovations in their own unique way. I first became aware of medical education happening in virtual worlds and simulations, such as Coventry’s virtual maternity ward in Second Life, and St George’s paramedic training in Second Life. 

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 22.05.51

Damian Roland argues for the use of social media in a 26 June debate held at University of Leicester

Our own University of Leicester brought medical students into a virtual Genetics lab as a way of offering additional training in Genetics testing. Dr Rakesh Patel and his team developed a Virtual Ward (still going on today), in which students may visit virtual patients and practice coming up with a diagnosis. When I tweeted about these kinds of initiatives, I would receive replies using the hashtag #meded or #vitualpatient.

But last year I began to see a new one on Twitter: #FOAMed — Free Open Access Medical Education — or just #FOAM — Free Open Access Meducation. I began to follow people like Anne Marie Cunningham (@amcunningham) , Natalie Lafferty (@nlafferty), and Damian Roland (@Damian_Roland), among others who, as medics and medical educators, see the value of using social media in medical education, or the value of blogs, or the value of a crowd-sourced site of medical questions and answers such as Meanwhile, Rakesh was coming up with ideas thick and fast: why not tweet and record the Nephrology conference SpR Club this past April, and the TASME Meeting at DeMontfort University this past May? And so I did!

Then Rakesh and Damian got the bright idea to debate the motion: “This house believes that medical educators must use social media to deliver education.” The debate took place on 26 June at University of Leicester, and I was able to live-stream and record it, as well as join in the Twitter discussion. There were several remote participants including one from Canada, in addition to the approximately 20 attendees face-to-face at the Medical School. Not only did the debate spark real interest and a sense of challenge among those present (many of whom seemed to be new to the ideas of FOAMed and social media), the discussion continued on Twitter for a good couple of days, as the images below show. You can listen to and watch the video of the debate here.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 21.00.43 Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 20.59.32Now the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting is happening in Edinburgh, and Rakesh, Natalie, and others are presenting a workshop on FOAM. My name is on the presenter’s list as well, and although I could not attend, I shall be eagerly watching for tweets from the conference. I have come to see, especially through the eyes of my medic colleagues, that Free Open Access Meducation is a better education than closed— better because more information is accessed the wider one’s network is, better because more learners are reached via open platforms than closed, better because open encourages interdisciplinary sharing and learning… the list of benefits goes on.

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow

Renal Association SpR Club Meeting: Webinar and social media for medical conferencing

On 13 & 14 April, 2013, the Renal Association SpR Club held their Spring Meeting in Leicester at the Belmont Hotel, which is about a stone’s throw away from my office at the Institute of Learning Technology, University of Leicester. Dr Rakesh Patel asked me and Brenda Padilla to join in and record the sessions, as well as cover them by social media. We even set up the sessions as a webinar. This turned out so well that we were encouraged that we can run future events as hybrids — with face-to-face participants as well as remote participants from anywhere in the world. The theme of this meeting was very international, with many presentations touching on the health situations of such places as Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, and Afghanistan. Hybrid sessions extending to such areas could really benefit health care workers and patients and hopefully we will see this come to pass in the near future.

Mark Brady welcomes the club to Leicester

Mark Brady welcomes the club to Leicester

We used Adobe Connect over the hotel’s wifi in order to livestream the events. The recordings of the events are below.

Day 1: Welcome by Mark Brady, presentations by John Feehally, John Connolly, and Nigel Brunskill (part 1)

Day 1: Nigel Brunskill (part 2), Claire Sharpe, Nadeeka, Rathnamala, Frankie Dowen, Aghogho Odudu, Caroline Savage

Day 2: Mike Almond, Peter Mathieson, Graham Warwick, Paul Harden

These are being converted in mp4 videos as more polished finished products; I will be posting these up as I complete them.

A separate screen projected the Twitter feed throughout the meeting

A separate screen projected the Twitter feed throughout the meeting

We also set up a separate screen, displaying the Twitter feed (#resprcs13) throughout the meeting. We could see the power of Twitter, when Damian Fogarty tweeted a question for John Feehally; Damian was in Dublin, the question was relayed by Rakesh to John, and the answer was tweeted back to Damian who was very appreciative.

View from the techie table

View from the techie table

I collected all tweets and tweeted photos by means of Storify; we we now have an archive of discussions as well as photos in one convenient location:

May this be just the first of many such well-connected and well-documented medical conferences!

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, Institute of Learning Innovation, University of Leicester

Renal Association SpR Club Spring Meeting 2013 – Livestream!

This weekend, the Renal Association SpR Club will be holding its Spring Meeting 2013 in Leicester at the Belmont Hotel. As many proceedings as possible will be livestreamed using webinar technology; all are invited to join in by going to:

Dr Rakesh Patel, Brenda Padilla and I will be facilitating the livestream, discussion, and social network coverage. We are especially hoping to link together colleagues in Nigeria and other remote locations.  It is all somewhat experimental but we think the results will be great for sharing of latest findings and fostering partnership communications generally. The Twitter hashtag will be #rasprc13 — we are looking forward to this weekend!

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist & SCORE Research Fellow


Tweets from the East Midlands Deanery VLE Development Day

On Friday 22nd March 2013, Rakesh Patel and I attended the East Midlands Deanery VLE Development Day, and delivered workshops which were timetabled against each other. Rakesh's workshop was E-Resources for Learning; mine was Using Rich Media in Teaching: Big ideas, simple steps. Ale Armellini started the day with a keynote: Foresight and choices for 21st century learning. The purpose of the day was to help the East Midlands Deanery (the institution in charge of postgraduate medical training) to ease into its new Moodle VLE. My workshop emphasised and began at with learning design, introducing Grainne Conole's 7Cs of Learning Design. Some delegates were not sure why a VLE is needed, and some were not sure what a VLE is, so the day was full of interesting conversations such as whether a VLE's basic purpose is to be a learning materials repository or to be a medium for communication between students, tutors, and all practitioners. Emerging issues included the tension between the need for online security and the wish to see each other's learning environments and courses and share some of these, and the tension between locked-down computer networks and the wish to use bandwidth-hungry multimedia learning materials. The day concluded with a forward-looking keynote on social media in #meded by Anne Marie Cunningham, who confessed that her first-ever tweet referring to 'medical education 3.0' was actually a typo! I also include here some of the storify archive of the tweets of the day, collected on the term #eastmidsvle. (I'm still learning how to use storify...)

Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE Research Fellow, University of Leicester

  1. Here are some bits and pieces which I think help show potential of social media in #meded… #ukmeded #eastmidsvle
  2. @amcunningham enjoyed your presentation at #eastmidsvle day today. Lots of food for thought 🙂
  3. Using rich media in teaching: big ideas, simple steps – my workshop presentation for #eastmidsvle… #elearning #meded
  4. this video has won NHS Innovation awards but YouTube still not accessible in the hospital it talks about… #eastmidsvle
  5. this video has won NHS Innovation awards but YouTube still not accessible in the hospital it talks about… #eastmidsvle
  6. #eastmidsvle @amcunningham gives a shout out to John and Ollie from @fgw great service and example of social media!
  7. Being shown Breakfast at Glenfield – The Educational Music Video about ACUTE ASTHMA #eastmidsvle <-made with phone
  8. “@alejandroa: Lurk > Launch > Learn (on social media), suggests @amcunningham [hangout, start out, learn] at #eastmidsvle
  9. Lurk > Launch > Learn (on social media), suggests @amcunningham [hangout, start out, learn] at #eastmidsvle
  10. #EastMidsVLE Fantastic day – Thanks to all of our speakers, poster presenters, delegates and team.
  11. “@alejandroa: Lurk > Launch > Learn (on social media) #eastmidsvle” good advice
  12. Lurk > Launch > Learn (on social media), suggests @amcunningham [hangout, start out, learn] at #eastmidsvle
%d bloggers like this: