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Journal Article

Issues Around Creating a Reusable Learning Object to Support Statistics Teaching  pp271-278

Mollie Gilchrist

© Feb 2008 Volume 5 Issue 4, e-Learning in Health Care, Editor: Pam Moule, pp251 - 304

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Although our health professional students have some experience of simple charts, such as pie and bar, and some intuition of histograms, they do not appear to have much knowledge or understanding about box and whisker plots and their relation to the data they are describing or compared to histograms. The boxplot is a versatile charting tool, useful for presenting data from surveys and any other projects, where a reasonable quantity of data has been collected. An opportunity arose to create a reusable learning object (RLO) to describe, explore, and interpret boxplots, especially in relation to their data and summary statistics. Examples included interprofessional learning, as this was the main remit of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, from which funding was obtained. The RLO is aimed at both undergraduate and post‑graduate HP students, who would be able to use the resource flexibly, to augment their limited exposure to statistical techniques, and add to their appreciation of IP learning and working. The RLO includes animation and opportunities for students to interact with the resource. Existing, available 'real' data, collected as part of research projects concerning (IP) learning, as well as generated data, is used as illustrative material. This paper explores some of the issues raised during the creation of the RLO, and presents limited feedback from users. Issues raised include the working of the project team, delivery platform, copyright and intellectual property rights and software incompatibilities. To date, feedback from colleagues and students has been very positive and has encouraged further improvements. The creation of this RLO has been a longer and more time‑consuming experience than anticipated, and has highlighted the importance of a team approach, with constant reviewing. It will be interesting to see how the RLO will be used, and usage will be evaluated in the future.


Keywords: Reusable learning object, Box and whisker plot, Boxplots, Interprofessional learning


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Journal Issue

Volume 5 Issue 4, e-Learning in Health Care / Dec 2007  pp251‑304

Editor: Pam Moule

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E‑learning is viewed as one way to support the development of healthcare professionals, offering flexible access to materials which enable practitioners to meet life‑long learning agendas. As a consequence a number of health professionals and health care institutions are looking to technology to provide necessary education, training materials and opportunities for personal and professional development and growth. The growing impetus to develop and embrace e‑learning in health care led to the convening of a mini‑track at the 6th European Conference on E‑Learning (ECEL) held in Denmark in 2007 and to invitations to support this Special Edition of the journal.

The papers present current international developments in the sector and capture the range of engagement in e‑learning from the instructivist provision of information through to engaging students in constructivist learning online. A range of health care professions is also represented in the discussions, as are differing education levels, from undergraduate to post graduate students and practitioners. Mohammed, Waddington and Donnan describe the use of an Internet broadband link to stream a ‘real time’ workshop to physiotherapists, whilst Burgess presents the use of e‑learning in a Nurse Prescribing Programme as part of a blended learning approach. Learner engagement through interactive online packages is described by Gilchrist and Lockyer et al. The paper by Lockyer et al additionally explores issues of transferring e‑learning into practice and the potential effects on patient care, a much under‑researched area. Pulman presents the benefits and limitations of project Virtual Europe, case scenarios that encourage learners to construct their learning through evaluating different approaches to health care across Europe. The final paper by Courtney focuses on the use of e‑learning by lecturing staff in health care. The use of an online Community of Practice to support lecturers developing Learning Objects (LOs) is considered and discussions developed to consider the role of LOs in practice education.


Keywords: Box and whisker plot, Boxplots, cancer care, clinical education, Communities of Practice, community development support, Designated Medical Practitioner, educators, e-learning, evaluation, face-to-face, health education, interactions, intercultural, international, internet broadband, Interprofessional learning, interprofessional Learning Objects, Interprofessional Practice, Learning Objects, nurse prescribing, nursing education, qualitative research, real-time, Reified Objects, Reusable learning object, simulated community, telemedicine, videoconferencing, Virtual Europe, workplace learning


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