Online collaboration for Pharmacy academics

15 September 2009

Professor Jo Brien, University of Sydney and Dr Geoff March, University of South Australia at a project workshop.
Professor Jo Brien, University of Sydney and Dr Geoff March, University of South Australia at a project workshop.

The University of Sydney's Pharmacy Education Unit has developed a website and online database to allow academics to work together to improve the planning and delivery of experiential learning for pharmacy students throughout Australasia.

The Pharmacy Experiential Learning Database (PELD) has been designed in collaboration with The University of South Australia and The University of Queensland, and implemented by the University of Sydney's Pharmacy Education Unit.

"We have been able to draw on the expertise of pharmacy educators all over Australasia," said Associate Professor Greg Ryan, Director of the Pharmacy Education Unit. "Our contributors to date have come from over fifteen pharmacy schools and peak bodies, and the materials are already being used across the region."

User-friendly tools on the site enable Pharmacy academics to contribute, edit and adapt materials, and to provide feedback on their use of the site as part of a continuous improvement cycle. Learning and assessment tasks are published to the site after a collaborative editing and trialling process and are made available to pharmacy educators and preceptors.

Published learning tasks cover such areas as patient counselling, reflective practice, dispensing medicines, conducting a drug use evaluation (DUE) audit, among many others.

"Already there is a substantial body of learning activities," said University of South Australia's Associate Professor Ieva Stupans, Chief Investigator for the project, "and planned workshops over the next year will greatly increase the range and depth of materials available on the PELD site."

According to the Project Manager Dr Susanne Owen, user feedback has been very positive: "I've gained real interest from being a participant - very stimulating," said one contributor. "I've 'borrowed' the repository concept … for use in compiling and reviewing materials relating to Oral Assessment," said another.

PELD is a joint project of the University of South Australia, The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland. It is funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC).

Further information is available from Associate Professor Greg Ryan, Director, Pharmacy Education Unit or Associate Professor Ieva Stupans, University of South Australia

Contact: Claire Riordan

Phone: 02 9351 2311

Email: 28351927463e502f73152a0e1c2061433b09337626005e763525