Practical learning: achieving excellence in the human services

January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Supporting a community of practice for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied health Professions (NMAHP) practice education facilitators using the NHS e-library's 'shared space'

Keywords: communities of practice, IT support, web based tools

Authors: Paul Lambert (NHS Education for Scotland); Simon Sikora (NHS Education for Scotland)

NHS Education for Scotland’s e-library has made sophisticated, web-based communication tools available to NHS staff and partners as a way of supporting communities of practice.

As part of the Practice Education Facilitation (PEF) Programmes for nursing, midwifery and the Allied Health Professions (NMAHP), the programme teams have harnessed the potential of this 'Shared Space’ software to enable the sharing of good practice, dissemination of information and discussion forums for staff working to support practice education activities across all health board areas in Scotland.

The Shared Space represents a new way of working for many staff and implementation of web-based tools provides challenges relating to structure, roles and responsibilities and content management in order to realise the many benefits.

Initial evaluation of the role the Practice Education Shared Space has had in supporting the PEF programmes was undertaken via survey and highlighted benefits and barriers to effective implementation. Benefits were sharing of current work and communication issues generally with barriers being lack of IT skills, the functionality of the software and support for administering content of the space.

This presentation provides an evaluation of the role a web-based tool can play in supporting a multi-professional community of practice. The evaluation provides insights for the development of this and future 'Shared Spaces'.

Date: Friday 25 January 2008, 2.30-3.00

Venue: Carrick One

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Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).