E-team nets healthy win

September 2, 2005

An online course that offers blogs and e-journals as well as lectures, tutorials and more informal getting-to-know-you sessions for healthcare professionals has earned four academics the title of E-tutor of the Year.

The masters course, which covers the nature and scope of primary healthcare in a range of cultures and contexts, has helped to bring together professionals from across the world, according to the four winners.

Geoff Wong, Petra Boynton, Jill Russell and Deborah Swinglehurst have won this year's competition, organised by the Higher Education Academy and sponsored by The Times Higher , for their work in developing the MSc course in international primary healthcare at University College London.

The course is one of the longest-running online programmes in the country and is about to begin its seventh year.

Dr Boynton, a psychologist, told The Times Higher that the international aspects were fundamental to the course's success.

"We have fascinating discussions," she said. "Students from the West and from developing countries get the chance to compare and contrast their healthcare systems and research methods."

International contacts made through the course can also impact directly on the students' work, according to the course leaders.

One Norwegian student studied leprosy in India for her dissertation, using the course's global network to make contacts, while a British GP working in Abu Dhabi said that the support of the online course community was a lifeline.

"Primary care practitioners are often professionally and geographically isolated," said Ms Russell, a social scientist and health policy expert.

"We're trying to create a community of practitioners across the world."

Bringing more developed nations into contact with developing countries in this way is also a fundamental benefit of e-learning for the four winners, helping to prevent the brain drain of talented individuals to more developed nations, and enabling healthcare professionals to use their knowledge and experience to benefit the local community.

"It's not about imposing the Western model," Dr Boynton explained. "It's about encouraging our students to learn from each other and feel empowered."

The UCL team will be sponsored to attend the annual conference of the Association for Learning Technology in Manchester University next week, as well as receiving a cheque for £1,000 from The Times Higher.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Daniel Mitchell illustration (29 June 2017)

Academics who think they can do the work of professional staff better than professional staff themselves are not showing the kind of respect they expect from others

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Senior academics at Teesside University put at risk of redundancy as summer break gets under way

Tef, results, gold, silver, bronze, teaching excellence framework

The results of the 2017 teaching excellence framework in full. Find out which universities were awarded gold, silver or bronze