Associate Professor, Teaching Stream
Academic Director, International Pharmacy Graduate Program (IPG)
Instructional Design and Technology Enabled Education
Creating conditions for learning is one way to describe instructional design; doing so requires knowledge of how we know, how we learn, and a deep contextual understanding of one’s subject area. The intersection with technology-enabled education in pharmacy and other health professions is my current area of practice and research. Combining the instrumental use of technology with the benefits of classroom based, or experiential, or service learning environments is a major focus of my work. In large class sizes such as those we have in pharmacy, technology can help breach the “transactional distance” that occurs, and create “presence”, an important motivating factor for most learners, and one that plays a substantive role in optimizing learning, and can enhance socialization within a profession.
Another emerging area in technology enabled education is that of interprofessional education; the exigencies of scheduling often prevent face-to-face learning experiences for undergraduates in programs across campus, and computer-mediated communication can bridge time and space. Newer applications (wikis, collaborative meeting space) suit the collaborative nature of this type of learning, although access by the user is of paramount importance. In a digital age, computer literacy is fast becoming the norm, but assumptions about whether this results in better learning is an important question.
Current interests and work includes:
- Piloting an interprofessional online course for internationally educated health professionals prior to arrival in Canada (www.iehpcanada.utoronto.ca)
- Creating interprofessional online environments for serious system-wide issues
- Designing experiential learning that fosters a sense of community at a distance
- Use of e-Portfolios as both evidence of learning and a purposeful collection of artefacts
- Informatics (primarily training in the effective use of both digital and print references)