University of Leeds led project wins prestigious award

Assessment & Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS), a collaborative programme led by the University of Leeds, has received a prestigious gold award from the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

The Learning Impact Awards are designed to recognise the most impactful use of technology worldwide in support of learning. The ALPS submission was rated as an outstanding example of technology being used to address education challenges.

ALPS is an ambitious programme that has involved five universities (Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leeds Met and York St John), 16 health and social care professions, service users & carers, the NHS, the Strategic Health Authority and commercial partners. Its mission is to improve the competence and confidence of graduating health and social care students by improving the standard and delivery of work based learning and assessment.

The ALPS partners worked collaboratively to develop an interprofessional mobile assessment and e-portfolio system and to use this across the five universities to support 360 degree performance feedback and reflection. The developed system allowed health and social care students on work placements to use mobile devices to complete and upload assessments and feedback instead of having to rely on paper or a PC. As well as mobile assessment, the mobile devices have also been used to improve students‟ access to learning materials.

Leeds students have commented on how helpful it is have immediate access to learning material and to share feedback with their tutors quickly "instead of having to carry around booklets.. it's all done through technology now.. it's great."

The Global Learning Impact Gold Award not only recognises the great value of the research and development work that was undertaken by ALPS, but also the impact that the ALPS programme has had in helping to champion and embed mobile learning within the five universities and more widely across HE. Building on the ALPS work, the School of Medicine at Leeds now provides fourth and fifth year students with mobile devices, access to key medical textbooks on these devices and support for mobile assessment and learning through a range of mobile apps.

Professor Trudie Roberts, Director of Leeds Institute of Medical Education and ALPS said, "I am delighted that the impact of the ALPS' work has been recognised by the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Learning and teaching are at the centre of ALPS work and our aim is to improve the experience of students, helping them to become competent and confident professionals. This award is a testament to the innovative and cutting edge work undertaken by ALPS, which has encouraged interprofessional and collaborative working and raised awareness of how creatively and effectively technology can be used to support learning."

The ALPS work is described in a five-minute video on YouTube.

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