The Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings project (ALPS) aims to ensure that the graduates, studying 16 different subjects from a wide range of health and social care courses, have the skills needed to be effective in the workplace.
Learning development specialist MyKnowledgeMap (MKM), T-Mobile and mobile software specialist ecommnet are providing the online infrastructure to support ALPS, a partnership between the Universities of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds Metropolitan as well as York St John University College.
The major provider of learning systems for the project, York-based MKM is creating a backbone system to handle the management, mapping, co-ordination and analysis of the assessment data. T-Mobile will be providing airtime connectivity and mobile hand held smartphone and PDA devices. ecommnet is providing data security and mobile applications development and core infrastructure management solutions for the project.
MKM is integrating a number of its products into the ALPS solution. A networked version of its Compendle system allows course leaders to compile and manage assessments using a range of existing repositories.
A competency mapping system based on the company’s new Capability Matrix skills gap system enables tutors to match competencies with assessments. MKM’s e-portfolio, integrated with a multi-function cohort management system, allows learners to compile a record of their learning.
All of these systems will integrate with the online learning environments that learners and tutors are accustomed to using.
ALPS is to provide the students with a range of materials focused on helping them to assess their competencies, accessible any time, anywhere, via their phones or PDAs. Students will be able to complete assessment questionnaires via their devices, covering core competencies such as teamwork and communication.
They will also be encouraged to reflect on their skills as they practise them. Using the multimedia capabilities of their mobile phones, they will be able to record sound and video, and upload these to e-portfolios online as evidence of their achievements.
Mobile technologies are vital to enable students learning in the workplace to access university learning systems when needed.
"Developing competence and confidence in a practice setting is vital for students training for a career in health and social care because there is a wide range of general and specific skills that can only be developed in the clinic, hospital or workplace," says MKM managing director Rob Arntsen. "Accessing learning systems between dealing with patients matters most to these people and that’s where mobile technologies come in."
Founded in 2000, MyKnowledgeMap (often known as MKM) is a dynamic company delivering web-based knowledge systems designed by individuals, for the individual.
Operating in the corporate, public and education sectors, MKM's range of products and services includes:
• Academies: MKM is the UK's leading supplier of infrastructure systems for national skill academies, including those in the UK for food & drink manufacturing, sport & active leisure, care, and retail. MKM's e-academy infrastructure helps learners and people with a stake in a particular skill to progress from entry to degree level. Working with the UK's national Sector Skills Councils (MKM's clients include Skillsmart Retail, Improve and SkillsActive), MKM has pioneered online academies that can help people with everything from day-to-day productivity to discovering and achieving relevant qualifications. MKM also offers e-academies tailored to the needs of organisations in the private and local government sectors.
• Skills diagnostics: MKM's Skills Diagnostic suite allows clients to build their own system of skills diagnosis and training regimens. Its sophisticated software tools are designed to meet clients' specific needs, and to facilitate, not impose, the required solutions.
• Learning: MKM's e-learning solutions, including e-learning content, delivery systems and teaching aids, are used by a worldwide and growing range of organisations from Lloyds TSB to the RSPB; from manufacturing to retailing; from the police to local authorities; from the University of York to colleges in Delhi, Bahrain and Nairobi. MKM produces inventive and versatile applications that are can be shaped and contextualised by their users to meet the rapidly-changing needs of contemporary work and training, either for use within an e-Academy environment or as stand-alone products.
Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) is a collaborative programme between five Higher Education Institutions with proven reputations for excellence in learning and teaching in health and social care: the University of Bradford, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Leeds (lead); Leeds Metropolitan University, and York St John University.
There are 16 professions across the partnership from Audiology to Social Work, and a wide range of partners including Yorkshire and the Humber NHS, practice networks and professional bodies.
ALPS' aim is to ensure that students graduating from courses in health and social care are fully equipped to perform confidently and competently at the start of their professional careers. We’ll achieve this by extending excellence and innovation in assessing practice, helping students learn both within their professions and across professional boundaries.
ALPS will raise the status of teaching in practice. We will work with practice-based educators so they can assess generic skills (e.g. communication, team working & ethical practice) and professional competences common to many groups. Practitioners who teach can benefit from and contribute to the work of ALPS and its networks. ALPS will reward staff, with opportunities for Teaching Fellowships, sabbaticals and teaching awards.
ALPS is one of the 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to promote excellence across all subjects and aspects of teaching and learning in Higher Education. Funding of £315 million over five years from 2005/06 to 2009/10 represents HEFCE's largest ever single funding initiative in teaching and learning.
Further Information from:
Rob Arntsen / Tom Holland, MyKnowledgeMap +44 (0) 1904 659465
Peter Muir Little Press & PR +44 (0) 1727 860405/ (0) 1296 715228