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New online resource Expert in my Pocket will give students, academics and clinicians access to the best medical instructional videos at the touch of a button. 

At the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), academics have been working on expert clinical videos that health students can pluck from their pockets anytime.

USC has received an $180,000 grant to begin a national rollout of a state-of-the-art online resource called Expert in my Pocket, a repository of videos that will help students and health professionals improve their clinical skills.

The joint venture with Deakin University received the innovation and development grant from the Australian Office for Learning and Teaching.

Nursing science and midwifery program leader Theresa Downer said, “Expert in my Pocket is about the creative application of video technology and pedagogical practices using rich media learning materials to develop clinical psychomotor skills in students from multiple health disciplines.

“Our resources will be highly valuable to practitioners and students and educators in tertiary health disciplines.”

More than 300 USC paramedic science and nursing science students have just finished the trials that are part of the pilot stage.

“The videos will be specific to the Australian practice setting and will be available in a high-quality format compatible with computers and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets,” Downer said.

Additionally, Quick Response (QR) codes are being developed for scanning through smart devices to instantly connect the user with the required video.

The QR codes can be scanned with handheld devices by users searching instruction on a specific clinical skill. The user will then gain access to up-to-date training through relevant videos.

“We will create a free, publicly accessible, standardised repository – a website – of learning resources comprising video vignettes and supporting materials, to enhance student development of psychomotor clinical skills,” Downer said.

The proposed collection will house one- to two-minute video clips broadcast from an expert’s perspective as they perform clinical practices. The training videos will use a first-person point of view (1PPOV) by “expert health clinicians who will also ‘think aloud’ as they step through the procedures”, said Dr Florin Oprescu, a lecturer in health promotion.

Downer said many education researchers see the potential of wireless mobile devices for large-scale impacts on learning because of their portability, low cost and array of communication features.

“The nature of mobile devices encourages their use in personal spaces or for personal revision of a skill. Clever use of technology can play a crucial role in addressing challenges involved in teaching and learning,” she said.

“Quality, online, 1PPOV resources could alleviate pressure on scarce resources by being available for use ‘just in time’, in convenient locations and without an educator present.”

Such resources can also be a more effective way to aid skills acquisition during clinical placements.

The project will also be managed by Dr Bill Lord, associate professor of paramedic science, and Nigel Barr, lecturer in clinical paramedic science.

Lord explained that the process of collecting videos will in itself improve the clinical skills of students and health professionals.

Once the team has identified the core clinical skills that academics and professionals believe are important, he said, they can develop a standardised approach to teaching the skills. So, not only will students have access to standardised examples of these skills, but the professional teaching staff will also have an idea which ways are exemplary in clinical practice.

“An interesting thing about this project is seeing what other academic staff think are important skills,” Lord said.

He said the development of the pool of clinical skills and the process of breaking them down to determine which are important is noteworthy in itself, “because we might identify some skills that are core skills which we did not previously consider as such.”

One example of a video to be uploaded are insertion of an laryngeal mask airway – a device that provides control over a patient’s airway when they need ventilation assistance.

“It’s important for students to [learn this], otherwise it may result in incomplete seal and the patient’s airway may be compromised,” Lord said.

Once the resource is out, “students can actually bring up a particular skill or a series of skills, view them, and refine how those skills are performed” at any point of time, he added.

“Given that we provide them with QR codes, students can access it very quickly.”
Lord said that Expert in my Pocket has been developed to encourage the sharing of resources across Australian institutions. “This is a federally funded project and there’s an expectation that the resources to be developed are made available to other universities, so they don’t have to go through the same process of developing their own resources,” he said.

“And once we develop it, it’s a package that [will be] freely available to other universities.”

Aside from the grant, the team has also received funding in kind from the university in terms of staff and work delegation.

Project resources will be accessible to students and lecturers via desktop computers as well as handheld devices.

The project is due for completion in 12 months and is hoped to be expanded to other health disciplines in the future.

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