This case study presents the experience of the development of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework to provide specialists in adult and paediatric medical disciplines with user friendly and effective learning solutions based on advanced technology addressing a very diverse range of practices in an educationally sound manner. The case study also examines the iterative design and user-experience focused methodology for development of the technological platform and alignment with both the educational framework and users’ needs.
The RACP is the professional medical College of over 15,000 physicians and 7,500 trainee physicians, often referred to as specialists, in Australia and New Zealand. Due to the complex and applied nature of the medical profession, continuous learning is an absolute priority which involves specific challenges, such as the constantly evolving state of knowledge and the extensive diversity within the scopes of practice of different specialties.
Specific goals of the RACP include promoting efficient and effective use of technology; assessing the impact of technology on physicians’ lifelong learning experience; supporting practical on the job learning; increasing engagement across a range of specialties and sub specialties; and sustaining continuous improvement in health care. These objectives imply a set of contradictory requirements: to provide a coherent educational framework suitable for all physicians, while considering the differences in their specific practices; but to also ensure common standards of practice while promoting practice change.
To tackle these challenges the College has been using two complementary strategies:
• It has adopted a 70:20:10 model in the implementation of the resources to support the lifelong learning experience of physicians, thus acknowledging the higher relevance and value of on the job and peer learning. In this context, learning resources have been designed based on innovative applied learning theories with the intent of using theoretical knowledge to facilitate, rather than replace, practice-based learning
• It has used knowledge management strategies (i.e. the use of customer service logs as a way to source feedback to constantly gather data on learner habits and reactions) to inform changes and upgrades to the framework and technology platform.
The interim results of this experience show that our membership values and appreciates the changes the College has implemented and outlines some further possibilities for future developments.
Despite its specificity, this case study has the potential to offer useful indications and learnings to other organisations and industry sectors who are facing the need to integrate practical, on the job learning with theoretical knowledge through the use of advanced learning technology in a context characterized by multiple functional specializations.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
It is a case study based on extensive research and analysis conducted over two years before the implementation of the new framework. It involved focus groups with users and principal stakeholders. The current framework is being constantly evaluated and adjusted through discussion fora and feedback provided by the users. The aim of the authors is to share this experience with the Conference’s participants to gather feedback on the methodology and the social learning principles that support the framework. Since implementing the framework and associated supporting technology, reflection and evaluation of the project methodology has occurred. The case study presents lessons learned from the project process which can be applied to other contexts to implement user driven educational frameworks and user driven technology initiatives.
Relevance for other disciplines:
This presentation aligns closely with the themes “Participation through Learning Technology” and “Critical Perspectives in Learning Technology”. Prior to design and implementation of the new framework and supporting technology platform, significant research into the current usage was conducted. Following this, we evaluated the impact of future technological change on physicians undertaking professional development. Furthermore, the design methodology of this project draws upon broader participatory design approaches in UX and web design, creating a learner driven approach to the design of the solution. Since the RACP CPD framework at its core is learner driven, allowing physicians to use their professional judgement to self-select relevant CPD activities, the design methodology for the technology mirrored this principle. As such, this presentation holds relevance for participants outside the discipline in that the methodology can be applied to designing and developing learner driven solutions. Web design and learning design are often considered separate fields, however there are significant lessons and approaches that can be drawn from the web and user experience design fields, and these can inform participants on how to integrate web and user experience design approaches into learning technology design.
Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Oxford, England: Prentice-Hall.
Wenger, E. (2000). Communities of practice and social learning systems. Organization, 7(2), pp.225-246.
Kajewski, K.; Madsen, V. (2016). Demystifying 70:20:10 White Paper. Melbourne, Australia: Deakin Prime.