Building an web resource to Support an iPad Professional Development Program (iPDP)

My initial iteration of for the design of an iPad faculty development program was published at the mLearn conference in Helsinki – see iPad Professional Development Program (iPDP). The theoretical foundations that inform the program design were published in a journal article: Considerations for an iPad Professional Development Program.

I had submitted the development of the website portion for a grant, which was turned down. One thing I got in that process was feedback about the grant proposal – which was nice, but also discouraging. In hindsight, I took the feedback too seriously, as this website is what I was proposing I would do almost two years ago.  Here is a brief description from the proposal:

The technology adoption literature indicates that for training programs to be effective the technology needs to be placed in context (Rogers, 2003). As the iPad is still a relatively new device, there is a lack of literature indicating ways in which clinical teachers in Family Medicine (FM) use the iPad to support teaching and clinical practice. In addition, FM clinical teachers are seeking more faculty development regarding iPad use. To help address the literature gap while supporting the University of Ottawa Department of Family Medicine (DFM) clinical teachers, the purpose of this study is to: (1) document the ways in which clinical teachers in FM use the iPad to support teaching and practice, (2) build an innovative and sustainable web resource (i.e. a web resource that adapts to the fast-pace of change in iPad technology while making efficient use of resources), and (3) to conduct comprehensive evaluations of the web resource.

The resource will be tailored specifically to the needs of FM physicians who interact directly with residents and medical students.  The resource will be publicly available on the Internet, allowing for greater impact in medical education locally, nationally, and internationally. The resource will be useful for supporting FM physicians in using iPads in clinical practice and in teaching and supervising FM residents and medical students.

So, although I never did get funding to build the resource, I am indeed moving forward. This website will be that resource. I’m not certain if or how I will evaluate it. I shall be evaluating the face-to-face workshops as part of my research project, but the website requirement got dropped. It did not explicitly make it into my thesis proposal. I was much more vague in my proposal – focusing on the design of the program rather than specific components of the program.

I shall write more about the evolution of the design in future posts – this just shows where I started, when I was designing based strictly on the literature and my experience as a technology educator. At the time I did these designs, I had little or no experience working with physicians. I had done some work on a faculty development program, but did not really appreciate the context in which I was working – I’m not sure I do now either – but I’m getting there.

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