Innovation in collaborative health research training: the role of active learning

Between 2005 and 2007 I worked at the Parterning for Community Health (PCHR ) CIHR-funded Strategic Health Research Program. My role included coordinating aspects of a series of training workshops. Trainees were both post-graduate students and “community-based” public health workers. It was an interesting experience: feel free to interpret “interesting” as you see fit…

Anyway, an article I co-wrote with Isabeau Iqbal and Gary Poole has just come out in the Journal of Interprofessional Care.  Here’s the abstract:

This paper describes and discusses the essential pedagogical elements of the Partnering in Community Health Research (PCHR) program, which was designed to address the training needs of researchers who participate in collaborative, interdisciplinary health research. These elements were intended to foster specific skills that helped learners develop research partnerships featuring knowledge, capabilities, values and attitudes needed for successful research projects.

By establishing research teams called ‘‘clusters’’, PCHR provided research training and experience for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, as well as for community health workers and professionals. Pedagogical elements relied on active learning approaches such as inquiry-based and experience-based learning. Links between these elements and learning approaches are explained. Through their work in cluster-based applied research projects, the development of learning plans, and cross-cluster learning events, trainees acquired collaborative research competencies that were valuable, relevant and theoretically informed.
Keywords: Active learning, collaboration, community health, research training

I’m quite proud of this work. It’s a solid, substantive piece of writing, and ’twas my first case of writing collaboratively. We three are getting ready to start our next piece.

If you’re at UBC and Google the journal title you’ll be able to download the article itself. Hot off the (digital) presses! Full citation is:

Poole, G., Egan, J. P. & Iqbal, I. (2009). Innovation in collaborative health research training: the role of active learning. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 23(2), 148-155.

About John P Egan

Learning technology professional.
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