Early this week my colleague Evelyn McElhinney and did our first visitors and residents mapping workshop for the current HEA Online Residency in the Disciplines programme.
The student co-hort we met with were all post registration health professionals, who are undertaking professional CPD courses here at GCU. We had a good mix of participants both in terms of age and gender and in attitudes to using technology. From the self confessed luddites (always makes me smile when people use that term in a self derogatory fashion in relation to their own perceptions of “being rubbish at technology”, the original luddites were all highly skilled people) to those who seemed pretty confident about where and when they are online.
As we stated in our bid, one of the reasons we wanted to be part of this programme was:
“Effective online engagement is particularly relevant to health care professionals, who are bound by professional codes of ethics. The increasing use of social media for professional and public engagement requires them to develop understanding of the interactions between professional and personal spaces.”
True to David White’s experience, as our participants were developing their maps, some really interesting questions and discussions emerged, particularly around the use of apps. Is interaction with an app visitor or resident behaviour? Of course that very much depends on the app, and you connect to other services/online spaces with it. If you are for example using a fitness app to collect data about yourself is that resident behaviour or just a private record? As we were dealing with health care professionals, this led to another discussion about boundaries of personal and professional technology. If you have a say, blood pressure app on your phone should you use that with patients, or should you only use authorised apps and devices?
This led to another discussion or perhaps more accurately a series of questions about the whole quantified self movement and learning analytics. In terms of health care, in certain cases self monitoring can be very powerful. But if we all are recording everything on our Fitbits (or whatever) should that data be collected and stored by, the NHS? What are the practicalities never mind the ethics involved in that?
Lots to think about and I’m sure it wasn’t all just sugar and e-number induced nonsense.