Friday, June 26, 2009
Audit Based Learing (ABL)
I have always secretly wanted to come up with a new(ish) educational acronym. It's a bit like adding a stone to the top of a mountain cairn (here's Asher doin just that on top of Pen-y-Gadair Fawr, Black Mountains). Whether this is new or not... nah!!! No such thing as an original thought these days. But anyway... Audit Based Learning. First of all, I have to say that I do not like the term audit, something from my sad days trying to learn about accountancy. But In strong contrast, I have been surprised to see how misty-eyed even quite irenic nursing folk get at the mention of the word. I think the potential for this is actually quite good or I wouldnt be bothering to mention it. I mean, why on earth add to the passing fads and theorising that education is regularly slated for...!?! It came up at a meeting where we were discussing the research and informatics content of the curriculum and the need to move to something that would integrate research. We were hatching something like inquiry based learning but noting the difficulty of getting nurses and theory/research to understand each other. It was said that nursing audit is a similar activity to research in many ways, and far less grand, complex and fraught. It is research with a small 'r'. Implementing this would require more than just calling research by another name. And we would have to sit on our hands to ensure that we didnt tie down the students with masses of guidelines and red-tape (as sometimes happens with reflections, so called). It has the potential to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge, framed in terms of their practice areas but within the context of higher education. It could be a new way to promote connections across the theory-practice divide where it matters most, inside the heads of students. Delusion of grandeur moment over (for now).