The University of Toronto has embarked on the Active Learning Online Redesign (ALOR) project supported by funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Bloomberg Nursing is contributing in a big way. The ALOR project is a university-wide initiative, with faculty leads from across the university, aimed at improving student learning and maximizing efficiencies, while utilizing new active learning experiences and web-based tools. Combining experts from across U of T will strengthen the programs and courses offered at Bloomberg Nursing. This project is very timely for Bloomberg Nursing – in September 2014, the Faculty is launching a new Health Systems Leadership and Administration (HSLA) field of study in the Master of Nursing program, relying heavily on a hybrid delivery model, with course delivery occurring almost entirely online.
“This is a major change from how we delivered the program previously, which was through a traditional classroom format,” says Margaret Blastorah, Associate Professor and Director, Graduate Programs. “The main purpose of this redesign is to meet the needs of our community of learners, but also presents us with an opportunity to utilize some really creative approaches while preserving the rich discussion and interaction learning strategies that have been a strength of the existing administration program.”
Bloomberg Academic Information and Communication Technologist Fareed Teja has been hard at work alongside Professor Blastorah during the design process for one of the courses in the new field of study, and will be working with numerous other faculty members to develop more. “I find the opportunity to re-imagine the program and its associated courses in an online format to be exciting,” says Teja. “It allows us to look at new ways to engage students while reviewing and critiquing our existing strategies, and identify new ways to use technologies that we would not have otherwise thought of.” As part of this focus, Blastorah, Teja and Bloomberg Nursing are hosting a half-day course design institute in mid-April for faculty, covering topics ranging from assessment design to selecting and using appropriate technologies to deliver learning outcomes. “The ALOR project also provides a forum for us to share our processes and outcomes with the other ALOR project leads,” adds Teja. “Bloomberg Nursing is also focused on contributing to a university-wide goal of developing a program redesign framework.”
New faculty expertise and achievements through the ALOR project will ensure that Bloomberg Nursing delivers a truly innovative health care leadership and administration program that will now be accessible to nurse leaders in Canada and around the world. This is good news not only for students, but for the the health care systems they lead, and the nursing profession in general.
Bloomberg Nursing is building capacity for innovation in teaching and learning, not only through enriching expertise at Bloomberg Nursing, but also by expanding networks of connections with other experts and ALOR project participants across the university.