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NOVICE is a network of ICT educationalists working within veterinary schools and collaborating with veterinary practitioners and veterinary students who participate in lifelong learning. It aims to explore and extend the use of online Web 2.0 techniques in informal veterinary studies.
Like other professionals, veterinarians participate in lifelong learning to meet the changing demands of their profession. E-learning offers unique opportunities to support lifelong learning, for instance in overcoming some of the barriers to engaging in face to face continuing professional development (CPD), and in particular lends itself well to informal learning.
Based around social learning and dialogue, Web 2.0 technologies appear to be particularly suitable, although little empirical evidence is available. To generate evidence on the benefits and limitations of informal, lifelong learning using ICT, and to support this method of learning in the future, a network of ICT educationalists is needed.
Additionally, as professionals need to be aware of the importance of lifelong learning from the start of their training, students will be involved as well as practitioners.
The primary output will be a European network of ICT educationalists to facilitate knowledge exchange about the possibilities of ICT for informal, lifelong learning. In supporting an online European veterinary Community of Practice (CoP), we have an opportunity to evaluate the benefits and limitations of this type of lifelong learning in a specific group of professionals. In delivering the findings to other communities, the network will provide evidence of best practice on how to support informal, lifelong learning using ICT that is extensible to other disciplines.
Participating institutions will have the opportunity to raise the quality and innovation of their training programmes through the network collaboration. Veterinary students will benefit from the real-world expertise of practitioners and early exposure to lifelong learning requirements.
Practitioners will develop ICT skills and benefit through enhanced opportunities for informal, lifelong learning. ICT educationalists will develop best practice guidelines that will be disseminated to other disciplines.
Extracted from Novice