Fanatical about learning quality: An interview with Patricia Harpur

 

In our drive to continue to improve the quality of our learning courses, the team at LTS Health Learning have the privilege of working with some truly amazing individuals. Today, we would like to introduce Patricia Harpur, an avid and energized researcher and Learning Advisory Committee member at LTS Health. She shares LTS Health’s enthusiasm for improved quality and best practice approaches to learning.

 

 
As a member of the academic and research community, I appreciate LTS Health’s inspired and sustained endeavours to improve quality, to strive for best practice and to promote the factors critical for success in the clinical laboratory environment.
— Patricia Harpur

Patricia holds several academic qualifications, including BSc. Information Systems: Software Engineering, B.Sc. (Hons) Information Systems (Cum Laude), M.Sc. Information Systems (Full Dissertation), and (most recently) D.Technology (Information Technology). She is a passionate researcher with academic outputs that include four journal articles, eleven conference papers and a chapter in a prestigious publication. New postdoctoral work is in the pipeline for Patricia in 2019.

Her doctoral thesis, entitled “A Framework for Ad Hoc Mobile Technology-Enhanced Learning in a Higher Education Context” speaks to Patricia’s interest in the educational technology discipline. The research topic emanates from Patricia’s personal experience of issues encountered during hands-on involvement in a tablet-based, technology-enhanced learning project rolled out in a private higher education environment.

“Despite the hype surrounding mobile technology, I noted a gap in published and accredited journal articles and conference proceedings. There are not enough quality, best practice and critical success guidelines associated with the informal use of mobile technology to enhance teaching and learning, “ says Patricia

By contrast, she encountered the vagaries of formalized MLearning, and firmly believes this type of teaching misses the mark.

“We need to embrace informal educational opportunities and the immediate benefits offered by the diverse mobile gadgets we carry constantly,” says Patricia.

She believes she has found a personal niche in the realm of qualitative research, and she is committed to sharing research productivity skills in this area. She also has a special interest in the following topics:

 
 
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Mobile personal learning environments

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Technology-enhanced learning programs

 
There are not enough quality, best practice and critical success guidelines associated with the informal use of mobile technology to enhance teaching and learning
— Patricia Harpur
 
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The roles of mobile champions and mobile saboteurs

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Mobile technology-enhanced learning

Her recent presentation of a conference paper at EdMedia, Amsterdam in June 2018 has stirred a lust for travel in Patricia. “I have earned my academic suitcase and the necessary passport – and I’m ready to collaborate with likeminded people on an international platform, so watch this space!”

In the future, Patricia sees herself facilitating digital skills development webinars and workshops among emerging entrepreneurs and postgraduate students – both face to face and across technological boundaries in Africa. When asked what guidelines she can share, she agrees with the following success guidelines shared recently by LTS Health with its network of laboratory professionals on LinkedIn:

These concepts resonate with Patricia, who is eager to contribute to skills development and certification by offering learning opportunities beyond the traditional higher education ‘classroom’ - and extending learning right into the workplace.