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York St John awarded for students' mobile learning device

A handheld learning initiative at York St John University has picked up a prestigious award at the Handheld Learning Awards for Innovation 2009, the mobile learning industry’s most famous conference.

York St John is a partner university in the ALPS programme (Assessment & Learning in Practice Settings), a collaboration between five universities in the region, the NHS and professional health practice bodies. The ALPS programme enables students to receive assessments and feedback direct to their mobile devices whilst on work placements. The cutting edge software walked away with the ‘Best Innovation’ award in the Tertiary, Further Education and Higher Education category.

The Handheld Learning Award’s judging panel recognised the versatility of the ALPS programme. For York St John’s 400 Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students, the software allows students to download learning materials, complete assessments and communicate with their tutors whilst working on real life cases in hospitals and clinics. They can also access email, the internet, and create videos, photos and audio recordings using the devices.

Peter Gray, ALPS Partner Lead at York St John University and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University said:

“This award demonstrates the quality and innovation in the development of new approaches to learning and teaching from the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences at York St John and its ALPS partners.”

He added: “York St John University has received many accolades over recent years for the quality of its campus; it is really good to see the innovative learning and teaching that goes on in those buildings recognised in this way.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony, host Jason Bradbury from TV’s The Gadget Show said that he had been impressed at the “high standard of projects” he had learned about. The winners were ultimately decided by the general public, who were invited to vote for the programme they felt was the most innovative in each category.

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About ALPS
Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings (ALPS) is a collaborative programme between five Higher Education Institutions with proven reputations for excellence in learning and teaching in health and social care: the University of Bradford, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Leeds (lead); Leeds Metropolitan University, and York St John University. There are 16 professions across the partnership from Audiology to Social Work, and a wide range of partners including Yorkshire and the Humber NHS, practice networks and professional bodies. ALPS has three commercial partners; MyKnowledgeMap, ecommnet and T-Mobile.

ALPS is one of the 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs) funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to promote excellence across all subjects and aspects of teaching and learning in higher education.  Funding of £315 million over five years from 2005-06 to 2009-10 represents HEFCE's largest ever single funding initiative in teaching and learning.

For further information please contact Amy Hall, PR & Communications Officer on T: 01904 876466 or E: a.hall@yorksj.ac.uk