Extending inter-professional learning through the use of a multi-disciplinary Wiki

This paper reports our experiences of a student learning activity which employed a Wiki for student radiographers and nurses to build on an inter-professional learning event. The aim of the Wiki was to facilitate inter-professional learning for students who, having met face-to-face once for a classroom based activity, would not be timetabled to meet again. It was designed to allow students from differing disciplines to: construct knowledge together, learn from and about one another, and collaboratively produce a textual learning resource. 150 nursing and radiography undergraduates were provided with a PBL trigger related to the acute presentation of stroke. The students met once (5 mixed-discipline groups) to discuss the role of the professions and the outcomes for the trigger scenario. Further learning was enabled through the provision of a Wiki for each group. At week 4, all Wikis were made visible for group peer assessment. Wiki editing skills were provided by student 'Wiki champions', who cascaded training to their peers. We report and reflect on the students' evaluations of both the Wiki as process and outcome and discuss the value of Wikis for inter-professional learning. Findings show that, in addition to being an enjoyable and flexible learning experience, the Wiki satisfied its intended aims. There was a variation in the level and quality of student participation the causes of which are discussed. Ground rules for effective Wiki use are proposed.