This paper draws on the experiences of the author in designing and implementing quality course management policies and procedures for vocational and higher educational programs, both overseas and in Australia. In particular, the paper focuses on those programs of study that require practicums within the curriculum. Whether these are clinical nursing placements, physiotherapy hands-on practical blocks or teacher training instruction, there are many principles of adult education that can be applied to the design and development of course management systems that foster inter-professional education. It is important that the components of any such system allow for a multi-faceted approach that relates collaborative learning to collaborative practice and supports a team of professionals through the skilled use of group-based learning, interactive assessments and inter-organisational processes and practices. The term ‘course management system’ is used here to describe all those policies and procedures that form the framework of any higher education department or faculty that has the overall responsibility for developing curriculum, teaching and learning resources that ensure quality educational outcomes for its students. In these days of multi-skilling, the benefits of inter-professional education may be significant. To guarantee that standards are kept high and learning outcomes are achievable, the management of an educational system must cover many areas of professional practice. It needs to be supported by all stakeholders in the organisation so that there is an environment of understanding, good interpersonal communication, supportive inter-group relations and an atmosphere of professionalism that is pervasive. This paper introduces a third definition to the model and suggests that intra-professional education be added to form a tripartite foundation for quality professional learning outcomes.
- intra-professional education
- course management