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INTERACT – Centre for Interprofessional Interaction with Children and Youth

Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Centre

The objective of the centre is to enhance interprofessional collaboration between educational provision addressing children and young people’s wellbeing, health and education. A key feature of the proposed centre is the co-design and co-production of learning resources by students, staff and practitioners.


Strengths and weaknesses

One of the biggest strengths in this proposal is the strong engagement from students, teaching staff and stakeholders. The students act as change-agents and proved to be a driving force for the idea of this centre. All the mentioned parties were able to clearly conceptualize and persuade the panel of the aims and the need for the proposed centre. The panel was impressed by the huge buy-in to this centre.

The objectives of this centre are aligned with public policies for this field. This strengthened the picture of external support, possibilities of dissemination and impact.

During the site visit, the panel became aware of what seemed like hindrances in the institutional administrative structure. Teaching staff were concerned with their workload and hindrances in solving this. There was also some evidence of silo thinking, which was concerning. The proposed centre was viewed as a possible solution to these challenges. The institutional management did not have the same concerns and did not show an understanding of this.

The management structure of the centre is unclear and undecided. This is an important part of the centre’s likelihood of success. There were few ideas of how this would be organized and the management of the institution and the proposed centre leader did not seem to understand the importance of a good management structure. Key personnel were not decided upon and the management were not able to reassure the panel of potential candidates, although teaching staff seemed eager to take on the tasks.
The expert panel acknowledged that work strand leaders was not yet determined, however it should still have been possible for the proposed centre leader and the institutional management to convince the panel of how the proposed centre would be evaluated. Unfortunately, they did not do so. Little understanding was shown of how “the theory of change”, which was referred to in the bid, would be applied. Considerable work is needed to develop a clear plan in regards to evaluation and impact. 

In conclusion, the expert panel felt that the proposal for this centre initially had a good vision, but there were too many shortcomings. Even though the buy-in to this centre is impressive, the panel is not convinced that the centre has the potential to succeed because of challenges with the structures of the centres and the institution.

Concept:

The objective of the centre is to enhance collaboration between educational provision addressing children and youth’s well-being, health and education, in order to improve services offered to children and youth. In Norway, interprofessional collaboration is usually confined to health and social services, however a broad array of professional efforts are crucial to the everyday lives of children and youth – hence the need for widening the educational scope. A key feature of the proposed centre is the co-design and co-production of learning resources by students, staff and practitioners.


Strengths and weaknesses:

The bid from Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences draws on good results on a range of indicators for existing quality. The centre builds on a strong network of stakeholders and the practitioners’ input is strong. Student engagement is well established and active. The existing provision use engaging learning methods, as attested to by students in their feedback and evaluations.

The proposed centre seeks to take on an innovative project with great societal need in combining a great number of educational provision relating to children and youth’s well-being, health and education. Involvement of students in co-construction of cases for case-based learning is laudable. The governance and management structures for the centre seem sound.

Links between research and teaching and learning are less clear. As the centre draws on a range of educational provision, the competence of the centre itself is not entirely clear. The role of students and international partners in the plan for dissemination is a positive feature, but care should be taken to involve other national partners actively in the centre. Sustainability could have been addressed to a larger extent.


Points to consider:

  • How does research inform teaching?
  • How does the centre develop innovative R&D-based education?
  • How can national partners be involved in the centre?
  • What will be evaluated? How and by whom?

Grade: 5
Site visit: Yes

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