A recent learning experience drove home ever so clearly that teaching and learning must change. The context was an AACP leadership program attended by about 50 members. The first session was a necessary presentation on legal issues in non-profit organizations delivered by an exceptional individual with decades of experience in a wide range of organizations like AACP. For approximately 50 minutes he lectured from his text-heavy PowerPoint slides, providing definitions and examples of pitfalls for directors and other elected leaders. There was time for questions following the presentation and two participants asked simple questions that were answered very well.
After a break the group reassembled. The format of the next session changed dramatically. It was a strategic planning session (not everyone’s favorite use of time). The introduction was presented using a program that produces animation, including avatars resembling the three session leaders. Throughout the two-hour session (that could have been at least another hour longer) the group engaged in a variety of exercises related to the three topics the session was built to explore. Thoughts flowed from participants, both in small groups and in the full group recap sessions, enriching the understanding of topics such as educational innovation, enhanced communication and knowledge management. The time went so quickly, too quickly perhaps, but a great deal of learning was accomplished for both the AACP leaders and staff.
If anyone at the AACP leadership meeting had doubts that we must find engaging ways to teach and learn in our education programs at all levels those doubts were dispelled by this one morning’s learning activities. AACP has long been highly committed to facilitating faculty members’ appreciation of and ability to engage in active learning and we are excited about opportunities on the horizon to take this to a new level.
At the 2014 Interim Meeting, AACP Associate Executive Vice President Dr. Ruth E. Nemire made the first announcement of a new partnership between AACP and the George Mason University Simulation and Gaming Institute (SGI). SGI has accepted AACP as one of its incubator partners in the creation of serious education game technologies to advance interprofessional learning. Much more information will be available on this new initiative and the first game, expected to be available in early 2015, at the Annual Meeting in Grapevine, Texas. Like the 2014 Interim Meeting, the Annual Meeting will provide members with yet another exceptional platform for learning together about advancing pharmacy education and for the exchange of ideas with our colleagues and friends. Registration for the meeting will open in just a few weeks and preliminary information is available on the AACP Web site.
Lucinda L. Maine, Ph.D., R.Ph. CEO and Publisher