Educational Innovation & Research: Explore virtual learning environments and excellence in educational research

Name: Educational Innovation & Research: Explore Virtual Learning Environments and Excellence in Educational Research

Time & Date: Thursday, November 3, 9:30AM – 1:30PM

Location: Room 102, Michael Smith Building, 2185 East Mall (UBC Point Grey Campus)

Description: “Educational Innovation – Exploring virtual learning environments”

Dr. Stephen Chapman will explore how the innovative virtual learning environments developed at Keele University help train pharmacists of the future and impact student learning. He will discuss how the students in the Staffordshire-based university’s School of Pharmacy interact with the computer-generated characters to gain experience in effective communication and decision-making. Dr. Chapman and his team will be on hand to demonstrate the Keele Active Virtual Environment or KAVE as it’s known. The KAVE is a physical room where three dimensional ‘stereoscopic’ visuals display on three walls and the floor, to create a computer generated virtual environment. The KAVE demonstration will be setup as part of the Celebrate Learning event at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Chapman joined the Dept. of Medicines Management at Keele in 1993. His research interests include implementing evidence based medicine, prescribing databases and health service prescribing policies.

“Excellence in Education Research: Defining the Parameters”
Health professional education as a field is rife with diversity (of scholarly backgrounds, methodological approaches, and conceptual outlooks). That diversity is an essential condition for the field’s current success and continued maturation, but it simultaneously creates challenges with respect to defining quality in a uniform and productive manner. This talk will be aimed at prompting reflection on how we might move conceptualizations of quality in education research forward by changing the terms of the debate.

Methodological rigour is important, but we must also recognize that scientific progress has little to do with method. In complex domains like education research we are better served by focusing on a broader definition of excellence, striving for progress through the accumulation of empirical information that helps us think better about the practical goals with which we struggle.
What this means in terms of judging the quality of research being performed in health professional education is that any “objective” checklist will be insufficient. Determining the value (and publishability) of any given study requires judgment guided by reference to the empirical findings and theories that came before it. Determining whether or not progress is being made in an area of study requires judging whether or not empirically unsupported ideas are being discarded, whether or not the conversations stimulated by the research efforts have changed, and whether or not the focus of our research efforts continue to evolve.

Dr. Kevin Eva began his appointment as Senior Scientist in CHES and Associate Professor, Director of Educational Research and Scholarship in the Department of Medicine in July 2010. He completed his PhD in Cognitive Psychology (McMaster University) in 2001 and became Editor-in-Chief for the journal Medical Education in 2008. In addition to sitting on four other editorial boards Dr. Eva maintains appointments as Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University (Canada) and in the School of Health Education at Maastricht University (The Netherlands) and as Visiting Professor at Bern University (Switzerland).

Ticketing Information: This is a free event. Limited Space, please RSVP to Sharon Brown at by October 21. For more information please visit: