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Groupwork, open learning and libraries at Marie Curie Cancer Care

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Perry Williams
15 April 2008

I helped design and write the open learning materials for Marie Curie Cancer Care’s BSc programme in palliative care / cancer care nursing, during 1997-98. Each course had three face-to-face teaching days, between which the nurses worked on their own, using the open learning materials and library resources. We took two critical learning design decisions: (1) the teaching days were to be reserved for activities which demanded students to be present together (eg presentations, roleplay); (2) the open learning materials were to consist ONLY of study guidance and learning activities, on the basis that all the didactic content was available in textbooks and journal articles. Some of the Marie Curie lecturers, who were our subject-matter experts, took a while to adjust to this. What were they going to do on the teaching days, if not give lectures? What was going to be in the open learning materials, if not a presentation of the teaching content? But they got the hang of it eventually! This is still the open learning project of which I’m most proud.

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