ibanez carrasco, universities without walls

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  • The Program

    The Universities Without Walls (UWW) is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Initiative in Health Research grant (STIHR)

    UWW is a national, interdisciplinary learning network connecting academics, community members, and policy makers. It is linked to the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS


  • Mission Statement

    To develop a new generation of HIV researchers across Canada who are highly skilled in interdisciplinary HIV research


  • Recruitment StrategyWe strive to

    Attract the best Focus on graduate students with interest in HIV

    interdisciplinary research Recruit across disciplines Include community students working in policy,

    clinical or community environments Reflect the epidemic (e.g., populations,

    regionally) Build capacity across the country


  • Structure

    UWW is the training arm of the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS

    Governed by the Centre Directors and the REACH/UWW Executive Committee

    Guided by The UWW Education Committee: a pan-Canadian, interdisciplinary group of academics, community persons, and students


  • UWW Education Committee












  • Pedagogical ObjectivesEnhance students knowledge of:

    1. HIV theory and research methods in their own discipline/area of community work, and at least one other discipline/area of community work

    2. HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services, including the services provided by the network of community-based HIV organizations

    3. Population health, health services and community-based research, ethics and knowledge translation and exchange


  • Pedagogical Objectives

    Enhance students skills in:

    1. Using various perspectives and methods to approach HIV research questions, problems, contexts and communities while firmly standing within their own disciplines

    2. Preparing basic tools of the research trade such as academic and community oriented presentations, abstract submissions, manuscripts for peer-review, and grant applications

    3. Integrating research knowledge into theory, evaluation, policy, and practice (KTE)


  • Enhancing Students Capacity: To be independent, problem solvers who learn by

    doing (John Deweys problem-solving)

    To be public intellectuals, engaged with communities in moving theory forward into reflection, dialogue, and action (Paulo Freirespraxis)

    To be global citizens who merge studying and new knowledge into personal life and the workplace

    To be thinkers able to adopt both the macro-social and the local perspectives

    To be interdisciplinary collaborators


  • Curricular Components

    Universities Without


    Educational Modules

    Learning Institute

    Community Service




  • 2009 2011 Activities Overview

    Online sessions every two weeks with guest speakers and skills building sessions

    Fellows are placed in Community Service Learning (CSL) sites or with academic mentors in programs of research; individualized attention

    Learning Institute design and implemented at end of training with academics and local CBO partners

    Fellows are supported in one interdisciplinary collaborative component (in 2010, a public World Caf: Antiretrovirals as HIV Prevention: Medicating Risk?)


  • Measuring SuccessShort-term: Number of applications; Number of students who

    complete program

    Evaluative Instruments used Pre-and post training surveys (Qs from funder and

    pedagogical Qs); Student assessments of Learning Institute(s); Community Service Learning Plan (and CSL mentor

    assessments), and Learning Portfolio; Surveys completed by contributors to

    UWW (e.g. reviewers, speakers, liaisons)


  • Measuring Success

    Medium-term: Pre- and post-UWW program surveys to assess students capacity to work across academic disciplines, apply ethics, and function effectively in academic, policy and community environments (e.g. participation in REACH programs of research); collaborations amongst Fellow alumni.


  • Measuring Success

    Long-term: Number of students who go on to careers in HIV or related areas; any increase in research capacity in underserved communities and regions; Number of students successful in getting grants; Number of conference/community presentations, posters and papers (attributable to the UWW program)


  • Measuring SatisfactionGeneral aspects of the UWW program

    Success Adequate number of contact hours with students (but would

    want more in-person at beginning and end of program) Adequate group size Additional invitations to HIV research related events Timely and clear communication with UWW staff Useful UWW Fellowship Plan

    Improvements- Improve IT platforms- Offer HIV research content on francophone

    populations/issues across Canada- Expand the range of disciplines (e.g. biomedical)


  • UWW Online Sessions

    Synchronous Multimedia A bit of TV experience Recorded Involves speakers, discussants Skills sessions (e.g. mock grant review) and

    theoretical sessions (e.g. lecture style) Includes some exercises (using chat feature)


  • Measuring Satisfaction

    Success Online schedule convenient; good attendance Speakers material found relevant and engaging Reading relevant

    Challenges Sessions delivered more efficiently IT support must be adequate (eliminated costly

    teleconference, students use headsets and broadcast themselves via webcam

    Accompanying SharePoint website difficult easier to access and use


  • Summer Learning Institute (SLI)Objectives

    To provide an intensive face-to-face number of contact hours to UWW Fellows, faculty and associated community hence creating opportunities to network

    To offer additional areas of content in HIV research not covered in online sessions

    To offer an opportunity/venue to implement the collaborative component of the UWW Fellowship

    To provide opportunities to participate in HIV research related events in the region where the SLI takes place


  • Started with one faculty development day to review relevant educational frameworks to train researchers as public intellectuals/teachers/interdisciplinary investigators We obtained a CIHR MPD to fund this event

    Each morning during HOPE, the UWW Fellows joined 60 participants from health policy, health service organizations, and health/HIV research academics to learn about health programs evaluation

    Each afternoon, independently, the UWW fellows supported by UWW faculty led UWW colloquia on HIV research, attended 1guided visit to 9 Circles (HIV CBO in Winnipeg); they led the colloquia.

    Summer Learning Institute (SLI)2010 HOPE Overview

    Health of Populations Evaluation (HOPE) Learning Institute Winnipeg June 13th to 18th 2010


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  • Measuring Success: SLI

    Success: Informal networking, positive group dynamics Flexible schedule when possible Opportunity to connect with persons in local CBOs Great cohesion was promoted by away location (and

    the bus!)

    Improvements Decrease intensity of daily schedule Increase informal time Increase visits to community places Increase contact time with faculty Better match of readings to colloquia/presentations


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  • Measuring SLI SuccessSuccess:

    By working together, they learned new ways of thinking about HIV from interdisciplinarity points of view

    Chose the World Caf format and implemented it Faced the challenge to negotiate roles and tasks with each

    other, acquired community development skills to negotiate with community site/persons

    Improvements Needed more time to develop partnership with community

    partner on the ground (at SLI region) Wanted predetermined roles and responsibilities at the

    start; a better balance between hand-holding and self-initiative


  • UWW Community Service Learning (CSL)

    We send in advance a Community Service Learning Profile to potential CSL sites/mentors to match UWW fellows with HIV research related work across Canada.

    Students and CSL site representative(s) negotiate the CSL tasks, time, expectations, learning outcomes and deliverables together and to find mutually beneficial conditions, time, energy, region of residence, etc. as part of their learning

    Fellows fill out a Community Service Learning Plan as a contract between the CSL site/mentor and the Fellow

    At the end of term, the Manager, CSL mentor/representative and Fellow conduct a formative evaluation of the Fellows goals and the CSL sites goals


  • Measuring Short Term SuccessCommunity Service Learning (CSL)

    Success CSL Plan was useful Obtained skills, knowledge, and experience (this supports

    gains reported in survey) Negotiated with CSL contact person directly (acquired skill) Connected Fellows with CBRFs

    Improvements Start early Ensure the CSL is at appropriate stage for Fellow to come in Interview with CSL site contact person at beginning and end Refine long-term measurement of the impact of CSL Some criticism of whether fellows help or hinder the

    activities of non-profit organizations


  • Measuring Successfrom the UWW Team Perspective

    Success: the UWW Training Program Involves persons living with HIV meaningful