Teaching Matters

Reaching out to Industry

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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


Reaching out to Industry: an example of an educational partnership


Corinna Dwan, School of Medicine — Pharmacy
Tristan Ling, School of Medicine — Pharmacy


Innovative Teaching for Successful Graduates

Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Social Sciences 211




Since January 2012, the Unit for Medication Outcomes, Research and Education (UMORE), a Division of Pharmacy within the School of Medicine, in collaboration with Medicines Australia (MA), the peak representative body of the Australian Pharmaceutical Industry, has been responsible for the development, delivery, evaluation, and management of the Medicines Australia Continuing Education Program (CEP). This innovative program is designed to educate medical representatives across Australia and internationally to a recognised professional standard. The CEP combines the teaching and academic expertise of UTAS with MA’s understanding of the needs and direction of the industry, to ensure that graduates provide Australian healthcare professionals with accurate, balanced information to enhance quality use of medicines.

Over the past five years the online program has educated over 6,143 students from 48 countries into approximately 10,000 program enrolments. Our students are adult learners with diverse educational backgrounds, in different professional roles, and predominantly in full-time employment requiring frequent travel. Our program is designed to meet the needs of this diverse student cohort and maximize success. We created a bespoke flexible online learning platform and a student management system to administer, support and manage student progression. In addition, comprehensive learning support strategies were developed such as: a helpdesk, available between 9am-5pm, 5 days per week; introductory video tutorials; automated email notifications; biannual newsletters; and support for a designated champion in each pharmaceutical company, whose role is to motivate and encourage student engagement.

As adult learners are goal-oriented and learn best when knowledge is presented in real-life context, learning goals are defined at the beginning of each module, tutorials with real-life examples and guided feedback are provided, and a reflective assignment is required to provide context and solidify learning (Cercone, 2008). Furthermore, as students like to learn in different ways, learning materials are provided in multiple modes including text, audio, audiovisual and a novel interactive 3D simulation.

All of the measures taken above to enhance student learning has resulted in exceptionally high completion rates, with only 3.6 per cent of students failing to complete and 96 per cent of students successfully passing their enrolled program with an overall student satisfaction rating of 99 per cent. This educational partnership has helped build networks with industry, increased visibility of UTAS industry-wide, and demonstrated the University’s capacity to engage with industry and provide innovative courses that meet specific needs, both nationally and internationally.


Cercone K. (2008) Characteristics of adult learners with implications for online learning design. AACE Journal, 16(2), 137-159

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