Professor David Dewhurst
Director of Learning Technology
Tel: 0131 651 1564 / Fax: 0131 651 3011
David Dewhurst has a BSc and PhD in Physiology from the University of Sheffield.
He was awarded a Personal Chair in e-Learning in 2005 and appointed the Jeanne Marchig Professorial Fellow of Replacement Alternatives in Higher Education in 2010.
As Director of Educational Information Services in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine he has College-wide responsibility for educational technology issues.
From 2003-2006 he was Assistant Principal with University-wide responsibility for strategic planning and policy development in e-learning and e-health.
Before coming to Edinburgh in February 1999 he was Professor of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health & Social Care at Leeds Metropolitan University where he managed a courseware development project for over 12 years which produced over 30 computer-based learning programs in physiology and pharmacology (all of which are distributed by Sheffield BioScience Programs). He was formerly deputy Chair, and is now Treasurer, of the IUPHAR (International Union of Pharmacologists) Teaching Committee, and a long-time member of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) Education sub-committee and the BPS pharma-CAL-ogy Steering Group.
Currently he is part (academic lead) of a small Executive Group managing a University wide initiative in distance education. This group is charged with managing a project budget of £4.5m over 5 years (2010-2015) to significantly scale up current distance education provision across the university.
Computer-assisted Learning â development of interactive multimedia resources in the life sciences
His work in e-Learning started in 1986 with the development of a computer-assisted learning (CAL) program to replace a laboratory practical class in neurophysiology. This led to the further development of over 50 published, multimedia CALs (www.sheffbp.co.uk) to support teaching of physiology and pharmacology. This work has attracted major grants, resulted in numerous publications and invited keynotes/conference presentations and internationally competitive prizes for innovative software development. The impact of this work is truly global with the programs distributed to over 70 countries worldwide. More recently he has led the development of a new innovative solutions (ReCAL at www.recal.mvm.ed.ac.uk) to overcoming the technological redundancy of the CAL delivery platform, which necessitated expensive rewrites every few years. Essentially this methodology separates the educational content from the delivery engine and enables the content to be locally editable and globally accessible e.g. through easy translation to other languages. Currently he leads a consortium of 14 Eastern European universities testing this methodology.
From 1993-2002 he was deputy Director of a highly successful collaborative (20+ UK universities) project funded (>£1m) by the UK Teaching & Learning Technology Programme (TLTP). Led by Professor Ian Hughes of the University of Leeds, this project developed a range of over 50 interactive multimedia CALs and Teachers’ Workbooks which are now distributed by the British Pharmacological Society under the pharma-CAL-ogy brand name (www.pharmacalogy.com/index1.html) again with significant global impact on pharmacology education.
Transforming medical and veterinary education at Edinburgh
In 1999 he came to Edinburgh to establish and lead the Learning Technology Section, an academic support service for the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine (www.lts.mvm.ed.ac.uk/). Soon after his arrival he established an eLearning unit the work of which has transformed the way in which undergraduate and postgraduate medical and veterinary medical education is delivered and supported. It has developed circa 30 purpose-built, personalised Web-based Virtual/Managed Learning Environments which bring together tools and services to facilitate communication, access to information and resources and support collaborative/social learning activities. The unit has also developed content-authoring systems to support teachers in creating online learning activities, and built services such as an e-portfolio, an assessment engine, a room booking system, and learning outcomes management system to support course administration. These developments established Edinburgh as one of the leading institutions in the use of e-learning to support medical education in the world and this was recognized in 2005 when the University was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for The Virtual Hospital Online – transforming medical and veterinary education (www.royalanniversarytrust.org.uk).
e-Learning in Malawi
His work has also had major impact in developing countries. He has successfully obtained grants (>£1m) from the Scottish Government International Development Fund to lead three collaborative projects supporting the three main HE institutions in Malawi to address an acute shortage of trained healthcare professionals in Malawi. The projects are introducing innovative, technology-based teaching and learning methods to medical and healthcare educators in the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences who collectively train the doctors, nurses and clinical officers on whom the Malawian health service depends. The emphasis is very much on in-country capacity building through knowledge and technological transfer and collaborative staff development activities. The quality of the student learning experience has been significantly enhanced through unprecedented access to quality online resources which have either been developed from existing Edinburgh digital resources or developed in-country.
Scottish Dental Education
Since 2009 he has been academic and project lead for a large, national (Scotland-wide) dental education project involving all five Scottish dental Schools and funded by NHS Education Scotland (£900k). This innovative collaborative project is supporting life-long education and training for all members of the dental community (dentists, therapists, nurses, hygenists, students) through the development of bespoke, high-quality digital dental learning and teaching resources shared via an online repository
- >250 publications in academic journals and books.
- >50 published multimedia, computer-assisted learning programs in the biomedical sciences.
- Research Funding >£1.4 m in period August 2008 – July 2010.
- Currently P.I. on four major projects.
- Currently supervise one PhD student working in the innovative area of game-informed learning and furthering the University’s reputation as a leader in e-learning and e-learning in medical education.
Current Research Grants
- £439,024 eLiCE: e-learning in clinical education – Scottish Government International Development Fund (Malawi) (PI) April 2010 – March 2013. Note that this includes funding of £20,000 each from Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd. and The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.
- £397,643 Lifelong Medical Education Online – Scottish Government International Development Fund (Malawi) (PI) October 2008 – September 2011.
- £71,294 The Lord Dowding Fund ReCAL3 – enhancing the impact of computer-based educational alternatives on animal use in teaching biomedical sciences January 2010 – August 2011.
- €38,000 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation (Switzerland) to support the replacement of animal use in teaching in Eastern European universities (P.I. and co-applicant with Prof Z Kojic, University of Belgrade, Serbia), 2010-2011.
- 2006 Doerenkamp-Zbinden Foundation International Prize for Animal free Research.
- 2005 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for The Virtual Hospital online – transforming Medical and Veterinary Education.
- 1998 Winner of FISEA (Fondation Internationale pour la Substitution de l’Experimentation Animale) Anny Eck-Hieff European Award for contribution to the substitution of animal experiments in teaching.
- 1997 Finalist EASA (European Academic Software Awards) Functional Anatomy of the Rat (FARID) interactive videodisk.
- 1996 Winner of the 1996 Multimedia Festival held at the 2nd World Congress on Alternatives and Animal use in the Life Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
- 1989 Hildegard Doerenkamp – Gerard Zbinden Award for software development.
Recent Publications 2009-2011
- D. G. Dewhurst & Z. Z. Kojic (2011) Replacing animal use in physiology and pharmacology teaching in selected universities in Eastern European – charting a way forward Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) 39, 15-22.
- Kojic, Z. & Dewhurst, D. (2011) An analysis of the current use of animals in teaching physiology and pharmacology in selected universities in Eastern Europe – meeting report Medicinska Istraživanja, Volume 45 / Sveska 1 pp 38-41.
- Edward A.A. Mains, James P. Blackmur, David Dewhurst , Ross M. Ward , O. James Garden, Stephen J. Wigmore (2010) Study on the feasibility of provision of distance learning programmes in surgery to Malawi. The Surgeon, Volume 30, 1-4.
- Dewhurst, D. & Kojic, Z. (2010) Replacing animal use in teaching in Eastern universities a update. Alternatives to Animal Experimentation (ALTEX) Conference Report 27; 3; 215-216.
- Begg, M., Dewhurst, D. & Ross, M. (2009) Game informed virtual patients: catalysts for online learning communities and professional development of clinical educators. Invited book chapter J.O. Lindberg and A. D. Olofsson (eds) Online Learning Communities and Teacher Professional Development: Methods for Improved Education Delivery.
- Kojic, Z. Z. & Dewhurst, D.G. (2009) Impact of introducing computer-based alternatives to using animals in teaching physiology and pharmacology at Balkan universities – a pilot study. Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA) 37, 547-556.
- Dewhurst, D., Borgstein, E., Grant, L. & Begg, M. (2009) Online Virtual Patients a driver for change in Medical and Healthcare Professional Education in developing countries? Medical Teacher Special Issue on Virtual Patients Volume 31 Issue 8, pp 721-724.
- Begg, M., Ellaway, R., Dewhurst, D. & McLeod, H. (2008) Logos and Mythos: the political dilemmas of Web 2.0 in an accreditation-driven educational environment. Invited chapter submitted for consideration to R. Land & S. Bayne to Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice (Sense Publishers, Rotterdam).