Sam Willis, Nicolas Prass, Lyn Karstadt
Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 9, Iss. 5, 05 May 2017, pp 196 - 200

Paramedics are autonomous health professionals who must graduate into the
workforce with complex problem-solving skills, an ability to exercise critical
thinking, and clinical reasoning skills to challenging situations, if they are to
practise safely. Face-to-face action learning (AL) has long been acknowledged
for contributing to the development of such skills, by providing a platform for
structured thinking, group working, and a tool for developing participants
ability to ask insightful questions (Pedler et al, 2005) and more recently, action
learning in the virtual space is becoming increasingly popular. Virtual action
learning has emerged for reasons including globalisation, where the emergence
of multi-national and dispersed students has become commonplace (Dickenson
et al, 2010) and advances in technology that have allowed more collaborative
This discussion paper provides an introduction and background to action
learning (AL), virtual action learning (VAL) and explores the appropriateness of
these paradigms as a tool for embedding reflective practice and problem-solving
skills among undergraduate student paramedics.

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