From Paramedicine to Practical Nursing and Beyond – Mr. Luc Simard and Collège Boréal® Move toward Greater Competency Based Tracking.
Collège Boréal® is a francophone College of Applied Arts and Technology serving Northern and Central Southwestern Ontario. Collège Boréal is based in Sudbury, Ontario and has a total of 42 access centres across 28 cities in the province.
As the Collège Boréal® School of Health Sciences moved towards a goal of Competency Based Assessment, it was essential to find a tool that would streamline the process. With clinical sites located in communities across Ontario, the program would also need to be mobile and flexible. It would need to track attendance progress at the clinical setting and give a snapshot of competencies up to the minute.
When Mr. Luc Simard joined the organization in 2008, he came to it with years of experience in Paramedicine. As he learned the ins and outs of his new role as Primary Care Paramedic program instructor, part of his training required learning to use CompTracker®, as the program had already been in use for a number of years.
With the Primary Care Paramedic program, there is a requirement for self-directed student reporting on doing physical activity at a gym. With attendance and competency recording now all online and digital, papers are no longer lost at one of the numerous possible gym locations. It is simplified, consistent and easier to track.
A Picture from the Primary Care Paramedic program
One of the most striking changes Mr. Simard has noticed in working with CompTracker® is in how his students treat their education: “I’ve seen my students take more pride in ownership of their own education and achieving their goals.” Continuing, he mentioned that it was not students alone that had changed: “I’ve also seen instructors take responsibility and devote time and personalize their approach and teaching lessons to the students.”
Mr. Simard noted that the capability to easily see where students are struggling – both as individuals and as a whole – has helped to make supporting students easier, thus increasing their level of success. Online competency tracking has helped shape the relationship between his students and instructors in a very tangible and beneficial way. It has made the assessments more customizable while still maintaining a strong overall standard. As is often the nature of Competency Based Education, students can work at their own speed if they require more time or support.
Regarding preceptor training, Mr. Simard remarked that during year one of the Primary Care Paramedic Program there was some difficulty with preceptors learning CompTracker®. This was well remedied with the support of both his faculty and the Great Big Solutions team. He explains that the preceptors have “adapted quite well over the years to the implementation of CompTracker®. They have come to understand that it is a very good tool and understand why it is there.” The Primary Care Paramedic program’s five years of experience served as a basis for the Practical Nursing program as it moved into 2013.
Using a paperless, online competency tracker benefits everyone from students to preceptors to administrators and even the planet. Through the use of mobile devices and a secure website, CompTracker® enables students, instructors, and administrators to replace the old paper ways of tracking students while making accreditation easier with all documentation in one place. CompTracker® is currently used in over 40 post-secondary institutions in Canada, and more than 120 programs.
The Future: Moving Forward into a New Program
As the Practical Nursing program at Collège Boréal® began setup with CompTracker® for launch in September 2013, Mr. Simard was confident in both the roll out and documentation being worked on with the team at Great Big Solutions.
Mr. Simard holds a dual perspective on working with CompTracker®. As a former student training as an Advanced Care Paramedic, combined with a current role as an instructor in the Primary Care Paramedic program, he is able to understand competency tracking from both the student and instructor perspective. This valuable experience has shaped his opinion on why competency tracking works so well and why he has such confidence that CompTracker is the right choice for his students, instructors and preceptors.
When asked if there were anything he would like to share with those starting a new program with CompTracker®, Mr. Simard stressed that “they are definitely making the right decision.” Additionally, he mentions the importance of ensuring time is taken to have the proper technical and faculty support prepared for the first semester as well as ensuring digital copies of assessment forms are ready to send to the Great Big Solutions team.
“CompTracker is built in a sense that . . . you don’t have to jump in with both feet right away. You can adapt it and integrate it slowly into your program and institution.” – Luc Simard, Simulation Technician at Collège Boréal®
Categorised in: Case Study
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