Mapping continuous learning using social network research: a social network study of Australian Genomics as a Learning Health System
Background There is a lack of knowledge on whether networks in a Learning Health System or LHS have fulfilled their potential to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. Hence, this study aims to explore a macrolevel LHS and examine if an intentionally designed network can foster a collaborative learning community over time. Methods Researchers conducted a social network study via two longitudinal online questionnaires distributed to members of the Australian Genomics learning community in 2016, 2018, 2019. The questionnaire included questions on collaborative learning patterns and open-response questions. Then, researchers analyzed social network data and responses. Key findings Respondents highlighted the collaborative benefits of the network as a learning community to foster continuous learning in the ever-evolving field of clinical genomics. Key players remained consistent with potential for new members to achieve focal positions in the network. Researchers reported that informal learning was identified as the most influential learning method for genomic practice. Conclusion Researchers concluded that intentionally building a network provides a platform for continuous learning, a fundamental component for establishing an LHS. The network provides a practical means to spread new knowledge and best practice across the entire field.
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