In this blog Kerry Sorby shares her reflections of attending sessions aimed at teaching professionals in the Health and Social Care sector.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Christine Jarvis Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) from the University of Huddersfield shared a really interesting and thought provoking talk focusing on “Growing Global Graduates: Teaching for a Better World”. She discussed the concepts of global citizenship, social justice and employability: these are embedded into our Occupational Therapy curriculum here at York St John University. This also fits well with the concept of enabling students to become digital citizens – reflecting my own area of research interest.
Ignite sessions: These were a series of 7 presentations where speakers had 5 minutes to talk on their subject accompanied by 20 slides for 15 seconds each. This was a really good way to hear a succinct summary of a topic of interest. For example: The first session was by Dr Victoria Hewitt from Newcastle University (who I incidentally sat next to on the train journey to and from the conference!) She shared how palliative care can be considered through different lens: disease, age, social, cultural, spiritual and political.This fits well with our level one and two modules which explore health, well-being and participation from different perspectives.
Amanda Miller, Carol Haines and Louise Henstock (a former YSJ physio lecturer) from Salford University shared their experience of “Hi-Fidelity Interprofessional Simulation: Impact and practice” . This was an overview of a day for 90 final undergraduate students across 6 disciplines, including occupational therapy, that impacted positively on learning and confidence for the students involved.
Interactive breakout session: led by Dr Christine Slade and Professor Christine Brown (University of Australia) and encouraged participants to explore how the JISC Digital Capabilities framework (2017) could be embedded into the curriculum. We already have some great examples of embedding digital health capabilities into our programme e.g. using Pinterest to allow students to explore and present their meaningful occupations, enabling students to design and create new digital artefacts as part of their induction to demonstrate knowledge about professionalism and being a healthcare professional student. I have come away from this session with even more ideas that we could use to develop students confidence and competence in this area.
Parallel Session: Maria Birch (University of Brighton) demonstrated the use of “patchwork text” to enable students to understand the volume and complexity of information when studying anatomy. She illustrated that by using a series of smaller learning tasks and reflective narratives, students can “stitch” together their learning “patches”, receive peer and staff feedback to rework their artefacts and inform a summative collection of work. This aligns really well with our current pedagogy of using supported open learning tasks to prepare students for participation in workshops and seminars and the use of a portfolio as a summative assessment for our new programme. We could continue to use Diane Cotterill’s successful concept of a digital workbook to allow students to create their own range of resources (e.g. drawing, creating posters/videos) to support their learning and confidence with anatomy.
Oral presentation: Maria and I shared how we have developed a community of learners through our social media platforms. We continue to develop a range of learning opportunities that enable our students to practice digital citizenship in preparation for posting on social media in a professional and socially responsible manner. It has enabled a passionate discourse that has connected staff and students with a wider audience within our professional field of practice.
My final session of the day was led by Professor Christine Brown Wilson (Queen’s University, Belfast). She was passionate and enthusiastic as she shared her model of curriculum development which engaged multiple stakeholders – this was an inspirational session as the programme team have just been through the process of an internal and external validation. I hope that our stakeholders will embrace the opportunity to join in with our dialogue days in the forthcoming academic year.
My final thoughts …….
I came away from this conference inspired by the dialogue that I had listened to and engaged with. My learning also provided affirmation that the new curriculum that we are developing for our Occupational Therapy programmes is innovative and will enable our graduates to be equipped to become employable global citizens.