Friday, March 4, 2011

Clinical Reasoning- A Reflective Journal

In the last month I have been asked twice to start journalling. Once by my manager inferring that the information I may write would be useful for any future studies within Occupational Therapy. The second time it was suggested as part of my Clinical Reasoning Post grad paper that I have started this year. I have a good way of talking myself out of these things by constantly saying "oh I do not have time for such things" "I am not a natural journal traveller". However if I look back in my past I started to write a wee diary at the age of five and every six months to a year I would add a note of the goings on in my life. This lasted until the age of around 26 and now I am 39 and its about time to add an additional comment. Especially because a hell of a lot has happened since 26.

So Once upon a time.....

There was an occupational therapist who decided after nearly four years of being a lecturer to get her feet wet back out in practice. So she was interviewed and given the job. So now she had two jobs. In her new job she worked at two rest homes and out in the community. The client base was over 65's and her role as discussed in the interview was to reengage residents and clients into meaningful activity. Words and philosophies were thrown about in the interview such as restorative, valuing lives philosophy, and social role valorisation.

Her previous experience was in a variety of roles and she coined herself a "generalist" rather than a "specialist". When the referrals came through for her community role she realised they were all equipment based 'John requires a toilet chair" "mabel requires a rail in her shower". In the rest home she was ushered into a room to assess a lady in her wheelchair.

It was time to start reflecting on what her role really was and how to get around the system, the habits of referrers and start to create a role.

Here We Go............

Friday, July 23, 2010

Development Ideas

Keeping up good communication with staff and students

Face to Face

In order to start on a good collaborative playing field the introductory lecture has been face to face. The students have been given a hard copy of the assessment, the aims/outcomes of the paper and the assessment policy. Also a timetable was used to let students see how the placement fits in the middle of this placement.

I have also had a face to face meeting with Wintec staff in Hamilton before the paper started to discuss the nature and content of this paper. This is the first time I have co-ordinated accross two campuses for the one paper. I have organised a weekly telephone conversation to the lecturer up in Hamilton to keep communication up and going. The resources needed for this paper have been discussed. These are the tangible craft art requirements for the students to have access to when they develop their poster frameworks. The resources for online media may be compromised as not all students have broadband and there has been issues with moodle getting "stuck" which inhibits a smooth flow of learning.

An issue I have noticed is that the Wintec staff have not had enough time to get their head around this paper. They have been caught up with marking until just before this paper starts. Due to my marking I have not had the opportunity to fully prepare the lecturer up in Hamilton. I can only compensate by having regular telephone calls and emails as the paper progresses to keep things on track.

Moodle is the main online venue for students to be updated on Lecture content and tutorial content. This is made available a week before the class/tutorial begins. I have set up a news forum for students to get an email to update any information as it comes to hand.

Existing learning Activities reviewed.

I have changed the first presentation questions again after the first tutorial. I was persuaded by observing last years students to omit one question however the nature of the students are different this year and I believe the question should remain. The problem I had was that Hamilton had already done the tutorials with the question omitted. I sent a news forum announcement stating that on Moodle there is an updated version of the questions and it is optional if they choose to do question 5. It was not ideal and next year I will have it more organised from the outset I am realising that ability to be flexible is severly compromised by having the same paper running over two campuses on different time frames.

Proposed learning media.

I have thought through with the Flexible learning course how to utilise discussion boards or forums to get students to "touch base" with their own individualised learning. Due to time constraints this year for the students I am delaying this until next year. This is because the timetable for their placement changes next year and will affect this paper.

I am however utilising U-tube and other online media embedded on Moodle for the students to access to back up their learning. My concerns however is that the students do not appear so far to do what is required unless their is a reward at the end or a need (as in Marks allocated). An example is that I emailed by news forum a week ago for students to read a lengthy chapter for this paper. One tutorial group of 15 people had not done the reading. This is a concern as am I wasting my time putting resources online if the students do not access these. To comensate for this in future there may be a need to allocate marks for this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Constructing Courses for Enhanced Learning

Practicalities of Proposed Design

Main issues that have come up with the design of this paper is creating a balance of content and time. This is a five point paper and the required time that students need to dedicate to this paper with facilitation including lectures and tutorials is 50 hours. To maintain a balance of content and self directed learning is important.

One other major issue which interrupts the flow of this paper is how it is timetabled. In the middle of the course the students go away on a fieldwork placement and with holidays mean they are away for seven weeks.

From my experience, the affect this has is that students lose the thread of what the learning outcomes and assessment focus is for this paper. Some students have the opportunity to progress with their own learning activity on placement. Others do not have the opportunity and there is no requirement for students to be involved in other study on their placement.

This may change next year as the fieldwork team are changing how the placement works.

Design factors for these issues:

* How to utilise blended delivery, and or content changes to enable students to not lose focus of learning outcomes and thread of paper
* Utilise either blended delivery and or change course content to constructively enhance how learning outcomes are achieved.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gettling flexible - Strategies to put in place

To further add to my plan I will discuss my strategies in more depth. My main aim for this course is to encourage that the students will be more holistic in their thinking at the end of this paper. They will not only have their analysis of their own value and meaning of their chosen occupation but they can view it from another persons perspective. In order to strategise this I have read (Thank you Bronwyn) part of John Heron's book entitled "The Complete Facilitators Handbook". The two main aspects that I have concentrated on are 1) John Heron's Model of Holistic Learning and the Experiential Learning Cycle.

1) Experiential Learning Cycle- After much thought and reflection of how this paper rolled out this semester I have decided the main focus to concentrate on is how I introduce this paper to the students. For them to gain greater understanding at the start then the rest of the paper will roll out with the students being able to reflect back on the initial introduction.

1) Discuss the aims of the paper, bring in what they will be doing ie going to learn their own occupation e.g. skateboarding and look at the process of learning and why or why not they would carry on with this occupation. The reason for this is to understand themselves. Then they will look at what others may get out of learning skateboarding. I will then bring in a video of someone discussing why they enjoy and carry on skateboarding and what they get out of it. I can then show them on the internet a site called 'Skateistan' which is a website that discusses a group of people that have set up skateboarding activities for Afganistan youth to redirect them into a positive activity to promote a better quality of life. This can also be backed up by an audio clip from the National programme in which a person working for this organisation discusses why they got into it and whay they are involved and what they see the children getting out of it e.g. it leads them away from the drug problem and gives them a constructive activity to look forward to.

I will reafirm after this how occuaptional therapists can be involved in such organisations and activities in New Zealand and worldwide so they can now see that there are real organisations that provide activities. Relating back to the theories of occupation and linking the key concepts back to the practical situations. In groups I can ask them to think about what information would be needed to think about before starting up such an activity e.g. funding issues.

The students then go and learn their own occupations. The students can get together and discuss maybe via elluminate or discussion board the learning process and how they are going with this occupation. The key themes being Environment setup (include materials equipment used) Faciliator method of learning (online, a course, a friend) history of the occupation (when did this start and by who and why). As the process continues I will get them to record via journal individually their learned experiences. AS a lecturer I can measure their experiences by the depth of their discussions via elluminate or discussion board and the information on their journal which can be attached to their opinion piece essay which is the formal assessment at the end of the semester.

In regards to the holistic element when they are learning and relating the component of this paper dedicated to looking at overseas activities I will get them to look online for real organisations such as "skatizstan and reflect to the rest of the group why these organisations have been set up and what promotes ongoing participation for the people involved. Bringing in the feeling component which is the base of the holistic framework we can discuss the real issues that would be faced by an OT working in a war torn country as an example. I can again back this up by a video of someone discussing the emotional impact working in these areas can have on the individual.

Overall I feel I need to continue to work on this paper to bring in the experiential learning cycle within and through aspects of this paper. By concentrating on the initial introduction and filtering these ideas throughout the paper is a start.

To elaborate on Access and Equity, Sustainability and Cultural Sensitivity.

1) Access and Equity- As discussed in my powerpoint the OT dept has set up an equivalent course at Wintec in Hamilton. These students are ones that mey have found it difficult to relocate to either Auckland or Otago where the course is held. The students come from a variety of backgrounds and situations. In order for the course to be accessable the blended delivery system can allow fro greater flexibility for these students to conduct the course outside of the regular face to face times. By introducing videos, audios (National programme as discussed above) tand elluminate/discussion board for students to reflect together would allow these students to be flexible with their time and resources.

2) Sustainability - by using more online methods and reflections posted on an online way we are avoiding the transport costs using petrol to get to class and slowing down the use of paper led course that historically was the way to communicate.

3) Cultural Sensitivity- With the introduction of looking at other countries and reflecting on other cultural issues and situations I am wanting the students to gain a deeper understanding of cultural issues. By also allowing a more blended delivery way of communicating will allow those students that may not have English as a first language to participate in communicating in various other ways than face to face.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Overall conclusions

Well if I could describe my journey through this course I would say that I started with a hiss and a roar with great feedback on being the first to write up a short story of a day in the life and felt very proud of my feedback of my ideas that have struck me at that stage of the course. I started to dawdle through the middle being way laid by other commitments but still keeping up with the course. Then I fell off the cliff at the end where I fell behind in the considerations for flexible learning and how to interview a colleague. Due to not having interviewed using digital media before I waited for assistance and waited to grab my colleague and interview her when she had the time. Then my colleague was away on holiday and I finally realised I needed to interview someone else if I was going to complete this course this century. With that finally underway I was spooked by a colleague who showed me her presentation and assessment criteria from the year before. She stated "You must get an extention" There seemed so much to do and so little time to do it. Having attended the presentations I realised that I could have got my A into G and actually presented on the day if I had had the gumption and was not persuaded by others. I found my self slowly chipping my way back up the cliff by starting my powerpoint. I spent time looking at pictures and trying to convey what I felt about my plan. I read articles and reflected on the paper I wanted to change to see what had worked or not during the semester. I did find that I could not convey in great detail what my plans were and all the intracacies surrounding the changes but felt I had portrayed what I wanted via powerpoint and finally audio. Hence I could finally send to Bronwyn a draft of "How to get flexible in the future".
This course has definitely challenged me to use media I have not used before. It has also challenged me in good timing with the changes that are taking place within the poltechnic and within the OT dept. These changes are to promote a more flexible way of delivery and hence I could reflect on a plan to change this paper in good timing for next year. I also understand the issues surrounding flexible delivery and the positive benefits for students that can be gained from blended delivery learning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flexible learning Plan

My idea for a flexible learning is to develop flexible strategies for an existing paper called Participation in Occupation 2 within the Occupational Therapy second year Bachelors Programme. The existing paper taught is one that has in the past focused on hands on face to face style of delivery to get the information required to the students. With the development of Wintech in Hamilton delivering the Occupational Therapy bachelors programme there is a need to think outside the box on how we deliver the curriculum.

The aim of the paper is for the students to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of ongoing participation in occupation. By understanding occupation we can quote the following from Christensen and Townsend who defines the term "occupation as viewing the daily pursuits of humans..., to be occupied is to use and even seize control of time and space or place as a person engages in a recognizable life endeavour. Daily human occupations are invested with form and a sense of purpose, meaning, cultural style and social/economic significance or power". Some of the questions that this paper brings up are the following:

- What makes someone want to engage in an occupation on an ongoing basis
-What meaning do people get out of engaging in occupation
-What is the meaning for you and what could be the differences and similarities to the meaning for others
-What can be the barriers to engaging in occupation

The interesting parallels with the paper I'm teaching, flexible delivery itself and the flexible delivery course can be found in why people would want to engage and what do they achieve in a flexible learning programme or course compared to a face to face structure.

How the paper "Participation in Occupation 2" is currently been delivered is to discuss face to face the theoretical components behind occupation. The paper also engaged students in face to face activities to encourage meaning to be developed. The students were asked when off campus to learn a new activity they had not learnt before such as learning to play guitar and were given a time frame to look at the learning process.

My idea is to try and change how this information is delivered by adopting a more flexible approach to engaging students in the process of gaining deeper meaning for themselves into why and how people might engage in occupation in an ongoing way. Some ideas behind this is to use a standard basic text that the students can rely on for information. This text includes use of the Internet as a means of interacting with the book. This will enhance understanding of the human experiences discussed within the book. Other ideas include getting the students to develop a blog and or wiki to relay various chapters allocated to them and answer and review the chapters allocated to them. For the students at the Otago Polytechnic and Wintech students in Hamilton this can be done in groups using a discussion board with an allocation of a number of posts required to ascertain involvement.

Tutorial times for this semester will be not be face to face but this time will be used for students to flexibly find and develop on the information required for this paper. The use of blackboard this semester but changing to moodle will outline the requirements on how to use this time effectively and be used as a guide. For this semester standard face to face lectures will be needed every two weeks for one hour to guide the students to the more autonomous way of learning.

How this fits with the Educational strategy is that these ideas once developed and tweaked over time will allow a range of people to be able to be part of this paper that may have not necessarily been able to attend the existing structured timetable and curriculum. By enabling and catering for those that may have time constraints disabilities, other commitments etc we are allowing a more sustainable financial future by being able to access a greater number of students. We are also opening up a way of students being more self directed, autonomous and therefore if done well allowing a greater intellectual capacity for gaining knowledge in a variety of different ways. My aim for occupational therapy students is for them to be holistic and self aware and independent.

The risks considerations and concerns are the following. Will the students have the motivation to engage in a more self directed way and gain the benefits from this approach. This new flexible way is for some a step away from the basics of occupation within the occupational therapy programme. The need for face to face activities has been seen as the best way to allow engagement of students in occupation and therefore greater meaning has been attached to this. Occupation is about doing. How we classify "doing" may be different in a flexible learning context.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Flexible learning interview interview.mp3