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.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle your ideas for introducing flexibility are shaping up well. The main aim is to increase the engagement of students with the subject, that is, learning about other occupations. I really like your idea of providing a range of options and resources for students to engage in the subject and demonstrate how they are linking their learning about the practical occupations with their understanding of the theories around occupation. Once you get your presentation and audio up on your blog, the others will be able to understand the full range of options. I am lucky to be privvy to this already. :) In addition to my comments on a previous post I have the following suggestions:
    enabling different ways for the students to present their reflections is good - discussions, journal, blog. perhaps introduce the idea of a digital portfolio to them - a blog can serve this purpose. It is worthwhile informing students about options such as creating a visual portfolio/journal - lots of images and/or video which they explain on their blogs. If you have less ICT literate students, the use of a Word template (could also be done in Powerpoint or Open office) where they can place images and write could be an option.
    How about providind a couple of scenarios of occupations with a brief outline of items to help them understandf what to look for. If you include a Maori or Pacifika example this will assist the Cultural sensitivity aspect.

    You make a good point about reducing petrol. Sustainability is also about students' and lecturer workloads - developing materials/assessments, marking them. Also the time involved in keeping resources updated and current. also the cost -effectiveness of your approach.
    Re access and equity - what sort of offline options are there for people to access material in the course and also to use for submitting assessments?