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  1. 1. Learning to Learn: the Collaborative Challenge. Louise O’Connor London South Bank University January 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ It’s all good in the end. This Unit drags you out of your comfort zone by the throat and batters you with learning.” Student quote </li></ul>
  3. 3. Focus of Study & Presentation Plan <ul><li>First stage of two-part study </li></ul><ul><li>Undergraduate BA Social Work & BSc Nursing and Social Work (learning disabilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on teaching & learning of ‘ Partnership & Participation’ </li></ul><ul><li>Background to innovations in collaborative learning / teaching and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Structure of course </li></ul><ul><li>Research project </li></ul><ul><li>Initial findings </li></ul><ul><li>Questions / Themes </li></ul>
  4. 4. Spirit of Partnership? <ul><li>Reform of social work education in UK </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches to education & practice </li></ul><ul><li>Social Work located within diverse faculties (health, education, psychology, law, social policy or social sciences…) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Partnership working’ a prescribed curriculum area in England (DoH 2002) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Partnership - a dangerous liaison? (Preston-Shoot 2007:670) <ul><li>Original Module & assignment </li></ul><ul><li>SCIE Knowledge Review (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Missed opportunities for challenges / experiential learning? </li></ul><ul><li>06/07 Piloted group learning activity </li></ul><ul><li>Students + lecturer reflection & feedback on pilot and assignment </li></ul>What does it mean? How can we teach this?
  6. 6. Revised Module aims: <ul><li>Maximise collaborative inter / intra-professional learning </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit emphasis on: </li></ul><ul><li>- group work theory and skills </li></ul><ul><li>- personal and experiential learning </li></ul><ul><li>Effective collaboration necessary to achieve outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Group & individual elements </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Intrinsic motivation ’ (Mc Dowell, 2001) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Learning Process & Assessment Tasks <ul><li>Group task (40%) </li></ul><ul><li>Random groups </li></ul><ul><li>Identified self-directed study periods </li></ul><ul><li>Exploration of key themes related to partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Application to case scenario </li></ul><ul><li>Group presentation and group mark </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Task (60%) </li></ul><ul><li>Produce poster </li></ul><ul><li>Criteria included : </li></ul><ul><li>understanding of partnership and participation </li></ul><ul><li>analysis of anti-oppressive aspects </li></ul><ul><li>reflection on learning process & group experience </li></ul><ul><li>identification of personal skills </li></ul>
  8. 8. Study – Stage 1: Key Questions <ul><li>Impact of an innovative learning and assessment process? </li></ul><ul><li>Contribution to students’ collaborative and individual learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Skill and knowledge development (within and across professional boundaries). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Study – Stage 1: Data <ul><li>Two cohorts of employment based (EBR) undergraduate social work students (social care posts, attend part-time) </li></ul><ul><li>Mature, experienced & ethnically diverse: </li></ul><ul><li>EBR 06 – 17 students </li></ul><ul><li>EBR 05 – 20 students </li></ul><ul><li>Taught jointly – 12 week module </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 2 – 50 Social Work & 25 Nursing / Social Work students </li></ul><ul><li>(May 08) </li></ul>37
  10. 10. Study – Stage 1 <ul><li>Questionnaires using Likert scales </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on: </li></ul><ul><li>- views on personal learning </li></ul><ul><li>- skill development </li></ul><ul><li>- understanding of theory / literature </li></ul><ul><li>- motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Focus Group </li></ul>
  11. 11. Respondents: <ul><li>14 White / White British </li></ul><ul><li>10 Minority Ethnic </li></ul><ul><li>4 Ethnicity not indicated </li></ul><ul><li>Age 25-57. (Mean 42) </li></ul><ul><li>18 female </li></ul><ul><li>8 male </li></ul><ul><li>1 disabled </li></ul><ul><li>14 indicated student group </li></ul><ul><li>(6 – EBR 05 & 8 – EBR 06) </li></ul>28 questionnaires completed 1 focus group
  12. 12. Preliminary Findings <ul><li>The following slides provide examples of some of the preliminary findings. </li></ul><ul><li>The themes & correlations identified are tentative and will be the subject of further analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 2 of the project will be evaluated following delivery of the current module to both nursing and social work students. (post June 2008) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Views on Personal Learning ‘I learn more when…’ I experience challenge or tension I am involved in small group discussions
  14. 14. Skill development: <ul><li>Time management </li></ul><ul><li>Team work </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Personal awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation </li></ul><ul><li>Assertiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Use of IT </li></ul><ul><li>Researching literature </li></ul><ul><li>Group task improved skills in all areas </li></ul><ul><li>Range – 70-92% </li></ul>
  15. 15. Skill development ? <ul><li>Resolving conflict </li></ul><ul><li>31% disagreed / didn’t know </li></ul><ul><li>Interprofessional practice </li></ul><ul><li>23% disagreed; 23% didn’t know; </li></ul><ul><li>Working with difference </li></ul><ul><li>18% didn’t know </li></ul>
  16. 16. Interprofessional Practice?
  17. 17. Interprofessional Practice?
  18. 18. Understanding of Theory / Literature: <ul><li>Group dynamics * </li></ul><ul><li>Groupwork models </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-oppressive </li></ul><ul><li>practice * </li></ul><ul><li>Applying theory </li></ul><ul><li>to practice * </li></ul><ul><li>Group task improved skills in all areas </li></ul><ul><li>Range – 64 –77% </li></ul><ul><li>* Increase in ‘Disagree’ / ‘Don’t know’ </li></ul>
  19. 19. Increased motivation & involvement & learning process? <ul><li>Motivation to: </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more about topics * </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in collaborative learning * </li></ul><ul><li>Undertake individual study / tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Explore different perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Improved motivation 70-78% </li></ul><ul><li>Disagreed / don’t know 14-21% </li></ul>
  20. 20. Motivation to participate in collaborative learning:
  21. 21. Motivation to participate in collaborative learning
  22. 22. Significant correlations <ul><li>Age is significantly correlated to score for anti-oppressive practice (5%) </li></ul><ul><li>Score for ‘Participate in collaborative learning’ is highly significantly correlated to score for anti-oppressive practice (0.5%) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic group is significantly correlated to assertiveness (5%) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Qualitative Data Main benefits? Student quotes: <ul><li>: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ putting partnership skills into practice – clarifying roles, challenging each other, developing shared responsibility..’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ working with difference i.e. colleagues’ perspectives, attitudes & ways of working .. helped me to accept these and share my ideas..’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Learning to manage group dynamics and the complexities involved’.. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ good practice to work as a team with people you don’t know well..’ </li></ul>
  24. 24. Qualitative data Main drawbacks? Student quotes: <ul><li>‘ personalities & levels of participation … although this exists in the workplace managers and supervisors are there to support the group’..’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ not being able to complete tasks to my own agenda, timeframe..’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ it does not always show the difficulties that occurred and the learning that took place’ </li></ul><ul><li>Group conflict …. it got nasty and personal.. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Focus Group <ul><li>Analysis in progress </li></ul><ul><li>Initial themes: </li></ul><ul><li>Strong emotions and behaviours experienced in groups </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity of process </li></ul><ul><li>Learning achieved </li></ul>
  26. 26. Focus Group Themes: Tension, safety, control … <ul><li>‘ It was very difficult .. Lots of tensions, lots of ‘storming’ all the way through.. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Two cohorts .. power dynamics going on..’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ There was a feeling … “them and us”…’ </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe they felt it was a safe environment .. the university .. a lot of stuff came out.. they would not have been said in workplace ..’ </li></ul>
  27. 27. Focus Group Themes: professional boundaries / identities <ul><li>'they would be disciplined for some of the things that were said… </li></ul><ul><li>‘ work is safe because you know there is some sort of redress…’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ in work … always difficult professionals .. [but] always someone higher managing that…’ </li></ul>
  28. 28. Possible themes to explore, subject to further analysis: <ul><li>Facilitation of groups to enhance learning and conflict resolution? – or will this prevent learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Greater linking of taught topics with collaborative experience of partnership in action </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance of identities within and across professional boundaries? </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of physical location on behaviour / identities? </li></ul><ul><li>Similarities or differences with Stage 2 data cohort ? </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>‘ It’s all good in the end. This unit drags </li></ul><ul><li>you out of your comfort zone by the throat </li></ul><ul><li>and batters you with learning.’ student quote </li></ul><ul><li>************** </li></ul><ul><li>Correspondence to Louise O’Connor [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Lecturer in Social Work </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty of Health & Social Care, London South Bank University </li></ul>Learning to learn – the collaborative challenge
  30. 30. References <ul><li>Barr, H. Interprofessional education, Today, yesterday and tomorrow. A Review . Learning & Teaching Support Network for Health Sciences & Practice, CAIPE. </li></ul><ul><li>Jackson, c. (2007) Motivating learning through innovative assessment </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/eds/presentations/conference_2007/caroline_jackson.ppt Accessed online 20 Jan 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>McDowell, L. (2001) Students and innovative assessment. York: LTSN Generic Centre [available online] www.heacademy.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Preston-Shoot, M. (2004) Responding by Degrees: Surveying the Education and Practice Landscape. Social Work Education Vol. 23, No. 6, December 2004, pp. 667–692 </li></ul><ul><li>Race,P, Brown, S, Smith, S. (2005) 2 nd Ed. 500 Tips on assessment . London: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Taylor, I, Sharland, E, Sebba, J, Leriche, P, with Keep, A & Orr, D. (2006) The learning , teaching and assessment of partnership work in social work education . Knowledge Review 10. Social Care Institute for Excellence </li></ul>

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