An experience of adapting to the changing reality of study-day based education: an opportunity for real change.
This paper acknowledges and defines the reality of some pressures and drivers affecting short study day education and demonstrates how these can be used to propose, promote and implement different pedagogic forms of delivery and content that ultimately enhances the educative experience for both teacher and student.
Many study days are run for the NHS and other partners regionally by our department – however a limit has been reached on scale, workload and locations of delivery. All were delivered face-to-face, PowerPoints and a combination of clinical skills and theoretical knowledge. Work pressures on NHS employees attending often meant a struggle to attend full days, gain approval for release from day jobs. It was required that a ‘return on investment’ was demonstrated for both the money spent by NHS Trusts and more importantly on positively impacting on practice and understanding of staff.
Appropriate ideas and solutions to these pressures were needed to ensure wider delivery and responsiveness whilst retaining and delivering high-quality educational experiences. It was in some cases also used as an opportunity to reappraise pedagogical approaches of the study days.
Each study day was evaluated against a in-house framework that drew upon Kolb's learning cycle (Kolb, 1984) and took a constructivist learner centred-approach (JISC, 2004). Pertinent points being:
- What different types of activities currently take place (didactic teaching, competence-based, peer educational, practical/clinical skills/theoretical understanding)
- What experience do attendees have of modes of delivery (e-learning/self-directed/group/face-to-face)
- Are particular aspects dependent upon specific equipment or physical techniques.
After each study day had been evaluated the following ideas were considered as alternatives to current practice, whilst considering pedagogical implications:
Each study day has been re-structured and content appraised to offer a more informed approach that is more flexible in delivery for both students and tutors.
A custom Moodle setup has been used to deliver distance-learning and self-directed sections.
The process of evaluating study days is ongoing.