What follows is my reflections of the education in practice module I participated in, as part of my PG Cert for education in primary care.
Created on Thursday, 05/19/2011 4:32 PM by Hussain Gandhi
This essay was ……different.
IN writing it my main struggle was:
– finding time
-sticking to the question.
With time, just bad timing, holidays work issues, and ongoing mobiMOOC course. Thankfully I finally got it done, though the extra time did give me more space to analyze what i was writing and why.
I chose a rather different tact I think to most others on the course. Though I engage in 121 and small group learning, technology is a passion of mine, and looking at how this fitted in with teaching and learning, even more so. As a result taking an established teaching method and comparing it against the new kid on the block as such seemed a great idea.
In writing the essay, research played a big role, most supporting and referenced articles were web based rather than physically, and especially with mlearning, I had to resort to less conventional sources like blogs. This enriched my learning perspectives, though from the essay point of view, caused significant issues with the word count which after 5 days of chop and changing I finally got within limit.
The content, I felt was appropriate. What I most struggled with was not going off on a technological rant, highlighting all the varied methods and technologies available and also not just emphasising the positives. My first draft was rather kindly pointed out to me that all I had said was what technology was good for, not actually critiquing its use in practice. I also tried my best not to highlight my own practice with specific resources, in an effort to keep the essay descriptive over being prescriptive.
Writing it has shown me where a developing passion of mine lies, mlearning i feel is a bright future for ongoing learning and teaching methods, and interacting within the newer technologies could open up so many possibilities. However I also realised in researching the essay, and participation with a concurrent MOOC, that it is important to remember the digital immigrants, and how to engage with them whilst teaching. While trying new methods in my practice, bringing others into my passion has highlighted a need to be open with how I teach and realise one shoe doesn’t fit all, especially if that shoe can write a tweet, scan youtube and take over the world.
Despite this I am looking into further uses of mlearning and as a result attending some upcoming demo days via the university with mlearning and the MB Chb, as well as further work with my ATf work and RCGP roles.
Day 2 was a key learning point for me.
Iniitally the task of filming a teaching session was a moderate challenge. Having just started my new role as ATF the week before the due date of showing our movies, I was apprehensive as to how i would achieve an appropriate session. Thankfully an opportunity came about. The session was around me delivering a teaching session on the structure and interface of the NHS to some medical students: 4th and 5th years. It provided an interesting challenge as not being a clinical topic, and one I myself was not 100% versed in. Additionally the upcoming changes to the NHS made it challenging where to pitch the context.
The method for delivery was a small group lecture (5students and me) via powerpoint and me as a font of knowledge ( more like a leaky tap).
IN presenting the opener showed first issue with any teaching: make sure you are prepared, for myself the tech was a letdown , computer not working, couldn’t connect to net to load my powerpoint….all went wrong, but some quick thinking, usb stick finding and instructions on discussions to start re the NHS helped.
In presenting the talk, I love the way that randomization can affect a session, starting with an open question of what do your experience of the NHS was , brought fruitful comments and also the understanding that specifically the 5th year docs about to work for the NHS knew very little apart from clinics, and one person who had been admitted once.
The resulting talk took cues from my recent teachings on how to do create a good presentation, particularly the point on focusing the gaze of your audience by direction with one slide where i told them to take time absorbing the info on the diagrammatic slide, and also focusing on the lines of funding and responsibility. The resulting discussion helped me to understand their understanding of the upcoming structure of the NHS (reforms diagram of consortia and NHS commissioning.
The feedback I got from the group was probably the most useful, I felt i was still very nervous during the talk, this apparently didn’t reflect in the video (though i was shuffling) so maybe I am still being over-conscious over myself and my presentation style. Comments about being aware of my position when talking were very clear, during the talk i stood, sat, crossed legs, and one point jumped, I agree I need to be less animated and let the work do the talking for me as I present then let the discussion flow as I had done. I did think one way of reducing my movements could be to use the technology better (white board not just a screen, or a second screen so i don’t have to turn all the time to see where I am).
Watching other peoples session I found humbling. a, as others appeared to have a much better grasp of the theory, but also I was the only person showing group learning, over others who all showed 1-2-1 teaching sessions. I guess this partly reflects the diffrent backgrounds and how most are on the scheme to be trainers hence focussing on the 1-2-1 element, though did get me thinking how if training became necessary of trainee> trainers then 2-1 or 3-1 trainee to trainer ratios may exist (beleive they do in places) and how this can be encorporated into the teaching environment.
Most intriguing was seeing a colleague teaching a trainee who from my estimation was excellent but who unfortunately had failed the CSA 7 times and such had to leave the scheme. Tackling such a problem and still aiming to prepare for the CSA must have been daunting, and I have to admit it made me question my desire to be a trainer, handling normal trainees can be challenging enough, handling one that is under-performing or even worse performing but with poor results, just speaks of frustration. ON reflection and now with a week (yes a week only) of assessing medial students however, I feel it is something I could do. The recent cohort have been excellent with some challenges, and coping with the high flyers and in one case a super student who understands the theory beyond my abilities but then struggles with the grounded practical applications made me appreciate what teaching is truly about. It not the making everyone pass, it the guidance and direction to make the learner improve themself. AND get them to pass 🙂
The final part of the day focused on the pre-requisite reading on communities of practice and learning organisations. The COP article frustrated me as I struggled to understand the article, and the bits I did just seemed to highlight the qualities seen in a well working team….which didn’t come across as great theory just a fancy way of saying what was pretty obvious.
The part on learning organizationhowever I found applied to my current logic. What I found most interesting is how individual practices I have worked at functioned as a learning organization, how emphasis was placed in different areas, if dedicated time was given to learning or not, external/internal learning objectives, and branching out. I find the Google model of dedicated time for own learning very pertinent as it seems to link to our existing model of protected learning time/ PDP session, which realistically most people don’t use for such (I myself guilty of this in the past, though now have so much work that am using every spare minute , well that what it feels like), but if in a practice this was purely dedicated to non work related learning, then how innovative a practice could become.
This most affected me by now I use my learning times forme, in particular with the time I have in practice for preparing teaching sessions, since I havent really had many to do with limited student intake at present, I have used this time to engage in an online mobile MOOC and further my own learning abilties, with the hope of bringing this back into practice, via my reserch as wel as other intiatives I am engaegd in, with mentoring and CPD enhancement.
Have to admit though I didn’t see it at the time, or even a few weeks later, this day really has helped me broaden my own learning abilities.
Was nice to catch up with people, regrouping after the last module and creating our own little community was engaging. The discussion of the prework, is partially covered in my prev reflection.
THe group work I found hilarious. Acting into roles or playing ourselves in groups was entertaining to watch, and when it became my turn to roleplay, of which on first occasion was me as myself, I think I shocked a few. My dismissive attitude to one persons visible frustrations and negativity, was part from past exp knowing that a similar person had done the same with manipulative goals, part from distance issues in that hard to console someone from opposite a table, and also, as playing to our roles, being a Locum in a practice meeting meas you generally sit and watch and play if asked or if something really important to say. I tried adding in perspective, but in consoling a colleague, in this instance I felt was not the role of a Locum who is invited into a practice meeting, kinda playing into not being part of a practice community, and unsure of roles. I did find I get irritated in meetings though where I do not have that power or responsibility of action, and this session solidified that concept for me. Hopefully now less of an issue as no longer locumming for the next year, but it has let me value how frustrating it can be for people in a meeting who are not stakeholders as such and I hope to integrate them more when in such meetings.
Acting into the roles of a consortia however was fun, trying to be disruptive without being offensive was hard (not my natural talent, I’m more unintentional disruption mainly due to lack of understanding) but highlighted the need for a good chairperson, and that objectives can be achieved when needed, but that the individuals must be able to value and own the task at hand. THis did well for feeding into the recent chairing a meeting course I attended and helped me realize I want to chair meetings, think it would be fun 🙂
Sorry for the write up all in one go, I blame software issues (mine and the university’s) which prevents updating via any browser except IE.
I found the prework intriguing, the discussion re change in my educational philosophy feeds more into that I now value the amount of preparation needed for each individual teaching session. Less useful is the night before rush job, but allowing time for research, and alignment with the outcomes via appropriate settings and assessment if needed empowers the learner more than simple do as i say.
This has become apparent with my new role as ATF, as the prep time I have, allows me to work on this, delve deeper into being prepared and focusing on how what I teach can be judged interpreted and assessed.
The reading I found less useful, Daslov was very long, and the VLE presentations again due to software issues meant I could not read the notes below, so became less informative, as just reading slides without the backdrop context of audio or extra writing is: boring to be honest.
I particularly found the work on group sizes and methods of engaging with different sizes useful esp with up coming First5 day planned, using such methods may prove more beneficial than just having a go. That mixed with the functional role of peer assessment for both benchmarking and grading I found interesting concepts and ones to try in my teaching of 5th years in the near future.
Daslovs theories were intricate but what I did find fascinating was seeing parts of each in myself, With Dave the change and progression of my own educational life following a path , currently with me at post a breaking stage with my life events and trying to build things back up, to Monique’s abject descriptions of her learning experiencesespecially with the first stage of duality, something I feel and now recognize i go through with most new experiences in my life let alone learning opportunities. It was still however very long 🙁