The core teaching approach underlying the module is groupwork. In general, students are asked to work in groups to consider a topic or challenge and this is then fed-back to the wider group. Classroom assessment techniques such as ‘Think, Pair Share, are also used. For example, in one session students were asked to think quietly for 2 minutes about their experiences of working with other professionals while on placement, at my signal they were then asked to get into pairs and discuss their thoughts. Following this they were asked share what they had discussed and learned from each other with the wider group to encourage peer to peer learning and to foster empathy through the demonstration of commonality of experience. Later in the session a similar planned activity was used. However, this differed by asking the students to arrange into groups of 4 (3 in one case due to the arithmetic) and to work together to think through a similar issue around professional identity. Following this, each group fed-back to the wider group and a larger discussion was generated, again, encouraging peer to peer learning and feedback. This also provided an opportunity for me to check for and steer towards understanding. I use strategies such as these as I believe in participatory learning and encouraging students to play an active role in the acquisition of new knowledge.
In respect to overall structure, the module is delivered in three distinct stages as follows:
- Foundational stage: Students are introduced to core content and asked to work in groups (6 sessions);
- Outside perspectives: Students take sessions with a number of guest presenters (2 sessions);
- (a) Peer to peer learning: Students give solo presentations and are engaged in conversation with their peers (3 sessions);
(b) Final session, recap and feedback: The semester’s teaching and learning is recapped, students are asked to give feedback both directly and through an anonymous written format (1 session).