Developing student capability in a biomedical science award – peer supported learning through video
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AbstractThe BSc Biomedical Science award is designed to provide not only the knowledge but also the skills required to pursue a career as a biomedical scientist. Laboratory based practical sessions are designed to introduce students to these skills and to support the application of knowledge gained during lecture sessions to practice. The current teaching approach to laboratory based practical sessions and workshops is the provision of a workbook, introductory reading to support their preparation for the sessions and short visual instructions. Evaluation of summative reports produced by students for this module suggests that many students are not fully engaged and do not cultivate the ability to contextualise the procedures undertaken in the practical sessions and that these sessions are falling short of developing necessary skills such as problem solving, adaptability, initiative and self-awareness. Peer-assisted learning has been widely recognised as an effective strategy for teaching new concepts and a way of boosting student engagement, active learning and subject comprehension. This study investigated to what extent peer-developed ‘skills’ videos can support both the development of laboratory skills and an awareness of the application of these skills within the workplace. Students undertaking work-based placements designed and filmed a video of themselves and colleagues demonstrating the application of skills within the routine clinical environment. The situations and skills demonstrated being representative of what students will encounter upon graduation and employment. The videos were then used to support delivery of a practical module consisting of a large cohort of level 5 undergraduate students to provide an active learning environment where students are able to recognise the close relationship between theoretical and practical aspects of the course and skills for application within the workplace setting. Perceptions of students after they had watched the peer-produced videos and completed the practical based module were captured using an electronic questionnaire and a focus group. Questionnaires revealed that students felt that the videos gave them greater motivation and confidence in class. However, this confidence did not apply to completing other aspects of the module such as coursework. Focus groups showed that students saw how peer-produced videos helped transition to work by showing what is expected of them in the workplace. Importantly, they also increased understanding, gave confidence and motivated students to study by engaging them in their subject. Overall the contextualisation of learning through the use peer-produced videos motivates students and provides currency for study through engagement in a real world dialogue with the work place in silico. This approach has now been extended to other modules and the scope of the videos changed to encompass other disciplines in healthcare science.
CitationEDULEARN16 Proceedings, Pages: 6936-6942. 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, 4-6 July, 2016, Barcelona, Spain.