Being and Becoming - Transitions in Clinical and Vocational Programmes

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Undergraduate learners have long been reported to have under-developed self-regulation skills. The current generation of students are also said to have many distractions competing for their time. It is suggested, as a result of their schooling, current undergraduates appreciate learning differently, placing greater emphasis on outcomes rather than the learning process. At the same time, today’s learners are also reported to value greater balance between studies and personal lives. How do we balance these competing needs within curricula and help learners to become the professionals desired by the workplace and by regulatory bodies? Research indicates that explicitly providing space in curricula that focus on self-regulatory abilities helps to improve graduate outcomes. In healthcare and allied settings, this may also extend to outcomes for the public.

Answering this call, in the School of Dentistry’s new integrated curriculum, a Personal Development and Wellbeing component has been launched. This component aims to encourage learners to consider the important role of values and their role in connecting us to what we consider important. This self-understanding provides a foundation for self-regulated, autonomous decision making. In particular, we consider how values enable learners to connect to feedback on learning and development and set appropriate learning and development goals, using supported tools. Integrated learning opportunities encourage reflection as a mechanism to clarify and transform understanding, consider motivations and address anxieties. Supporting this approach, tools are embedded within the school’s approach to academic advising.

During the discussion, we will consider our learning points and the benefits associated with embedding this as a model.

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