Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Is there anybody out there?

Those of you who are regular readers of our blogs will know that we have been busy developing an MSc Advanced Occupational Therapy to be delivered totally online. In order for this to happen many of us have been engaging in web 2.0 applications to facilitate our programme development but also to engage in learning experiences that we will be asking our students to undertake. To this end I have enrolled on an online programme which week by week has introduced me to some extremely interesting and useful tools for both learning and social networking.
It has become clear to me that the common theme underpinning all of these is the need to know if anyone is out there and the importance of acknowledging each other. Engaging in an online community can only really be effective if you know there is a community out there. Under usual circumstances we engage with others through gestures, tone of voice - or by presence (or indeed absence). On line these things cannot be noted - therefore it is extremely hard to know if anyone is listening, agreeing or indeed disagreeing. We have had over 2000 readers of our blog posts - yet very few of you have left a trace. That first step can be daunting - make a comment -write what you feel - it doesn't have to change the world, it doesn't have be an essay - just let us know you're out there. Click on "comment" at the end of this (or any other) post and up will pop a window for you to type in your comment. Give it a go - it may be the first step of a whole new learning experience for you - and if all else fails - it can be evidence of an aspect of your CPD to demonstrate engagement in discussion with peers both nationally and internationally!!!
Happy commenting...

Monday, 3 March 2008

Do Clinicians make good researchers?

I attended an interesting session today in the University about Qualitative research. Within this we looked at the skills and techniques that can be used by the researcher to help them to gain a better understanderstanding of the phenomenon or an individual's experience of this phenomenon. It struck me that many, if not all, of these skills are skills that a clinician uses routinely with patients or clients, such as encouraging, leaving pauses between questions and answers, gentle probing and so on. Does it therefore follow that clinicians make natural and effective researchers when using a qualitative design? I wait with interest for any thoughts on this.