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

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Education in a changing environment

Hello, just a quick visit to talk about our latest conference attendance. Sarah and I attended the University of Salford's 5th Education in a Changing Environment conference last week both as delegates and presenters.

The Key note address was given by VC Professor Martin Hall who raised some very interesting points on open access of information and the importance of sharing knowledge and expertise as opposed to the current models of intellectual property rights. Interesting points indeed which we will be following closely in terms of how this may impact not just on article publication but also on blogging in the future.

Our poster presentation was on the use of Negotiated Assessments within the MSc Occupational Therapy online programme. In summary the poster explained how we enabled the students to design their learning to their own specific cultural and professional situations and the evaluations the students made on this process. We are hoping to do more work and evaluations on this aspect of the programme this year.

Secondly, we ran a workshop on the use of web 2.0 and social networking sites to enhance student learning. Participants came both from within the university and also from as far afield as Hong Kong and Denmark. Discussions were held as to the value of these applications with specific consideration of professionalism, creating and managing an online identity and some of the ethical dilemmas that may exist in this area. Sarah and I intend to build on this further with more work in the area of building and managing an online identity as a healthcare professional.

Both inclusions were well received and we look forward to engaging in more work in the future within the topic areas.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Of new beginnings and continuing relationships and projects........

Well, another academic year draws to a close and the next is due to start. Whilst we wrap up the last vestiges of 08/09 I have asked the team to identify those things that we have achieved and those we are all looking forward to for 09/10.

Regular readers will know of the first successful completed year of the MSc Advanced OT that is delivered entirely online.
  • All students have passed the modules taken and are progressing to the next year. Welcome back to them and a big welcome to those students who are currently registering and undertaking induction ready to start again on the 28th September with modules "Philosophical and Theoretical Base of Occupational Therapy" and "Emerging Practice/Extending Boundaries".
  • We can now announce that potential MSc students can be considered for APL (accreditation of prior learning) against relevant previous masters level study. Please contact Sarah Bodell (s.j.bodell@salford.ac.uk) for further details.
  • Lastly on this programnme we have been working hard to validate the modules to be "stand alone" modules. This means that you don't have to sign up to the full MSc programme but can take a module in isolation if it appeals to you and would help with your career and role development. Again please contact Sarah Bodell (s.j.bodell@salford.ac.uk) for further details.

Congratulations were given to Jackie Taylor (or should I say Dr Taylor) back in June for her PhD achievement. Jackie intends to do further research related to narratives in understanding experience, and also intends to de
velop her framework of the occupied self, which provides a structure for relating occupation to identity.

An MSc Psycho-
Oncology has been developed and is due to intake students to begin study in February 2010. A launch is currently being arranged and further details will be available soon (watch this space!). For further details please contact Viv Jones: V.Jones@salford.ac.uk

A great deal of time and effort was spent last year in getting the programme ready for Re-validation. This is a quality mechanism that is required every 5 years to ensure that the programme meets HPC and COT requirements for undergraduate occupational therapy study. It has involved ensuring that modules are upto date with current drivers and practice and that equity and parity are evident across both the Full and Part Time routes. This process will reach the finale when we are visited by HPC in February 2010 in order for them to approve the programme for the next period of 5 years. Fingers crossed!!

Congratulations must also go to Jo Mellson (previously Supyk) for her work with Klip-2-Lift. Jo has been working hard on this project which involves a hoistable clothing garment. This project has been chosen by the University's commercial enterprise team to be used in a forthcoming Business Plan competition. Briefly this will involve groups of student from a number of faculties developing a business strategy from the existing prototype. Students of University of Salford - keep your eyes peeled for further details on how to get involved. Jo will become both inventor and expert on the panel - very Dragon's Den! (Sorry about the photo - don't have one of the garment !)

We are also very much looking forward to continuing to furthering our relationships with internationally reknowned occupational therapists. In particular we have Michael Iwama (of Kawa River Model) due to visit the UG students next year and to be engaged in a podcast for our PG students. In addition, we have been discussing possibilities with Frank Kronenberg (of Occupational Therapy Without Borders) who is very keen to be involved with us here at Salford. Exciting times most definitely.

Kirsty and Heather are planning to return to Romania with students from the UG programme and a recent graduate to consider aspects of further links and opportunities with the Muzika charity and the institutions in and around Timisoara.

Sarah and Angela have been involved in obtaining a small award of £10,000 (from the Vice Chancellor's fund for Iconic Media City Projects) to work with staff across a number of Faculties within the university to buy virtual land and develop a virtual home environment (we are using Second Life for this). This will have a number of potential off shoots both for education and research. In addition we are hoping to be able to develop the space in order to hold our first MSc Advanced OT graduation ceremony in 2012.

Finally - we are currently arranging a Snow Ball event to be held 28th November 2009. This event is to celebrate occupational therapy at the university for past, present and potential future students. The event cost will include a meal, band (for those who remember Anne Miller this is a chance to see her band live) and a disco. Flyers and advertising will soon be out - (watch this space) We are hoping to make this an annual event so we look forward to seeing as many of you there as can make it.

So, in conclusion, a busy year ahead for the team, but one that promises to be challenging, exciting, hard work and yet full of development potential for the directorate and the profession as a whole. We will occasionally post updates on the blog - but please feel free to contact us if you have any queries or opportunities that you would like our involvement in.