Engaging with online reflection within the veterinary nursing programme
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care
The use of technology was considered to aid students to engage in reflective practice within the Veterinary Nursing programme as students are located across a wide section of the UK, which makes it difficult to attend weekly reflective sessions. The use of online discussion forums via WebCT seemed appropriate to engage with shared practice and learning and enable peers to communicate from a wide geographical spread. In the first year of the programme students still receive face-to-face classes on the theory and practice of reflection. The three discussion tools are used for this: Blog entry for students to share interesting clinical cases that they have encountered; the asynchronous discussion forums which are facilitated by the module leader and have a focused starting point of each discussion category - this is by using Driscoll (2006) target question approach; the reflective journal entry with a public and a private space for each student.
Using this tool alongside other areas within the programme that facilitate reflection enables the student to engage in reflective practice in many different formats. I believe that reflective styles can be related to learning style, and having a different approach may cater for this in providing a different format in which students can take ownership and which is mainly student led.
This was first piloted with one group of students and has now rolled out across the programme in all placement modules. Most students have engaged in this and have developed their discussions and encouraged others with very little facilitation or prompting from the module leader. Initially the blog entry and the asynchronous discussion tools were used; however, now the journal tool has been added for students to use in either a private or public space. The one challenge is in encouraging all students’ participation as there are a minority of students currently not engaging. At the moment this is not an assessed component of any modules. I feel this has been overall successful with students taking ownership of their reflective practice and sharing their experiences; this is by no means the only tool used on the programme for reflection but an aid to it.
References Atkins S, and Murphy K,. (1994). Reflective Practice. Nursing Standard 8 (39) pp49-54 Boud D., Keogh R., and Walker, D. (eds) (1985) Reflection: Turning Experience into Learning. New York: Kogan Page Driscoll J., (2006) Supported Reflective Learning: The Essence of Clinical Supervision? IN Driscoll J, (2006) Practising Clinical Supervision: A Reflective Approach for Healthcare Professionals. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Bailliere Tindall Gibbs G,. (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University. Hatton N, and Smith D,. (1995). Reflection in teacher Education. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol 11 p33 – 49 Johns C,. (2000). Becoming a Reflective Practitioner. Oxford: Blackwell Science. Watton P, Collings J and Moon J., (2001). Reflective Writing, guidance for students. Unpublished. University of Exeter Student Quotes “I feel online is better as sometimes with face-to-face you are forced to reflect on something even if you do not have anything to reflect on whereas online you can go on at your own time and reflect on situations affecting you at the time”. “It is much easier to do as I can do it when I have spare time in practice or before or after completing my work. It is MUCH less stressful than having to arrange to travel places and spend long periods of time reflecting when I know at the back of my mind that I have loads of work to do in order to meet my RCVS and university deadlines”. “They give everyone the chance to say what they want to say without being interrupted or feeling embarrassed if they want to reflect on a more negative situation. I think they allow people to be more truthful”.
Engaging with online reflection within the veterinary nursing programme by Clare Bryant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 UK: Scotland License.
18 June 2009