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Common Learning in Health and Social Care Undergraduate Education: The New Generation Project Curriculum Model

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Common Learning in Health and Social Care Undergraduate Education: The New Generation Project Curriculum Model. Dr Cath O’Halloran Professor Debra Humphris. Southampton Audiology Medicine Midwifery Nursing Occupational Therapy Physiotherapy Podiatry Social Work.

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Common Learning in Health and Social Care Undergraduate Education: The New Generation Project Curriculum Model

Dr Cath O’Halloran

Professor Debra Humphris






Occupational Therapy



Social Work



Diagnostic Radiography

Therapeutic Radiography

Social Work


Annual Intake: 1500 students

curriculum goals
Curriculum goals

A minimum common learning experience for all students that:

  • contributed to progression and award classification
  • took place throughout the length of their programme
  • included campus- and practice-based learning


  • Curriculum models
  • Length of programme
  • Award
  • Number of students
  • Timetables and length of academic year
  • Virtual learning environments

If it could be different it was


No ‘spare’ time

  • Couldn’t add anything to already crowded curricula
  • There had to be some added value in the students learning inter-professionally

Re-designing existing curriculum content to allow inter-professional learning

curriculum design process
Curriculum Design Process
  • Where was there common ground in curricula?
  • What would be an appropriate model for the learning and teaching?
  • What would be a sustainable implementation structure?
curriculum design 1
Curriculum Design 1

Common content was identified through triangulation of analyses of:

  • Academic and practitioner standards
  • Curriculum documents
  • Relevant policy documents
  • Local and national expert focus groups
  • Consultation

Generated a list of topics

curriculum design 18
Knowledge Management

IT skills

Information retrieval, management & critical appraisal

Data collection, analysis & interpretation skills

Research methodology

Knowledge use

Quality of Care

Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions/management plan

Work within a quality management framework

Contribute to the future development of the service

Use, and contribute to, the evidence base

Curriculum Design 1
curriculum design 19
Curriculum Design 1

Topics sequenced

Arranged into a number of notional units

Potential 72 credits = 720 hours of student effort

Consultation process

Review of common content

common content
Common Content

2 types of common content:

  • Topics where students were learning the same things

Learning in Common

  • Topics where students were developing their professional knowledge about common subjects

Inter-Professional Learning

learning in common
Learning in Common
  • Different resource models operating
  • They were prioritised differently
  • Many of the subjects required professional contextualisation before they were meaningful to students
  • Were there advantages to learning these topics in mixed professional groups?
  • Was there sufficient lead in time to develop new inter-professional learning resources and build a multi-professional team to deliver the teaching?
inter professional learning
Professional diversity a benefit

Subjects are practice oriented

Provide rich opportunities for peer group discussion of professional attitudes, behaviour and practice

Suitable for a team-based approach

These were the topics that would provide the added value from learning inter-professionally.

Topics grouped into 4 units of study – IPL Units

Inter-professional Learning
common learning curriculum
Common Learning Curriculum

Two strands to common learning:

Learning in Common

  • Delivered in individual programmes
  • Pre-requisite for inter-professional learning
  • Timing negotiated

Inter-professional Learning

  • 4 x two week full-time study blocks
  • Students learn in mixed professional groups
  • Timing agreed

Curriculum Structure

Yr 1

Yr 2

Yr 3

Yr 4

Yr 5


Learning in Common

Inter Professional Learning Unit

inter professional learning units
Inter-professional Learning Units

4 IPL units

  • 1 campus-based unit
  • 3 practice-based units

Each unit has learning outcomes covering 3 domains of learning:

  • Professional practice
  • Team working
  • Understanding inter-professional practice

Common assessment with differentiated marking criteria for different awards

curriculum design 2
Curriculum Design 2

A model of learning and teaching that:

  • would enable students to achieve IPL unit learning outcomes
  • work with the resources available
  • equally applicable to campus- and practice-based learning
  • include assessment methods that support our curriculum philosophy

Facilitated Collaborative Learning

facilitated collaborative learning
Facilitated Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning

Guided Discovery Learning

Facilitated Collaborative Learning

Inter-professional Learning

facilitated collaborative learning18
Facilitated Collaborative Learning
  • A learning portfolio containing unit guides, learning resources, self-assessment and reflection aids, progress file and personal development plan is provided.
  • Facilitated group work supports the processes of co-operation and learning.
  • The construction of the group exercise sets the requirement for collaboration.
  • Practice teams set the exercises for the practice-based units.
facilitated collaborative learning20
Facilitated Collaborative Learning
  • Students work in groups of 10
  • Minimum of 5 professions in each group
  • An IPL facilitator provides approx 10 hours of support
  • On-line discussion forum
  • Focus of the study block is the group exercise
  • Participative model of assessment: tutor-, peer- and self assessment
curriculum design 3
Curriculum Design 3

Sustainable implementation structure

  • Clear lines of responsibility and accountability
  • Maintain collaborative decision making and corporate responsibility
  • Streamline the organisation and administration of the IPL units
ipl unit management
IPL Unit Management

Stream lined IPL unit organisation and administration by developing web-based systems for:

  • Assignment submission, marking and feedback
  • Unit administration
  • Student and facilitator information and communication
  • Placement information and selection
  • An interactive curriculum development tool to help practice teams plan their IPL units

where are we up to
Where are we up to

Curriculum design started in July 2001

Curriculum model agreed in June 2002

IPL Unit 1 started in October 2003

IPL Unit 2 will run in March 2005

IPL Unit 3 will run in November 2005

IPL Unit 4 will run in February 2006