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Dean's Awards for Innovation in Teaching - Launched 2015

Winners of the Dean's Awards 2015-16 - 35,537 Euro awarded

The second year of the Dean's Awards for Innovation in Teaching sought to support innovations that would further one or more of the objectives of the Trinity Education Project. Seven innovations were supported across the schools of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nursing & Midwifery and Medicine. Each of the 2016 innovations involved technology enhanced learning, indicating a firm shift within the Faculty of Health Sciences.

Sheila Ryder, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Medication error is a significant problem, responsible for approximately 5% of hospital admissions.1 The skills of prescribing/counter-prescribing, dispensing and medication administration form part of healthcare students' training in College, and practice is essential. However, there is limited classroom time in the course curricula for students to respond to simulated patient cases, while in professional workplaces the primacy of patient safety necessarily restricts the scope of experiential learning. This innovation comprises patient simulations designed for students to practise and evaluate their performance outside the classroom/workplace. They will be unique in the available interactivity with realistic 3-dimensional artefacts and characters, building upon completely novel 3D dispensed products I have already developed, and focusing on Prescribing/counter-prescribing, Product selection for supply/administration and Prescription/product review (dispensing/supply).

The surfaces of 3D products will be drawn in Inkscape, mapped to boxes in Blender, and imported to interactive pdf files using Tetra4D Enrich. Tetra4D will also be used to link supplementary resources such as manufacturers' Summaries of Product Characteristics to individual products, so scenarios are self-contained. Where a patient's physical symptoms need to be examined in a more detailed manner, the patient too will be exported to an interactive 3D pdf so it will be possible (for example) to review a wound from different angles and zoom in for a more detailed view. Within Captivate, branching scenarios will be developed, mapping multiple pathways through each scenario so they can respond dynamically to input from the student. The 3D artefacts and video/audio files developed as above will be integrated with knowledge checks (quizzes, reflective prompts) built in Captivate and supplementary information. Performance in quizzes and the pathway taken through the scenarios will be captured in the VLE. (Building the quizzes outside the VLE accommodates future changes to a different VLE platform in the event of a future tender.)

With minor adjustments it will be valuable for medical, nursing and dentistry students engaged in medicine prescribing, supply and administration, adjusting the content to meet the needs of individual professions and levels (e.g. undergraduate medical students versus postgraduate nurses undertaking the Nursing/Midwife Prescribing Certificate). It will also be extremely valuable as a tool for interdisciplinary teaching and learning across the Faculty, where difficulty in bringing together students from the individual Schools and Therapy Disciplines has constrained progress. Expansion of these patient cases so students not only address each from their own perspective but also interact synchronously/asynchronously with students of other disciplines online will be very beneficial.

Mark Monahan, School of Nursing & Midwifery - Presentation

Although 13% of the general population will report some experience of hearing voices which other people cannot (Beavan & Read, 2011), this experience remains more strongly associated with psychiatric disorders. Indeed, ‘hearing voices’ is a common experience in people diagnosed with disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder (Laroi et al., 2012). Despite the widespread transdiagnostic occurrence of this experience, it remains poorly understood by students, in part due to the private nature of the experience making it inaccessible, and in part due to the stigma and misrepresentation which often surrounds the experience (McCarthy-Jones, 2012). The innovation in teaching proposed here involves the development of a service-user and expert-by-experience led multimedia teaching package which will, a) improve understanding of the nature of the experience of hearing voices, b) demystify the experience by reducing stigma and fear, and c) increase competence to engage with people who hear voices, whether it is in the capacity of a student or a practitioner.

Collaboration is at the heart of the project which aims to capture the self-experience of voice hearing and frame it in the recovery context. The multimedia package will consist of two eLearning units, each will include service-users and their personal experience of hearing voices. Animation will be added to the videos to illustrate and bring to life the heard voices. Through animating the heard voices, the students/viewers are provided with a more immediate experience of the intensity of hearing voices, the disconcerting nature of that experience, and the lack of control over when and how the heard voices are experienced. It is thought that the animation element will enhance the impact of the service-users’ stories. The project will represent a two-unit online learning package, developed using Articulate Storyline 2. It will comprise audio-visual, animation and multimedia features and will be deployed through Blackboard. The students will be given broad questions to consider in advance of engaging with the units. Whilst completing the units, they will answer questions on the content. Students will undertake self-reflection as a part of the module (reflection is an embedded component of the nursing and medical curriculum and they are experienced in this skill). An interactive message board will be provided and students will be encouraged to discuss the content and their experience of watching the videos. At the end of the unit, students will be given a short quiz to evaluate their learning.

Clare Whelan, School of Medicine, Clinical Skills Tutor - Presentation

The Clinical Skills Programme for students in the 2nd medical year incorporates a Communications module focused on clinical interview skills. This innovation is designed to enhance undergraduate medical students' ability to identify poor and good communication skills and their ability to reflect on patient encounter scenarios. This encourages critical thinking about day to day experiences and observations in the clinical area before they commence their clinical attachments which will hopefully be transferred into their experiences there promoting a critical thinking and reflective practitioner in the future.

It is proposed to use e-learning as its main platform for delivery making it compatible with the Generation Z. It is envisaged that the programme will later be made available to the students in the clinical years so that they can continue to develop their communication and reflection skills at times when they have reduced/completed classroom teaching on the subject. This innovation may lend itself to a new mode of assessment of reflection. Traditionally the learner is the only person that has witnessed the experience about which they are reflecting, which can present some difficulties to a tutor when assessing these assignments. It may lend itself to a non-traditional mode of assessment whereby students will be asked to reflect on specific scenarios that can be viewed online and the assessor can review the actual scenario and therefore deliver a more accurate assessment and appropriate feedback to the students. However using Learman's model to critique the reflections will provide an objective framework for assessment and increase the educational merit of the exercise.

Marie Morris, School of Medicine, Education Division - Presentation

This research project will further the objectives of the Trinity Education Project through the promotion of non-traditional modes of assessment and will embed 21st Century assessment modalities into the curriculum. A pioneering and innovative technology enhanced approach to assessment using a remote tele-presence device is proposed. This has been piloted successfully and shows great potential for transferability to all schools within the Faculty and across College.

Remote assessment via a remote tele-presence device utilises a five-foot tall tablet computer on wheels which links up via Wi-Fi. The assessor appears on the screen and is able to conduct a face-to-face interaction with the student. The student and patient can be seen up close, and the examiner can check for levels of competence in the students' performance. The remote assessor can quickly travel around the exam room and is controlled by the absent examiner, often via their mobile phone. They can be in another part of the hospital, city or country. By having one attending assessor and one assessing remotely, the validity of two independent examiners is maintained without adding the extra stress of double assessor's presence in the room. This project has endless scope in all schools and faculties across College. Any programme requiring direct observation and assessment of the desired range of graduate attributes has the potential to successfully utilise remote assessors.

Catherine Darker, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health & Primary Care - Presentation

The proposed Healthy Trinity Online Tool (H-TOT) is a new concept that is a part of a broader initiative to incorporate Healthy Ireland (our Government’s blueprint to improve the Population’s health and wellbeing) into all aspects of Trinity life, striving to achieve and maintain the ‘Healthy Campus’ status for Trinity College. Health Sciences professionals struggle to achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout their careers. Students of Health Sciences also struggle with this balance, which is compounded by the course requirement to meet the curriculum demands of the respective accrediting bodies, which leaves little flexibility in the student timetable. The aim of this innovation is twofold (1) to help to focus students on the importance of maintaining work-life balance throughout their career, through actively building this component into the undergraduate curriculum and (2) to deliver the health promotion aspects of the undergraduate medical curriculum in a way that it not only theoretical and evidence-based but that includes practical applications from the outset. It is envisioned that this approach will begin with undergraduate medicine, but will expand to include all students of Health Sciences and then the whole of College.

The development of the H-TOT will provide this interactive health related educational piece, with the functionality to enhance students’ ability to self-manage a challenge and signpost students to existing College supports, services and infrastructure. Embedding and evaluating the practical application of health promotion theory throughout the undergraduate curriculum is innovative. The H-TOT will be developed, using the College’s e-learning platform to achieve maximum reach and impact. All content and interactive materials will be developed using the software package Articulate and all materials will be hosted on Blackboard. For example, we will use gamification techniques whereby students must achieve badges for each area of health promotion, and can achieve different levels within each area.

Stephen Smith, School of Medicine, Clinical Microbiology

By it's nature Microbiology is a practical subject, and thus laboratory classes underpin and further expand the student learning experience. The demonstration of experiments to students (particularly in large classes) can be somewhat challenging. I use the Biology Teaching Centre for my practical classes, and this affords me the use of a camera system linked to plasma screens to demonstrate techniques. Whilst this is a superb resource, I feel I could deliver an even better student learning experience. My idea is to record short videos of a variety of techniques that can then be shown in class or that the student can view in their own time. VIMM will be a suite of videos that are no longer than 90 seconds in duration. Complex procedures, will be broken down into smaller chunks to make for easier learning. The use of VIMM and the impact on learning will be assessed by student evaluation in Summer 2017. I will use VIMM in my teaching for year 2 Medicine and Human Health and Disease. The videos will be used live in class, but will be available on-line such that the students can view these in their own time. I can easily see the utility of these videos for colleagues teaching similar cohorts in Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Science. Thus, I am happy to share and disseminate VIMM with colleagues.

Eric Downer, School of Medicine, Department of Physiology

Embryology is a core subject undertaken by Health Science students, with the aim to bring together core knowledge in Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology to describe the developmental process from fertilization to birth. For the 2015-16 academic year student feedback indicated difficulty visualising key embryological concepts in 2D, particularly embryonic folding/flexion and cell layer migration during gastrulation.

This project will develop an interactive audio-visual animation that will be implemented into the Junior Freshman curriculum for teaching embryology and will be assessed via pre- and post- animation surveys to determine if the audio-visual aid improves student learning in embryology. Furthermore, the collation of questionnaire data associated with the animation will be conducted by a Senior Sophister student as part of their final year undergraduate research project. Overall, this will explore how the animation can be used to supplement student education beyond the traditional classroom. This project will act as the first steps to develop a prospective pilot animation, which will be introduced in 2016-17, and will act as a platform to develop/implement new audio-visual teaching tools into degree programmes throughout the School/Faculty, including Medicine, Nursing and Occupational Therapy.