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Selecting the teaching method

Hi. I’m Katie McGhee. I’m a lecturer in Child Health Nursing and I often deliver lectures to large groups. Lectures are a cost-effective way of transmitting factual information to a larger audience, providing background information and ideas and concepts that can be further developed later by private study or via small facilitated group activities. The key disadvantage of the large group lecture is the tendency to place the audience into a passive role with note-taking and little time to reflect upon, or question ideas. This is where the interest and engagement of the student can easily be lost. To maximize the effectiveness of the large group lecture, I try to facilitate learning of the key basic principles of the subject.
I organize the content into a logical structure and perhaps, more importantly, make it relevant and present it with interest and energy in order to hold the students attention. Fundamentally, the large group lecture should be stimulating and offer food for thought. I also try to encourage interaction by asking students questions, either verbally or using audience response systems. This gets the students more engaged in the lecture and also helps me to assess their learning. Hi. I’m Kelly Walker and I’m a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy. I have facilitated a variety of small group teaching sessions for our students.
Small group work, ideally with eight to ten learners, is very commonly used within health profession courses, particularly with a problem-based learning or inquiry based learning pedagogy. These approaches, along with case based learning, are ideal for preparing health professionals for the clinical decision-making required when presented with a patient. Essentially in small group teaching the teacher becomes a facilitator of learning rather than the teacher, much like the conductor of an orchestra. This is the strength of the approach because the learners actively seek to understand and solve problems in a self-directed manner.
Small group working is perfect for peer support and feedback ,along with developing soft skills, which are essential for professional development, including team working, negotiation communication, listening and presenting skills, to mention just a few. From my own experience, I would suggest the group really need to trust that the facilitator will use appropriate questions to guide the group towards achieving their learning outcomes. Occasionally, there could also be issues with the group dynamics which the tutor may need to address. It’s important that everyone is committed to the process to ensure its success. Arguably more preparation is required by the tutors for this style of active learning but the reward is greater learning gains for students. Hello. I’m Nicola Spalding, Professor of Occupational Therapy.
Providing one-to-one clinical supervision provides a unique opportunity to foster a learning environment which is learner- focused and thus very contextual to the learners needs. Yes, of course the educator can closely observe the learners knowledge, skills, attitudes and ability in practice which can then be discussed in depth in confidence to advance the learning. This coaching style helps learners to reflect on their practice, appreciate what has gone well and offer solutions for, improvement and further enhancement.
Of course, there are some challenges: the educator must be adaptable to create such a supportive learning centered environment, and of course it requires a lot of time. One-to-one supervision comes with significant responsibility to positively enhance the professional development of another, and through this improves the quality of the service to benefit people who use that service. One-to-one supervision requires undivided attention from the educator, so that can work to the pace of the learner, to their preferred style, and to their particular needs and goals, giving them control over their own personal and professional development. This can increase the learners engagement and motivation to advance their knowledge and skills further.

Please watch this video of a panel discussion where the educators are discussing factors that underpin their choice of teaching methods used in practice.

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Clinical Supervision: Teaching and Facilitating Learning

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