Programme review Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching (PGCertCT)

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1 Programme review Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching (PGCertCT) Date of report: September

2 Panel members Professor Tim Wilkinson, Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago Associate Professor Jennifer Weller, Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, University of Auckland Associate Professor Janet Carter (Chair), Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury Acknowledgements The review panel is grateful to Suzanne Rose and Julie Mackey for the preparation of resources and ongoing support for the review panel. The documents were well structured and provided a broad base of information. The review panel is also grateful to the current and past students who gave their time for a telephone interview about their experiences and views of the PGCertCT, and two informative written submissions. Thank you also to the PG certificate coordinator and lecturer, Dr Dale Sheehan and the department head, Professor Philip Schluter for taking the time to provide the panel with constructive and helpful reflections into the PGCertCT. Terms of Reference for the Review (a) Overall, does this programme meet standards acceptable to the panel for (i) A University of Canterbury degree, (ii) New Zealand degrees in this discipline/these disciplines, (iii) International degrees in this discipline/these disciplines. (b) Recommendations for improving this programme 2

3 To meet University of Canterbury, national and international standards; To achieve the stated graduate attributes; To meet professional or employer requirements. (c) Commendations (d) Recommendations for the future of the programme Review Process The bulk of the review process was held from 9-4pm onsite in College of Education, Orakipaoa Building on 9 th May Janet Carter attended in the morning and reviewed documentation, had a face to face interview with the Programme Coordinator and telephone interviews with three past students. Tim Wilkinson joined the review panel in the afternoon to review documentation and for the interview with Professor Philip Schluter, Head of School of Health Sciences. Following this day Janet Carter had an additional phone call to discuss the review findings and consult with panel member Jennifer Weller. Due to panel leave plans the written report was completed in September Data for the review collected from: In undertaking the review, the panel considered the following documents and resources: Self-review document 2014 Interview with Programme Coordinator Course outlines for HLTH 415, HLTH 416 and HLTH 417 Report on grade distributions Telephone interview with two current students and one past student Student and progression statistics and course enrolment documents 3

4 Anonymous samples of assessed student work for HLTH 415 and HLTH416 Results from student surveys undertaken March 2014 Promotional material including the webpage for the PGCertCT CUAP proposal 2008 Two written submissions (School of Health Science, UC & Maori, UC) PGCertCT Overview 1) Aim of PGCertCT The PGCertCT overview here is lagely based on the self-review document in addition to other resources available to the panel. The Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching has been offered through the School of Health Sciences in the College of Education at the University of Canterbury. It was established as a postgraduate qualification in The aim of the PGCertCT is to contribute to the development of the health professional workforce through the training and development of skilled health educators and researchers. The goal is to provide the health workforce with graduates who deliver teaching and learning from a sound knowledge base and have the skills to apply research to their teaching and to research best practice. There are two groups of health professional educators who undertake this study, and who combine this qualification with other clinically based qualifications: 1) Those who maintain a clinical practice focus but accept supervision or mentoring responsibilities for undergraduate and post graduate students who wish to integrate theory and practice within their teaching. 2) Faculty based within a Medical or Health Professional School who wish to pursue an education academic career including ongoing research. 4

5 Candidates wishing to enrol in the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Teaching must have either: Qualified for a degree in a New Zealand university which is of relevance to clinical teaching and the proposed course of study, or Qualified for an appropriate health or allied professional qualification requiring at least three years full-time tertiary study at an appropriate level. Candidates must also have gained qualifications and experience that accord with membership of an approved health professional association or be registered to practice within a health environment. 2) Qualification Structure The PGCertCT comprises a total of 60 points. Currently three papers; HLTH415 - Designing and Managing Learning and Supervision in a Healthcare Setting (15pts) HLTH416 - Issues and Processes in Learning and Supervision in a Healthcare Setting (15pts) HLTH417 - Education Proposal for a Health Context (30pts) The certificate is normally completed on a part-time basis over two years. Each course is a stand-alone, modular course so participants can exit at any point and undertake the complete qualification in their own timeframe. The certificate must be completed within four years. HLTH415 Designing and Managing Learning and Supervision in a Healthcare Setting 5

6 This course explores different approaches in teaching and learning in a health professional context through an exploration of the current literature and research. Participants are required to assess and analyse alternative perspectives and communicate their rationale for accepting a model applicable to their work context. Participants are also required to identify and compare models of supervision and processes for the management of individual learning experiences in a health context. HLTH416 Issues and Processes in Learning and Supervision in a Healthcare Setting This course explores the psychological and social learning dimensions relevant to learning and supervision. In particular it focuses on the cognitive and personal factors of how people learn, instructor/student relationships, case based learning, reflective practice and critical thinking, providing feedback, and encouraging selfevaluation in working with small groups. Participants are required to critically review the literature in this area, demonstrate its application to teaching sessions, and present findings to the group. HLTH417 Education Proposal for a Health Context HLTH417 is an independent study that must be completed in a 6-12 month period. The course builds on the processes and skills learned in the earlier courses: HLTH415 and HLTH416. The course requires the student to reflect on and apply previously learnt skills and processes to design and plan an approved project. The project design must be grounded in evidence-based educational practice, and a fit within a declared research methodology, or a business proposal model, or a quality monitoring and evaluative framework. Commendations There is much to be commended about the PGCertCT and the following outlines many of its specific excellent features. 6

7 Overall Quality of the PGCertCT The overall quality of the PGCertCT was confirmed from a range of perspectives (students current and past, UC staff with knowledge of the programme and health sector leaders, other similar national programmes). All were united in their view that the PGCertCT is grounded in the reality of practice for health professionals and yet still maintains strong theoretical and research underpinnings. Graduate outcomes It was evident in talking with students and the health sector representatives that the PGCertCT is a very effective programme. Students develop skills and competencies in a broad a of areas directly relevant and applicable to their health work. It was also apparent that the PGCertCT provides students with skills, competencies and the confidence to extend their practice into other areas of their work they had not perceived possible until completing the PGCertCT. Student experience and satisfaction Overall the current and past students views of the content and structure of the PGCertCT were very positive. Similarly, students were generally very positive about the content of the courses, assessment and quality of support they received. The workload and assessment methods are substantial but seem appropriate and have a good mix of written and practical. Relevance to health field Students and health field representatives all agreed that the PGCertCT is meeting a need/gap in the health field. Both groups were particularly positive about the practical nature and usefulness of course content and assessment. Similarly the broad inter professional focus of the PGCertCT was viewed as a particular strength. The PCCertCT attracts students from a range of health professions (e.g. medicine, nursing and allied health). 7

8 Recommendations At the time of this review enrolements in the PGCertCT had been suspended for Enrolments in the course have dwindled over the past few years, as can be seen in the table below. PGCertCT enrolment numbers Year HLTH415 HLTH 416 HLTH Not offered If the PGCertCT is to be continued, we offer the following recommendations for consideration. Enrolment More than one student interviewed described having persistent difficulties with the enrolment processes for the PGCertCT at UC. Given that students enrolling in this certificate tend to be adults who may not have studied for some time or have never studied at a university, the enrolment process for PGcertCT needs to be streamlined. It is noteworthy that most of the difficulties students appeared to have, were with the wider UC enrolment processes rather than the School per se. Consideration could be given to increasing pastoral care around the enrolment to assist student navigating enrolment. Staffing 8

9 The Programme Coordinator has been the sole lecturer/course coordinator (0.6FTE) for the PGCertCT papers (HLTH 415, HLTH416, HLTH417). From late 2013 the Programme Coordinator was employed 0.2. While capable and a good fit for the role it was clear in the review, for a number of reasons, that the PGCertCT requires more staff. The amount of work involved in administration, coordination, teaching and pastoral care of the PGCertCT is considerable. In addition, the PGCertCT remains vulnerable when all teaching, student liaison etc relies on one person. Students are also likely to benefit from experiencing a variety of teaching styles and approaches from a variety of health professionals. It was also apparent in the review, that staff in the PGCertCT, need to have strong local and national links with the health sector. Increasing the number of staff members will ensure the practical and relevant nature of the certificate papers continues and contribute to marketing of the PGCertCT. Structure of course Overall the structure of course seemed to work for students. The block teaching days were viewed by all students as an integral aspect of their courses, despite students often having difficulties attending the block course days. Given that students enrolled in the PGcertCT are typically working, consideration needs to be given to course flexibility. More than one student noted that work priorities at times meant they were not able to attend a block course and subsequently had the challenge of trying to catch up on course material. Typically the lecturer would assist with this on a one-by-one basis. Consideration of more flexible learning approaches (self-paced learning, increased e-learning) could be advantageous. Methods and assessment The aim of assessments in the PGCertCT papers has been to provide practical tasks that reflect activities students may or could do in their health work roles. The aim of the assessments has also been to assess the competencies relevant to a health professional educator. There are two non-graded assignments in HLTH415 and 416 that are based on competencies. Peer and self-assessment are also included. 9

10 The practical and applicable nature of assessments was viewed as strength by the students interviewed. The assessment requirements appeared to be manageable, which was supported by student reports. From the review information gathered it seems that most aspects of the assessment process have been conducted by one person (the coordinator). It is recommended that the current assessment processes be reviewed against the UC assessment polices, principles and guidelines and adjusted accordingly. National and international perspective There is a growing number of post-graduate degrees in Health Professionals Education / Medical Education / Clinical Education around the world, with a recent survey identifying over 120 Masters programmes. The discipline has become well established. These offerings provide a choice of courses, with progression through taught courses including research methods courses towards dissertation or thesis options. These have been summarised in a useful table by FAIMER (http://www.faimer.org/resources/mastersmeded.html) The University of Cambridge offers what appears to be a stand alone post-graduate certificate in medical education, which does not clearly articulate with a Masters Programme and appears to be very much focused on practical teaching skills. This is advertised as meeting the requirements for entry into the UK Academy of Medical Educators. A non-exhaustive search of the web did not identify other similar practical, PGCerts, but this may be because they are targeted at local educators with less of an international web presence. In summary, most similar national and international programs offer a large number of taught courses, with inclusion of research methods courses and research dissertations or thesis. These masters programs, and the University of Cambridge PGCert in Medical Education, generally do offer a PGCert option but students in these programs would have a wide range of taught course options. 10

11 Thus the University of Canterbury PGCert differs from similar international programs in the following: It is diminishing in size while there is an international growth in similar programs. It offers only two taught courses with half the work being a student-led practicum. It does not articulate with a post-graduate diploma or masters degree. The emphasis is on practical teaching rather than developing research potential. Note from Programme Coordinator in response to the last comment Although there is research skill development built into the programme with teaching about literature reviews and conducting a literature review included in HLTH415, critical appraisal of literature included in HLTH416 (as per assessment schedules), and an option to develop a research proposal (as an alternative to a educational initiative proposal) in HLTH417. Some students have presented at conferences and published their HLTH417 work. Consideration could be given to increasing the number of course offerings either locally or through collaborations with other organisations, and clearly identifying pathways for students to progress to masters level qualification at UC or through a partnership with another university. Student support While the quality of student support was excellent the frequency and access to the support was problematic. No issues were identified with library or IT services. Students commented that they would have liked easier access and more frequent support from programme staff during their enrolment in the PGCertCT. Comments included often feeling lone and wanting to get to know other students. In addition to course specific assistance, it also seemed that students would benefit 11

12 from increased pastoral support. Increased consideration of the student learning experience could greatly enhance the PGCertCT. Ideas could include peer collaboration activities, online forums or chats, increasing student-lecturer Skype/phone meetings in addition to face-to-face meetings. Augmenting support material online may also be beneficial. Having more than one staff member involved in the course, would also help. Funding Funding assistance was reported to be a significant obstacle for students. Changes in the way the health sector funds post graduate study for some groups of health professionals appears to be one factor that has had a significant impact on enrolment numbers in the PGCertCT. While the PGCertCT is relevant to many health professionals, at UC thus far nurses tend to be the predominant profession enrolled and it appears that it is changes to professional development funding for nursing that has had the largest impact on enrollment numbers. Funding streams for potential students need to be given consideration, forming partnerships with Canterbury District Health Board and other district health boards would be a priority. It is noteworthy that all of the current and past students interviewed for this review had full financial assistance for their study. Marketing An analysis of the student/employer market for the PGCertCT is recommended. The panel understands that to date there has been little specific marketing of PGCertCT which needs to be a priority once the market is ascertained. As noted earlier, one aspect of programme has been the interdisciplinary nature of students which could be further strengthened. Once the market is clear considerations around course delivery and how this might better fit with the needs can occur. As part of this process an understanding about the similarities and points of difference with other programmes in New Zealand (e.g. Auckland and Otago) is 12

13 needed. An exploration of potential links or partnership opportunities with these other programmes may also be advantageous. Establishing and maintaining external relationships was viewed by the panel as integral to the success of the PGCertCT. For example, relationships with Health Workforce NZ, external health professionals, health services and organizations in Canterbury and nationally. Also, examining the possibility of partnering with CDHB. The panel had some discussion about the NHS British model around education and training of health professions and wondered if some aspects of that model could inform a partnership arrangement with the CDHB. Culture and diversity Maori students are underrepresented at UC in general and this is also reflected in student enrolments in the PGCertCT. As noted in the submission to the review panel from AVC Maori Darryn Russell, any future development of the programme also needs to give consideration to the UC vision and mission from Rautaki Whakawhanake Kaupapa Maori; that is the UC strategy for Maori Development. In sum, the certificant meets an important need for professionals and employers. With the above recommendations considered, the panel believes that the PGCert CT will meet acceptable standards for the University of Canterbury and also national and international standards for the discipline. 13

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