Tag: teaching

New academic year post

University departments for the health professions, like Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Sciences, have long academic years. We welcome intakes of new pre-registration undergraduate nurses every September, which is a time when students of many other disciplines are still enjoying the tail end of their summer holidays. In September we also welcome back existing students, and this afternoon – assuming I can navigate across Cardiff and its NATO summit-encircling ring of steel – I’m off to the School’s University Hospital of Wales (UHW) campus to meet a group of third year undergraduates to talk about the ethical aspects of nursing and healthcare research.

More generally, I start the 2014-15 academic year as incoming Co-Director of Postgraduate Research in the School, sharing this work with my esteemed colleague Dr Tina Gambling. Currently in the School of Healthcare Sciences we have almost 80 students studying for either the degree of PhD or the Professional Doctorate in Advanced Healthcare Practice (DAHP). The student group is a rich and varied one, and includes many who have made significant commitments to leave their homes (and often, their families) in other parts of the world to live and study in Cardiff. An example is Mohammad Marie, who I have written about on this site before.

In the case of new, or intending, postgraduate research students in the School some helpful advice is: keep an eye on the School’s website. We’re in the process of launching a new research strategy with distinct themes, and our aim is to recruit new PhD and Professional Doctorate students whose interests are clearly aligned with these. Research theme groups will, we’re all hoping, become communities of scholars drawing in researchers with all levels of experience: including those just starting out, and those who are internationally regarded.

Blogging for teaching

With apologies in advance for making an exceptionally obvious observation, but it has properly dawned on me this week that writing a blog might have significant advantages for teaching. A couple of days ago I was in class with a group of MSc students, talking about what we can learn from the study of service user trajectories. The sensible thing to do was to navigate to this site, and show people where they can download this recent paper. So that’s exactly what I did.

Unrelatedly, Mark Howard (who works at London South Bank University and who I used to work with in East London in the days when I was a community mental health nurse) has also been kind enough to comment on a post, and to mention that he sometimes points his students here. Hello again Mark, and hello to your students too – and thanks for your collective interest.

And today I’ve been planning a new Professional Doctorate module, and have been deliberately embedding links to this blog in my teaching materials. So what all of this is making me realise is that a blog (mostly) oriented towards research and academic stuff might, over time, become a useful educational resource. I actually can’t think of any other way in which a personal repository of papers, commentaries, onwards links and so on might be brought together.