From Anatomy and Histology to Poetry and Electronic Music
Vol 1 no. 3 | May 2014
We recently farewelled Professor Ian Gibbins, former head of Anatomy and Histology, and long-time lecturer, topic coordinator and researcher in the School of Medicine. Before his departure, we caught up with Ian for some words of wisdom about his time teaching in the School. What will you miss most about your time here? The excitement of discovery. Being able to carry out high level basic research is a huge privilege. I’ve been fortunate indeed to have been funded continuously for nearly 40 years to do this kind of research. Coming from a background in zoology, my primary research focus has been to figure out how biological systems work normally in all their complexity, rather than focus on some specific disease process. The simple fact is that, against all odds, biology works really well most of the time, and we still don’t know very much about what keeps the whole system running so effectively. For most of my research career, I have had the amazing experience of seeing things that no one had ever seen before week in, week out, for years, nearly every time I looked down a microscope or turned on an oscilloscope. That experience is matchless. What do you love most about teaching? The students (mostly!). It’s very hard to put into words the satisfaction you get when someone you’ve been teaching understands something about the way the world works that they previously did not know. It is always a challenge no matter what the topic is and what the backgrounds of the students are. I’ve enjoyed teaching in different courses at Flinders as well as doing sessions outside the University to various community groups or in open public lectures. The other great thing about teaching is that you learn so much. Sometimes it is just from preparing the subject matter, sometimes it comes as a result of a student question, but it’s best when in the midst of a class, you suddenly hit on an insight you’ve never had before.
Even after 30 years of teaching, these magic moments still happen – as indeed they should: if anyone ever thinks they know all there is to know about a topic, they are wrong, and are probably not going to be top level teachers. Although I have rarely taught in the area of my core research expertise, this has turned out to be a good thing. There have been innumerable instances when something I had to find out for teaching purposes ended up being valuable in some way for my research. Similarly, bringing insights from the laboratory to the classroom usually adds an extra spark to a teaching session. How have you seen teaching change over the years (if at all)? Teaching has changed a lot in many areas, such as the technology of content delivery and assessment methods. When I was cleaning out my office, I found a box of my original teaching materials: hand written notes and hand-drawn over-head transparencies, with not a computer generated diagram or set of notes in sight. It was tedious, but you necessarily learnt the material very well! However, for all of the new technology as well as changes in the student demographics, course structure, professional expectations etc, the basic problems remain: students need to be convinced that it’s worthwhile learning material with a level of understanding deeper than that required simply to meet assessment requirements. Good teachers can do that and good students appreciate it. Do you have any amusing stories about your time teaching at Flinders? Not for public release…
Any words of wisdom/a piece of advice for your teaching colleagues? Manage your time well; research cannot take second place to teaching for very long without suffering a serious hit , however, don’t take shortcuts; quality takes time; assessment matters; good assessment methods facilitate good teaching and learning; most students are keen to learn if given half a chance: so give it to them, you can learn a lot from teaching... but don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself! What are your plans in retirement? I will spending a lot of time on my artscience collaborations and writing my poetry and electronic music. We have a big collaborative art-science project based on some old microscopes that is due for exhibition in July this year. During March I was the inaugural Poet-in-Residence at the Adelaide City Library, as well as contributing poetry, music and video to an Adelaide Festival Fringe show. For several years, I’ve been collaborating with the Australian Dance Theatre and I expect to spend more time with them. I’ll still pop into Flinders from time to time, mainly to help with research projects I’m collaborating on. But regardless of all these, the best thing is that I’ll be able to go windsurfing whenever there are strong winds and big waves...
Education in Focus
From the Executive Dean
International Orientation The Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences international student orientation for Semester 1, 2014 was held on Wednesday February 19 at the Sturt Precinct. The orientation was open to both undergraduate and postgraduate international students commencing in the Faculty in 2014. Approximately 50 students attended the orientation and were from the School of Nursing and Midwifery.
Eating Healthy (Ms Alison Yaxley): How to look after yourself in a new country and learning about the history of Australian cuisine.
The Australian Health Care System (Prof Eileen Willis): An introduction. Study Skills
Making the most of the Library (Mr Craig Brittain): How to effectively utilise the library services.
how to read and write an argument and The orientation commenced with a welcome session from the Associate Head of Faculty (International), Professor Chris Franco. This edition of Education in Focus outlines many of the changes underway across our faculty. Professor John Coveney has taken up his position as Foundation Dean of our new School of Health Sciences and is providing dynamic leadership and vision.
The remainder of the day comprised of eight information sessions, including: Cultural Aspects and Language “Connecting with Aussies” (Dr Amanda Muller): How to start a conversation with locals and understanding Aussie slang.
At the same time the restructure of our faculty continues. The most significant innovation for our Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee has been the establishment of sub-committees in E-Learning, Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education. These are chaired by the Pathology right up to the week before his Associate Deans of Teaching and Learning of our retirement. three schools: Steve Parker, John Power and Christopher Lind. The Speech Pathology team will also farewell Dr Willem van Steenbrugge, a linguist who brought a strong multicultural apThe front page of this edition of Education in Focus has a farewell interview with Professor Ian proach to his teaching and research. Gibbins, Head of Anatomy and Histology at Flinders University for over twenty years. Ian has Another great educator moving to retiredemonstrated an innovative approach to ment is Meg Hegarty from Palliative Care. teaching that includes his deep understanding of Meg has made a great contribution to the the relationship between art and science. Ian outstanding reputation of our Palliative Care demonstrates interactions between the two can teaching team in collaborative and innovaproduce radically innovative approaches to tive teaching. learning.
We also farewell Professor Andy Butcher, our inaugural Professor of Speech Pathology at Flinders University. Andy maintained his strong involvement in teaching through his role as Course Coordinator of our Bachelor of Speech
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Referencing and Academic Integrity (Dr Andrew Miller): How to avoid collusion and plagiarism; using the Harvard referencing system and paraphrasing and quoting. Student Wellbeing and Services
Introduction to the Australian Culture
Professor Carol Grbich from Social Health Sciences is also retiring and, like Ian, will be spending time on her artistic pursuits. Carol plans to continue her writing, with less of a focus on qualitative methods and more on literature.
how to differentiate between fact, assumption and opinion.
Taking Care of Yourself and the Equal Opportunity Unit (Ms Anne Hayes): Detailing the Health, Counselling and Disability services on offer for students and identifying what is discrimination, where to go for help and the role of the student equal opportunity advisor.
The Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) (Ms Vanessa Duran): Who they are and how they can assist students. Lunch was provided and was a great way for students to network. Overall it was an informative day and positive feedback was received from all attendees. A special thank you to the speakers (listed in this article) who volunteered their time and made the day possible. firstname.lastname@example.org
We thank Ian, Carol, Andy, Willem, Meg and all our retiring staff for your great contributions to our university. Your legacy lives on through the inspiration and guidance you have provided to our graduates and through the lives they will impact throughout their own careers. Professor Michael Kidd AM Executive Dean Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Professor Eileen Willis discussing the Australian Health Care system with international students
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Teaching & Learning Innovation Grant Associate Professor Linda Sweet and Ms Kristen Graham were awarded an Executive Dean’s Teaching and Learning Innovation Grant in 2013 and were presented with their certificates at the Faculty’s Christmas function in December. Their innovative project will involve the development of a Midwifery Pod of teaching and learning resources for students and clinical facilitation staff to support professional experience placements. A trial will involve using the midwifery miniCEX and incorporating the Pod resources for formative feedback and real time clinical teaching. Professor Michael Kidd with Associate Professor Linda Sweet and Ms Kristen Graham
Transition to University—is it different on a Rural Campus? Starting a university program on any campus can be daunting. ‘O’ week introduces students to staff, campus layout, support services and expectations of the course they undertake. Within the first few weeks students learn to navigate the campus, their timetables and juggle time management with large workloads while attempting to achieve a study/life balance. Teaching staff promote strategies and techniques to support learning while encouraging the development of independence in learning. Commencing students on the Riverland Campus of Flinders University are no different. They navigate similar challenges as those at Bedford Park or for that matter any campus, however the rural setting presents its own unique factors to consider. Students arrive from across the region including the Murray Mallee, Riverland and Sunraysia. Many do not relocate to Renmark, preferring to travel up to 150kms each way each day to participate in the program. Despite originating from various areas within the region the rural connection is strong. On their first day many students re-discover a prior relationship with their peers; familial, sporting, school, professional, etc.
Personal assumptions and connections, both good and bad already exist. Herein lies the biggest difference for students studying on a rural campus. Bachelor of Nursing students on the Riverland campus enrol into the same program as their Adelaide counterparts and the small cohort means each topic is undertaken by the same group across the degree. Essentially students spend their entire undergraduate program together. Positive relationships facilitate collegiality and growth while negative relationships can have a detrimental influence. Students must learn quickly to navigate
these relationships within a new environment. It is important for educators to recognise and promote discussion around this phenomenon. Similar to any health professional practising in the rural sector, guidance for establishing and defining professional and personal boundaries within these relationships is essential for success. Leeanne Pront Associate Lecturer in Nursing Leeanne.email@example.com
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Education in Focus
Educating Students for Lab-Based Classes and Placements It is vital that students are well educated about work health and safety (WH&S) issues before they undertake any laboratory based exercises as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate learning. This means they must understand safe work practices and potential hazards in their educational ‘workplace’. In Medical Biotechnology in the School of Medicine, a three pronged approach to student learning is undertaken for students who will carry out a placement in teaching and/or research laboratories. Firstly, students must undertake safety induction sessions, which are a series of oral and ‘walk around’ training sessions carried out by professional and academic staff members. Although the sessions involve some presentation of oral material, they are highly interactive and utilise a series of questions and answers specific to each of the induction sessions. Examples of sessions are ‘Chemicals’ and ‘Laboratory Protocols’. Students complete a question sheet at the end of each session and following submission they receive a copy of the sheet with the answers filled in so that they have a record of the session. Once they have completed all induction sessions successfully they may commence
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After students have been working in the laboratory for two to three weeks there is a laboratory competency test as a recap. The second prong in the WH&S teaching approach is a project being initiated to examine the standard and efficiency of the induction process by carrying out surveys before and after safety induction. We hope to share the details of the induction process with other areas of the Faculty once the survey results have been collated and the induction process refined. For students carrying out a laboratory exercise in the teaching laboratory only, instead of the induction sessions, the first stage is condensed into a lecture covering aspects of the WH&S issues related to the teaching laboratory and the technical steps covered by the relevant exercise (hence there are no surveys). The third prong in the Medical Biotechnology approach is to provide the students with short video clips. These show a section of each technique they will perform and are filmed using video glasses (see picture).
Some of the items that can be highlighted in the video clips include safety information related to each step; labels, and equipment and references are provided to risk assessment documents that must be read before carrying out procedures. These are a great learning tool and should aid students to work more efficiently and safely in this area of their studies. Some screen captures are shown below (filmed by Medical Biotechnology PhD student Abdulmajeed Almutary) firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Transition to University— Students’ Stories We were interested in finding out how some of our commencing students made the transition to university study in 2014. Three undergraduate students from different courses in the Faculty agreed to answer some questions about their experiences and we would like to thank Mandy Kolus (Bachelor of Nursing (Preregistration)), Daniel Falzon (Bachelor of Health Sciences) and Carol Heinrich (Biotechnology) for sharing their experiences with us. Why did you choose to study at Flinders University? Mandy: The Flinders campus was easier to access than those in the city and better for parking than the city. It was more supportive here with follow up regarding the orientation day… “always on the ball”. A friend’s daughter came here and said that it was great place to study. Daniel: Because I've had the goal of being a paramedic and it is a university which offers this degree. I also love the campus and facilities. Carol: Flinders gave me the most insightful information for the course that I wanted to undertake. Did you attend any orientation activities offered by your school or the University? Mandy: I attended both at school and at orientation week. With the school I attended the big day at the showgrounds where all the universities go, and also came to Flinders as a class group visit. Daniel: I did attend two lectures about academic referencing and essay writing which I have already found very helpful and it's only week two! Carol: I am currently living at the Hall of Residence) which encouraged me to attend multiple activities at the University. What were the useful things about the ‘O’ week activities? Mandy: Knowing where all the libraries were, the book shop, places to eat and where to get coffee, map of the campus . The friendly people/staff ready to help,
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Carol Heinrich (Biotechnology) and Mandy Kolus (Nursing)
someone on a sign everywhere so you didn’t get lost. People were supportive and helpful.
Will you be working full-time or part-time while you are studying at Flinders University?
Carol: I think it was very useful in showing the range of activities that Flinders has to offer. The activities were very interactive and I got to meet new people. There was lots of information and helpful people around at stalls during ‘O' Week which I found very useful also.
Mandy: Definitely part-time. It is scary to work full-time when I don’t want to just get credits and passes. I am a high achiever and would rather make the sacrifices now in the short term to benefit the long term.
What are you most looking forward to about studying your degree?
Daniel: Part-time for the first year is the plan and then hopefully full-time from then on.
Mandy: Getting a qualification and a new career, becoming something worthwhile. Daniel: I really look forward to the day I get accepted in to the Paramedic degree. Also, getting rewarded with high grades when I have put a lot of effort in. Carol: Having the opportunity to study the area that I am most interested in. What do you hope will be the job relevant skills you will gain from your education at Flinders University? Mandy: Learning more about the body and how it works, and the confidence to work with complete strangers. Daniel: Like many health care professionals, paramedics require group work skills that I hope the University will teach us. Carol: Hopefully better writing and speaking skills
Carol: No What plans do you have for maintaining a study/recreation/life balance? Mandy: It shouldn’t be too bad as I learnt a lot of adult tertiary preparation skills last year at school. They taught us how to balance things, use a study planner, take breaks, have short getaways which helps to refresh you. Daniel: Due to sporting and work commitments, I have been planning my university schedule many weeks before semester start. I follow a schedule which I write out each fortnight that will hopefully keep me ahead. Carol: Using my diary to stay on top of study so I can make the room for the recreational aspect of life.
Education in Focus
Northern Territory Medical Program Orientation Program The Flinders Northern Territory Medical Program (NTMP) was established in 2011 to build the medical workforce for the Northern Territory, especially serving remote and Aboriginal communities. It is a collaboration between Flinders University, Charles Darwin University (CDU), the NT Government and the Federal Government, wherein each year a cohort of 24 new students begins a four year Doctor of Medicine program at the CDU Darwin campus. All students are supported by NT government bonded scholarships and are required to serve two years in the NT Health Department upon graduation. The first cohort of Flinders MD students from the NTMP will graduate at the end of 2014. Priority is given at admission to Indigenous students and NT residents with the expectation that graduates will be retained as doctors in rural and remote communities in the NT. The cohort demographics have changed since launching the NTMP in 2011, when the program began with a large majority of mature aged students with a wide variety of professional backgrounds. In addition to the graduate and Indigenous admissions pathways, a new dual degree under-graduate pathway (Bachelor of Clinical Science/MD degree) was introduced, and in 2013 we saw our first dual degree students enter the MD program taking up 12 of the 24 available spots each year. A single day orientation program was run in 2011 to welcome the first cohort into the NTMP based partly on the Adelaide program model. In preparation for the 2012 orientation, it was felt that a single day was not adequate to cover some important preparatory activities and orientation was expanded to an “O week” of 4 days duration. Since 2013, the program has been fine-tuned to three and a half days in the week preceding the first day of semester.
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Associate Professor Greg Raymond, Director of Preclinical Education (NTMP)
O Week is based on supporting students so that they get off to a strong start to what is a traditionally an intense first semester of study in the medical program. There is a strong emphasis on re-establishing good study techniques and learning practice.
Academic integrity & referencing (Flinders Student Learning Centre)
Skills in critical thinking, reading, critical writing (Flinders Student Learning Centre)
Cultural orientation from Aboriginal staff – an introduction to Indigenous culture, cultural communication
Student admission surveys
Social activities – including BBQs & lunches funded by student bodies and groups, and a welcome dinner hosted by NTMP (including a visit from the Minister of Health).
The current O Week program includes:
Welcome to Country
Introductions from Associate Dean and Director of Preclinical Education (NTMP)
ID photos, campus tour, forms (Ochre card, vaccination, criminal record)
Introduction to Evidence Based Learning (Library)
Associate Professor Greg Raymond
Time management (Flinders Student Learning Centre)
Effective note taking, editing & proof reading, memory retention skills (Flinders Student Learning Centre)
Working in groups & teams (Flinders Student Learning Centre)
Director of Preclinical Education (NTMP)
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Changes to Faculty Committees The recent restructure within the Faculty has also seen changes to many of the Faculty committees. One change has been with the Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee (FTLC) whereby the FTLC has been split into two main committees: 1.
Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee
Faculty Courses and Curriculum Committee
expectations. These include (but are not limited to):
This is another exciting initiative and I will report on the sub-committees’ progress in future newsletters.
Undergraduate student transition and retention;
Faculty Courses and Curriculum Committee
Teaching quality assurance; Fostering and supporting innovations in teaching and learning.
This is an excellent initiative that will see a more robust discussion within the Faculty on issues of strategic importance in the Teaching and Learning arena. It is also hoped that this change will expedite the progress of course and topic changes through the School and Faculty approval process. Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee FTLC intends to set short and long term strategic goals in keeping with the University and the Faculty’s educational
The formation of this committee is the result of feedback from academic and professional staff in the Schools regarding the time taken for topic and course changes to be approved. It is hoped that this new committee, with a consistent membership, will improve the course and topic change process.
Three sub-committees of FTLC have been established which will specifically determine the strategic priorities and work plans for:
School staff will be provided with administrative support to assist with completing the topic and course change forms which will in turn help in streamlining the approval process.
Inter-professional education Each sub-committee will be chaired by one of the Associate Deans, Teaching and Learning in the Schools and will include a core membership of the Associate Head of Faculty (Teaching & Learning), the Associate Deans (Teaching & Learning) - or delegates, and co-opted members as required.
2014 Teaching and Learning Awards and Grants The due dates for OLT national awards and grants and anticipated submission dates for internal Flinders awards and grants for 2014 are listed below. Please refer to the Centre for University Teaching (CUT) http://www.flinders.edu.au/teaching/excell-innov/awards-and-grants/ for further details and application information. Category Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning Grants - Round 2 (full proposals from successful round 1 Expressions of Interest) and Seed Project applications Teaching and Program award nominations Extension Grants Round 2
Institutional Deadline Tuesday 22 April 2014
OLT Submission Deadline Thursday 8 May 2014
Monday 2 June 2014
Monday 16 June 2014
Thursday 19 June 2014 Monday 25 August 2014
Thursday 3 July 2014 Friday 5 September
Flinders University Teaching Awards and Grants Category
2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence
TBA (anticipated early November 2014)
2014 Teaching and Learning Innovation Grants
TBA (Stage 1 anticipated early October 2014)
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Education in Focus
You are invited to the 2014 Global Community Engaged Medical Education Muster to be held at Uluru, Northern Territory from 27 – 30 October 2014. Jointly hosted by Flinders University and Northern Ontario School of Medicine, ‘The Muster' will bring together internationally recognised leaders in community engaged medical education and will continue to stimulate important discussions about key concepts and practices at the forefront of medical education: Longitudinal Learning, Community Engagement, Social Accountability and Aboriginal Health.
This international conference provides the opportunity to connect with presenters, health professional educators, government representatives, and community stakeholders from around the world. It is the fourth conference to be jointly hosted by Flinders University and Northern Ontario School of Medicine, with 2014 partners including James Cook University, Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators (FRAME), Training for Health Equity Network (THEnet) and Consortium of Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (CLIC).
Registration is now open, but get in early —the early bird rate applies to the first 75 applicants, so register as soon as possible to take advantage of this great price. Registration includes three exciting social functions: Uluru Sunset Welcome, Sails in the Desert Welcome Dinner and Sounds of Silence Farewell Dinner. During these relaxed evening activities you will truly feel part of the local environment, immersed in a stunning and safe location. For full details or to register, visit: flinders.edu.au/muster2014.
Education in Focus in an initiative of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University Comments and suggestions for future article are welcome Also available online: www.flinders.edu.au/health-sciences/current/publications.cfm Editorial Team: Mrs Karen Siegmann, Dr Claire Drummond, Ms Kelly Meier, Dr Barbara Sanderson, Dr Wendy Abigail and Dr Yvonne Parry Contact: email@example.com
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