What makes group-work work? Perceptions of first year occupational therapy students

Collins, B and Akers, L 2016, What makes group-work work? Perceptions of first year occupational therapy students , in: 1st COTEC –ENOTHE joint congress, 2016, 15th-19th June 2016, NUI Galway, Ireland.

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Background: This research sought to understand BSc Occupational Therapy students’ perceptions of different types of group-work, as experienced throughout their first year in one UK university.
Method: Students experience and perceptions were sought through mid- and end-module feedback and through a focus group at the end of the academic year. The focus group was facilitated by an external researcher, recorded and transcribed. Elements relating to group-work were extracted and themed.
Results: Students’ perceptions of what made group-work work could broadly be categorised into three themes: • Group-work was more effective, more valued and more enjoyable when it was supplemented or preceded by lecture or other teaching and learning approaches; • clear and consistent guidance and tasks that were meaningful and clearly related to their learning as a whole were needed, and, • students wanted other group members to be engaged, to attend and to prepare properly for sessions Students were very tolerant of poor peer facilitation as they recognised that they are all learning.
Conclusion: These findings can guide occupational therapy academics to make group-work more meaningful to students. Most significantly, this relates to the nature and structure of groupwork and the pedagogic rationale for its inclusion within a varied curriculum. Regardless of the type of group-work, clear guidance about the intended learning outcomes and approach and a culture of attendance and self-directed learning are needed.
Application to Practice: The primary application of this work is that it guides academics to ways to enhance group-work throughout occupational therapy curricula.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: 1st COTEC –ENOTHE joint congress 2016
Related URLs:
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 13:11
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 13:17
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/57609

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