Achieving Excellence in Radiography Education 11/2016

Innovative education, research culture, and more

The third joint conference of the College of Radiographers, the Heads of Radiography Education (HRE) Forum, and the Association of Radiography Educators (ARE) was held in Birmingham 26th November 2016. The conference provided an exciting mix of learning opportunities around the very latest hot topics, including student funding, innovative education and radiography research.

downloadI along with two of my colleagues (Joanne Ashworth and Ann Newton-Hughes) attended this conference and submitted proffered posters for this conference – these can viewed at the end of this blog. They cover a  range of interesting topics – development of a complexity table, evaluation of an image appraisal activity and academic tutor and placement educator perceptions of Research-informed Teaching. So take a look when you have finished reading this blog!


The conference was run over two days and there were a large number of posters which discussed a wide variety of topics from auto-ethnography to technology enhanced learning. Many of the talks were proffered papers and all were of high quality and of interest to the delegates. There were two main themes or workshops: research culture and inter-professional learning. There were also presentations exploring issues related to academic leadership and clinical education.

Outstanding presentations

I found the research culture workshops very interesting – in particular there was a conference abstracts workshop run by Dr Maryann Hardy and Dr Karen Knapp which was really helpful in identifying how to optimise the quality of your abstract for conferences. This workshop explored what reviewers looked for and considerations when submitting your own abstracts in order to ensure success with these.

presentationThere were also talks about bringing in the patient / service user perspective into education and research and why their input was important again these were really interesting and helpful. Our own Peter Hogg also gave a presentation about developing a research culture in radiography which was very insightful with regard to what REF 3* and 4* papers looked like along with some examples of 0, 1*, 2*, 3* and 4* papers. There was discussion around the difficulties of achieving this was qualitative papers as you cannot generalise findings (unlike quantitative research) and how as academics we may need to network or share resources in order to achieve a research culture in order to achieve this.

I chaired an afternoon session which was a bit scary as this was my first! Fortunately everything went well  we had some really interesting talks including work looking student preparedness to deal with ill people – are we doing enough to prepare students (especially year 1s) for the reality of interacting with ill patients?  Another presentation looked at theme boards as an idea for reflection which was presented by Jane Harvey-Lloyd who was clinical tutor where I trained, small world or what!

Ann: For me the 3 outstanding presentations were from a patient discussing patient involvement in academic delivery (she used the word patient herself NOT service user), Fleur Nielsen from the Council of Deans painted a realistic picture of the uncertainties related to radiographer education and the challenges that changes to funding and apprenticeships would bring (she was quite frank about this) and finally the Alison Warren (Paediatric Clinical Matron) who gave a talk about generational changes and the difference not just between the motivations of the generations, but their perception of learning.

Overall impressions

We felt it was a well organised and interesting conference which was well attended with delegates from across the country. There were more academic than clinical delegates compared to the previous two conferences, but this reflected the programme of talks and workshops which had an academic/research focus.

The catering was very nice and we had a really great quiz in the evening which despite leading for much of the way our team lost in the last few rounds.

Overall a really good and informative couple of days with plenty of food for thought and I would certainly recommend it to those with an interest in education and research.

Were you there? What did you think about the conference?

Proffered posters:

1. Academic tutor and placement educators’ perceptions of integrating research-informed teaching within an undergraduate diagnostic radiography curriculum


2. Evaluation of the student experience of an interactive
image appraisal activity for undergraduate diagnostic radiographers 



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