For the past 5 weeks our year 1 BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography students have been undertaking Research-informed Teaching experience (RiTe). RiTe uses a combination of research, simulation and inquiry led learning to support the application of theoretical knowledge, research skill development and clinical practice.
During each RiTe week, students work in small collaborative research teams to undertake the exploration of key areas of practice in order to link theory with practice along with the development of research skills. This culminates in the students giving a presentation of their research at the end of the week. The standard of presentations delivered this year was excellent and generated some very interesting and at times lively discussions!
Team 8 Shades of Grey and Team X-Caliber preparing to deliver their presentations.
Some lively discussions on image quality and patient dose research!
Why presentations are an important part of RiTe (and for teaching and learning)
Besides providing some interesting discussions between students and academic staff and simulating a research conference, presentations during RiTe also help students to practice some key skills such as speaking, reading, writing and listening. They can then use this as evidence for their personal development planning (PDP) portfolios. It also helps to build confidence – giving a presenting is a skill that they will need once qualified as radiographers when delivering an audit report or discussing new ideas with colleagues or other health professionals.
Presentations are a good way for students to share with one another what they have learned. It also provides the opportunity to challenge and expand upon their own understanding of the topic they have explored by answering and asking questions. By being good communicators students are able to structure and express their ideas clearly which is important when working with patients or other health professionals for example.
Some considerations when using presentations for RiTe
Within RiTe we ensure that students plan and deliver their presentations in groups rather than as individuals. We did this because:
- Shy students may find it embarrassing or difficult to present alone
- Students can support each other before, during and after the presentation
We have also found that it is good idea to set clear aims or objectives for content within the presentations for the students to follow and to allow plenty of time in case the presentations overrun or to deal with any technical problems with AV equipment. It is also important that some feedback is given in order to help the students build upon their experience – this might be comments on the presentation layout (font size, use of graphs or content). Students should also be encouraged to ask questions of one another as well as any academic staff members in order to explore their understanding of the research topic and to generate discussions which everyone can learn form.