It was great to mark the start of the Queen’s Jubilee tour at De Montfort University. As Speech and Language Therapy has been taught in Leicester as part of biology courses for just over 60 years I was keen to be involved in the Speed Lecture series marking the visit. There was more background noise on the day than I had imagined there would be, but I carried on regardless.
I have been at De Montfort University for 6 years as the Head of the Speech and Language Therapy Division and I am keen to raise the profile of our excellent work so this seemed like a good opportunity. Our team runs the Speech and Language undergraduate degree programme, “BSc (Hons) Human Communication – Speech and Language Therapy”. This biology course requires 300 UCAS points for entry and attracts students who are interested in human biology.
It is a four year programme and is fully accredited by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. During the degree students spend time out in practice to gain experience working with multi-disciplinary professional teams and working with patients. There is a strong scientific component and students learn about anatomy and physiology, and also technology, psychology and linguistics. In years three and four students focus on clinical practice and carry out an original research project into aspects of communication, for example stammering.
Graduates of the Human Communication degree enter healthcare, education and research into speech and language therapy. If you are interested in biology at university and want to find out more about studying Human Communication, you can visit the UCAS website (http://www.ucas.com/). This website also lists many other relevant university biology courses.
Students studying the Medical Science Degree at De Montfort University have been involved with one part of the HALS OER project that aims to boost student use of open educational resources (OERs). We are finding that students do not know what OERs are or where to find them so just aren’t making the most of the abundance of good learning materials out there.
It is also interesting when you start discussing with them the notion of critically evaluating resources from the internet. We educate Medical Science degree students from day one on how to critique and appraise research articles and books based on credibility and reliability, but not how to select electronic resources such as YouTube videos which they are using all the time.
Information Source Evaluation Matrix, De Montfort University.
Creative Commons BY NC (Use but attribute us. Not for commercial use).
The evaluation matrix developed by De Montfort library staff is being tested by Medical Science degree students on videos, animations and other electronic resources – which in essence is what open educational resources are! Medical Science degree students have highlighted where the above matrix is not appropriate for the task. It has also been a very illuminating exercise for me because it makes me realise they are not making informed decisions about any internet resource. They assume because it is on YouTube it can be used, whereas usually there is no information on which to judge the credibility of the video. So all internet resources / electronic resources / OERs should include:
Date of release
Institution or organisation
Purpose / aim of the resource – what is the student going to learn?
Creative commons licence – so the student has found the resources and this will tell them how they can use it!
So our focus groups have served two purposes:
One – to adapt the matrix to suit OERs as a promised output from the HALS project.
Two – Medical Science degree students have seen what OERs are and started to develop an understanding of how to evaluate internet content.