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Akande, A., Brazil, D., Doyle, D., Harding, N., Kavanagh, Y., Maguire M., and Mulvihill A.
Embracing alternative formats, assessment strategies and digital technologies to revitalise practical sessions in Science & Health
TEAM Project Publication, Dundalk
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REPORT OVERVIEW In science and health, the practical element of a module possesses the capacity to represent a powerful learning environment whereby learners can engage with peer learning, assessment, feedback, practical skill development and self- reflection. However, traditional practical session designs/formats with accompanying assessment strategies often prevail, remaining present in curricula, starving learners of opportunities to develop life-long metacognitive, technical and employable skills. This report outlines the role of the practical, addresses concerns with the traditional system, while at the same time presents practical and digital solutions for educators to employ that are capable of transforming and enhancing the practical learner experience. In this review of literature, five thematic areas for improvement have been identified, namely; (1) Design, Format and Practical Learning Environment; (2) Pre- practical Resources; (3) Assessment & Feedback, (4) Self- Assessment & Reflection and (5) Building Digital Capacity & Literacy. Engaging with the solutions presented within each theme has the potential to actively engage learners with practical sessions, while ultimately developing high quality and employable graduates armed with a suite of life-long metacognitive and technical skills.
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