Fostering peer learning and self-reflection: A two-pronged strategy to augment the effectiveness of work integrated learning placements

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Murray, Z
Roiko, A
Sebar, B
Rogers, GD
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Billett, Stephen

Orrell, Janice

Jackson, Denise

Valencia-Forrester, Faith

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2020
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Abstract

This chapter describes a two-pronged strategy trialled with final year public health and environmental health students transitioning to professional work. The first component acquaints students with the principles and practices required for effective transition, including self-efficacy, developing a professional identity and building resilience. The second, introduces learning circles as a means of fostering critical thinking (Hiebert, Nurse Educ 21(3):37–42, 1996) and peer learning. Reflection is widely recognised as being critical for deep learning and learning circles are emerging as a strategy to enable student reflection. It is therefore timely to explore what learning circles can offer students, and what critical factors enable their successful use for student development while on placement. This chapter reports on a study that tracked the introduction of learning circles into two academic programs that provided intentional in- class activities for two cohorts of final trimester students to reflect on, and share their learning while enrolled in practicum. Data were obtained through a variety of means. Pre and post surveys, based around the constructs of professional identity, resilience, and self-efficacy, used both closed and open-ended questions. Thematic analysis of secondary data (student submitted records of learning from the learning circles) was also used. The results show that learning circles can provide students with an opportunity to discuss their practicum experience, a social and safe place to discuss their emotions, tensions or difficult situations; and can facilitate the co-creation of learnings with their peers. Two key success factors emerged for educators to consider. First, learning circles need to be incorporated as an intentional, in-class activity to support group sharing and learning becoming a social norm. Second, ‘just the right amount’ of facilitation is essential to support the group learning and reflection through initiating discussions and modelling reflective questioning, but also by drawing back when appropriate.

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Enriching Higher Education Students' Learning through Post-work Placement Interventions

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28

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Education

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Murray, Z; Roiko, A; Sebar, B; Rogers, GD, Fostering peer learning and self-reflection: A two-pronged strategy to augment the effectiveness of work integrated learning placements, Enriching Higher Education Students' Learning through Post-work Placement Interventions, 2020, 28, pp. 209-228

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