Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Presenter profile - Track A: Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Asanka Dayananda

Trish Hafford-Letchfield: Using Digital Storytelling to Enhance Student Skills in Thinking about Quality Improvement in Public and Community Services

Trish is a senior lecturer for inter-professional learning within the Department of Mental Health and Social Work in the School of Health and Social Sciences. Trish initially qualified as a nurse then social worker and following a long career in social work, spent her last ten years managing services for older people within a local authority. Her last post before academia was as an organisational learning and development manager where she was responsible for workforce development and developing learning partnerships in South London. Trish joined Middlesex University in September 2008 having been at London South Bank for a number of years. Trish became a Teaching Fellow in 2010. She has been active in Age Concern Greenwich since 2003 as a Trustee, and in the Association for Education and Ageing. Trish also plays the violin in an amateur orchestra and this is her absolute favourite pastime!

Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Trish has a variety of interests connected to learning and teaching. Her main subject area is leadership, management and organisational development and she is an active management mentor in the voluntary sector. She has written a number of key textbooks in this area. Her most recent was 'Social Care Management: Strategy and Business Planning' with Jessica Kingsley in 2010. Trish also has expertise in adult social care, particularly in the area of safeguarding and has a special interest in helping students to work more holistically with older people. She is also very active in promoting issues of sexuality and sexual identity in learning and teaching and has again published quite widely on these topics in relation to widening participation. In 2011, she co-edited a book with Priscilla Dunk-West 'Sexual Identities and Sexuality in Social Work: Research and Reflections from Women in the Field' published by Ashgate Press.

Within public and community services, the need to find ways of engaging the community and providing quality information is an essential skill. It seemed appropriate to assess students capacity for designing and using technology to improve the ways they might develop aspects of information about their services. These are also linked to the concept of quality and service improvement within the module, by adding another dimension of how these issues are perceived and received. Teaching students to use just one small aspect of technology such as digital storytelling was however challenging as well as enabling such skills to be assessed alongside more traditional methods of assessment. Our workshop aims to share some of our early experiences with you so far in our teaching and assessing of students skills in using the technologies associated with digital storytelling. We have designed a series of online teaching activities to encourage an incremental approach to students learning towards assessment. You will be given the opportunity to try out digital story telling including creating a storyboard and using the software. Hopefully this may stimulate your own interest in how digital story telling could fit with your own assessment methods.

Trish is particularly interested in using the arts and technologies to improve learning and teaching. She has experimented with music making, comedy, drama and literature which she believes can promote deeper learning, particularly with managers in health and social care where the contexts may be very challenging and demanding. She has published some of the outcomes of these methods using small scale evaluation and impact studies. Trish recently completed a Doctorate exploring the lifelong learning of older people using social care services focussing on the knowledge and skills that older people need to direct their own care.

A recommended resource related to the session is RUDE Old People: A digital resource exploring sexuality in older people. This was made through a series of two one day workshops with social work students which were filmed and edited using digital story software. These are reusable learning objects that can be used in learning and teaching:

With regards to e-Assessment, Trish recommends that students be given an opportunity to practice uploading their work before the real thing. Don't be too prescriptive and allow students to be creative. Take some risks and refine as you go along. Provide opportunities to develop the skills needed in an incremental way throughout your module.

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