Reflective writing as a tool in clinical assessment to enhance clinical learning and reflective thinking in a contact lens clinic

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Reflective writing as a tool in clinical assessment to enhance clinical learning and reflective thinking in a contact lens clinic

 

Author: Cho, Pauline (Wong Hie Hua)
Title: Reflective writing as a tool in clinical assessment to enhance clinical learning and reflective thinking in a contact lens clinic
Degree: M.Ed.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Optometry -- Study and teaching
Creative writing -- Study and teaching
Thought and thinking
Department: School of Professional Education and Executive Development
Pages: xii, 191 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1712178
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/488
Abstract: The set up in our in-house Contact Lens Clinic (CLC) did not encourage or facilitate reflection due to time constraints. In the academic year 2000/2001 (00/01), reflective writing (RW) was introduced to a contact lens (CL)-related subject in the hope of helping our final year (00/01) students to develop critical thinking and reflection. This was followed by the incorporation of RW in the CLC assessment model to encourage reflective practice. This study consisted of three parts, with the main aim of evaluating the effectiveness of RW in enhancing clinical learning and reflective thinking from the students' perspective. The objective of Part I of this study was to obtain students' feedback on the use of RW in the CL-related subject in enhancing clinical learning and reflective thinking (00/01 students). The response rate to the questionnaire was 83.3%, and the majority (>80%) of the students agreed that RW helped them to learn how to manage clinical cases better, communicated more frequently with peers and supervisors, learned to critique their own work and how theory was applied. They also learned to identify and discuss good/bad practices and became more aware of different approaches used by different supervisors. Seventeen (68%) students agreed that RW encouraged them to reflect more. Only two students disagreed that overall they had learned more about CLP because of RW. Students found RW useful because RW: 1.helped them to think more, 2.motivated them to look further for answers on uncertain issues, 3.facilitated discussions with peers and supervisors. These were also the main aspects of RW that they liked best. In Part II of this study, a focus group interview was conduced with the objectives of getting students' feedback on the effectiveness of the original CLC assessment, and students' opinions on the incorporation of RW in CLC assessment. The twelve interviewed students (00/01) were unaware of the relationship between learning outcomes and objectives of CLC. Differences in practice between CLC supervisors were considered inevitable and as personal biases. CLC assessment was reported to allow only superficial achievement of objectives whereas RW helped them to go deeper, and helped to develop their professional understanding, application of knowledge/skills and hands-on management skills. Hence, they concurred that RW would be a useful component of CLC assessment but it should be carried out in both semesters with less weighting in the first semester. Students were unhappy with the current practice of giving collective grades in CLC assessment, and of not taking the level of difficulty of each case into account when giving grades. They were also concerned about the fairness of grades given by supervisors in CLC assessment. The objective of Part III of this study was to obtain students' feedback on the effectiveness of RW in the new CLC clinic assessment model (01/02) in enhancing clinical learning and reflective thinking. The response rate was 68% (17/25 students). Over 80% of the students agreed that RW increased their awareness of their cases during clinical sessions, increased their reflection and communications with peers and supervisors, helped them to develop self-evaluation and critical thinking. All the students agreed that overall, RW helped them to learn more about CLP. The aspects of RW that the students liked best included: 1.discussion with peers and supervisors, 2.thorough thinking and criticism of their own work, 3.feedback from the teacher. Our results clearly showed the effectiveness of RW in helping students to develop critical thinking and self-evaluation skills, and to be independent and responsible learners.

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