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Critical reflection in work-integrated learning
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Phillip Ebrall, A Repka, B Draper
To report the outcomes of an approach to clinical learning that requires chiropractic students to critically reflect on directed activity that drives an engagement with work-integrated learning (WIL). Methods: A preview of learning objectives in RMIT University’s Bachelor of Applied Science, the degree that constitutesthe first 3 years of the 5-year chiropractic program, led to implementation of a learning task that engaged students as a subject within a new patient assessment conducted by senior students in the University’s chiropractic teaching clinics, and then as an observer of a real-world chiropractic practitioner. A series of prompts were constructed to drive each task. The prompts reflected contemporary educational philosophy that required connection with the learning objectives of the course and utilised action verbs to drive a deeperlearning engagement in the realm of the cognitive and qualitative dimensions.Results: A total of 105 completed Learning Journals were submitted by a class of 107 students. The reported comments represent thework of 22 individual students, a sample of 23.1% of the total class. Discussion: The themes that emerged included reinforcement of a student’s career choice and their approach to learning, reinforcement of classroom-based practical skills, and a connection between classroom learning and the workplace. The submitted work has power to inform teachers of current workplace practices and provide insight into the WIL practices in the teaching clinics. The authors see the outcomes as being supportive of the value of critical reflection tocontribute strongly to a deepening of the student’s clinical learning. Conclusion: The authors are of the view that a thoughtful combination of structure and prompts will allow the development of an appropriate tool to engage students in the process of critical self-reflection in their senior years.