Teaching Team Award

We’re very pleased and proud to announce that our Module Leads on the Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Person-Centred Dementia Studies have received the Teaching Team Award from the University of Worcester. This award celebrates excellence and recognises outstanding practice in teaching and in supporting and leading learning. It also promotes innovative, inspiring and excellent practice which is outstanding in its impact to enhance and inspire student learning. The Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) as a whole is quite modest, so it was a big step for the PGCert team to put themselves forward for the award. I think we can safely say that they’re glad they did!

The application was driven by Teresa Atkinson, Module Lead for two of the PGCert modules (Enabling environments for people living with dementia, and Dementia in the family context). She found out what the team needed to do, and brought together information from Dr Chris Russell (PGCert Programme Lead and Module Lead for Engagement and empowerment in dementia studies), Nicola Jacobson-Wright (Module Lead for Person-Centred Leadership: The VIPS approach, and Expert practice in delivering person-centred dementia care), Mary Bruce (Module Lead for Supporting people with advanced dementia, and Applying the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework), and Jen Bray (technical support to help develop course content and upload it to the teaching platform Blackboard).

To support the application, the information was developed into two case studies exploring different aspects of the PGCert.

The first case study focused on the collaborative approach used to develop the course. It explored how the PGCert arose out of an identified need for both academic and practice-based learning among dementia care professionals, and how an online course needed to be flexible, achievable, engaging and innovative. With this in mind, our modules were developed to include a variety of learning opportunities and formats including video lectures, experiential learning and interactive opportunities. It was also important for us that our teaching was informed by research, and all of our modules incorporate ADS research within them. This means that our students are often being taught by the very people who carried out the research in question.

Image showing three circles arranged in a triangle, connected by arrows. The circles contain the words 'Research', 'Education' and 'Practice' to show how all of our work links together. In the centre is a triangle with the words 'The lived experience' to indicate that we aim to include people affected by dementia at the heart of all we do.

The second case study demonstrated the excellence in teaching practice and its impact on student learning. While our exercises, activities and assignments are aligned with learning outcomes and with practical application in mind, it is important for us to ensure that we continually seek to improve our modules. Student feedback is regularly sought, with suggested improvements being taken on board and incorporated into future iterations of our modules where possible and appropriate. We also provide opportunities within our modules for students to hear from people affected by dementia to enable them to hear a range of different perspectives while studying with us. This case study also explored some of the impacts of our teaching on the PGCert, which included:

  • promoting a learning community to ensure online students have opportunities to interact and engage with each other
  • students putting their learning into practice and seeing what they had achieved since studying on the modules
  • linking with employers to ensure that our modules deliver learning that will actually make a difference in practice
  • looking beyond the curriculum to see how practice and behaviour has changed outside of the academic world

Writing the case studies was a great exercise for the PGCert team as it enabled us to take a step back from ‘doing’ and reflect on our successes and how far we’ve come in the past few years. The Teaching Team Award was also validation for all the hard work and effort that everyone has put into developing the seven modules that make up the PGCert.

We’ve hopefully got an article about this work coming out soon so we can’t really say too much here in case we steal its thunder, but we’ll let you know when it’s available. We’re also attending a ceremony at the University of Worcester next week to formally acknowledge the award, so keep an eye out for any photos.

If you’re interested in studying with us our next modules begin in September, so you’ve got plenty of time to get your application in!! Please see our website for more details of our modules and how to apply.

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow


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