Writing Week: Day 4

We are moving to the end of the Writing Week in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. Today staff had an opportunity to attend a workshop facilitated by Coralie McCormack.

Coralie’s work in the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University includes advising staff about Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) programs and projects, working with Associate Deans of Education in ALTC related work and supporting staff in the preparation of applications for the ALTC.

Coralie’s role in bringing people together to discuss and explore learning and teaching resonates with another event today. Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder of the not-for-profit online news service, Global Voices, a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, was a guest on Radio National’s Future Tense program presented by Antony Funnell.

Creating the opportunity for colleagues in the faculty of health is a microcosm of the Polyglot Internet discussions stimulated by Ethan Zuckerman:

One of the things that I’ve been noticing in my work through Global Voices and my work at Berkman Center, is just the proliferation of different languages online. We started referring to this as the polyglot Internet. And it seems to me that much of what we’d like to be able to do with the Internet, which is to say build communication between people who don’t already know each other, how do the trends perceive what people are thinking and feeling in other parts of the world, getting other people’s perspectives and views of events and such, requires us to take very seriously this problem of translation. Because people are putting up content in all sorts of different languages, and while there’s more on the Internet every day, for every one of us we can actually understand a smaller percentage of it.

I wonder if this approach can be used as a way to discuss the disciplined insights that are generated in a Writing Week. It seems to me that we may need a Reading Week to explore the output of a Writing Week and that this may lead to writing workshops. Louise Ada gave the Faculty a great lead in this regard earlier this week.

For those of you have time for video workshops here is Ethan Zuckerman video on the ‘history of the Internet in 5 minutes’

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Writing Week: Day 3 in Progress

Day 3 of the Faculty of Health‘s writing week at the University of Canberra started with some great news on Yammer.

Elsewhere colleagues were writing too. One Faculty member is co-authoring a book as part of the week’s activities. The title of the book is Happy ever after? The challenge of EBT in relationship counselling for clinical psychologists. The good news is that “it is 98% complete”.

Another colleague has been off-campus for two days – one day working on an NHMRC grant with colleagues at University of Melbourne looking at the impact of a Cretan Mediterranean diet on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Metabolic Syndrome and the other day working on paper revisions from my recent submission to the Nutrition Metabolism Cardiovascular Diseases journal paper on Med diet in Type 2 Diabetes.

A third colleague is working on two papers:

Nursing theories, abstractions and principles are important underpinnings to the way nursing practice is conducted in the clinical setting.  It is important for students to grasp these ideas in order to be able to most fully participate in and learn about clinical practice.  Amongst the challenges to teaching abstract content in the clinical environment are the range and diversity of clinical areas that students are placed within, the degree to which the clinical context is convergent with the theoretical ideas studied in the classroom setting and student perceptions and expectations of their placement.  These challenges can be overcome through an innovative teaching strategy where students conduct a clinical project, centred on theoretical principles of care, that relates to the particular clinical specialty of their placement.  The project itself, the ensuing conversations and the pedagogical structures that support learning, lead to strong learning outcomes and benefits for students, clinicians and nursing teams.  Amongst the outcomes for students are deeper recognition of nursing practice and increased socialisation into nursing teams; for clinicians, opportunities to articulate practice and to reconceptualise their role; and for teams, the student projects themselves provided tools and resources that were useful and could be adopted into practice.


A clinical placement in a community nursing setting gives students unique and important insights into nursing care that is transferrable to other settings.  An understanding of primary health care and the community context of care enhances practice in all settings.

Research Question:
Do the learning experiences that students encounter within the Community Health DEU influence their learning or practice in subsequent clinical placements?

Process and Method
Using the DEU Reference Group as a focus group, explore what it is that clinicians and managers believe that students gain within a placement in the community setting.  What is unique to this setting?
Survey students at the end of the placements to elicit what they believe were the important things that they gained within a community nursing placement. Survey students and graduate nurses six months following their community placement to find how much of this they felt they were able to transfer to a new clinical setting.

This afternoon there is an opportunity to meet to discuss writing projects.

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Writing Week: Day 2

A number of projects were underway on Day 2 of the Writing Week in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra.

Some examples of work in progress include:

  • A review paper on normalisation of EMG in sport to be updated with anymore current literature.
  • A research article on the effects of different muscle actions on laterality as indicated through EMG.
  • Processing data from the initial project from an AIS/University of Canberra strength and conditioning collaboration. (A retrospective analysis of performance and anthropometric data in the twelve months prior to the Beijing Olympics.)
  • Ecstasy users are not biased towards endorsing somatic mental health symptoms: Results from a general community sample.
  • Ecstasy use and verbal memory performance and the role of previously unexplored confounders in the relationship.
  • Factors that will encourage Australians to make better use of meat.
  • Polishing up a paper that is almost complete and submittting it to a journal.
  • Writing up the background to a piece of planned research and submitting ethics applications.
  • Completion of a paper for a professional practice project including a mind map MMFHWW.
  • GPS data analysis.

One colleague wrote to me at length about writing. I think the points made underscore just how important collaborative work and support are.

I finalised a draft last night of a paper last night following advice yesterday from Louise. I sent it last night to my co-authors and I feel proud (and not sick about it which is an achievement in itself!)

I had a paper rejected a few years ago and was shattered. After the session yesterday, I have realised I probably aimed too high in terms of the journal it went to and I am actually happy that it got past the editor! Learning about the process was invaluable and at about 4am this morning I decided I should have another look at that paper.

I am sharing the tips I have learnt and applied this week with my Honours students who are currently preparing a first draft of their papers from their theses this year. I find this in particular, very exciting and love that I can help foster their own writing development. I need to apply that same sense of enthusiasm to my own work.

The best thing so far has been the sense of camaraderie and support from those involved in the writing week.

In the afternoon, Helen Carter of the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre gave an informal presentation about Preparing a Grant Application. 2009 Presentation Helen discussed applications for Teaching Development Grants and focused specifically on the Australian Learning and Teaching Council program.

(Helen has over 26 years experience working in Higher Education and extensive experience in educational innovation and its practical implementation. In her various roles she has been and continues to be a catalyst for promoting interest and developments in teaching, learning, research and technical support. She is the founding editor of the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice (JUTLP), published by the University of Wollongong, Australia. The Journal publishes papers that describe effective and innovative teaching and learning practice in the higher education environment. Since 1993 she has been involved with the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite). Her contribution to the Society has been recognised by a fellowship and lifelong membership. She is also an executive member of the Australasian Council of Open, Distance and e-Learning (ACODE) and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). She has an active interest in educational leadership focusing on the management, governance and support issues surrounding the organisation of e-learning and e-teaching in the higher education sector. She consciously promotes conversation in higher education concerning useful strategies and techniques for making good educational materials and for setting up the frameworks for this to be nurtured and encouraged.)

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