Writing Week: Day 5 First Edition

It has been a wonderful week of conversations, connections and scholarship in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. Despite lots of distractions and end of semester obligations, staff in the Faculty have gone about writing with elan.

Overnight one colleague shared with me an interest in ‘writing as a method of enquiry’ stimulated by the work of Laurel Richardson and Elizabeth St Pierre. This has prompted me to look carefully at their work and to consider how I might work with my colleague in the Faculty. Yet another delightful discovery for me in writing week.

Another colleague has had a wonderfully diverse week researching Victor Trumper and completing a collection of poetry.This sent me away thinking about poetics and sharing ideas.

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Dawn at the Corillion

Cricket in Sydney

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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