Student generated multimedia for supporting learning in an undergraduate physiotherapy course

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Susan Coulson
Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

Jessica Frawley
Design Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning, The University of Sydney

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Outside the university, rapid authoring tools and ubiquitous technologies have fueled a rise in user-generated multimedia and participatory culture. The educational equivalent, digital student-generated content, has been heralded as one approach for supporting active and student-cantered learning. This is especially relevant for tertiary education, where multimedia is currently used mainly as a method for content transmission. Though student-generated multimedia may seem pedagogically ideal, especially in applied areas such as Health Sciences, the diversity of adoptions and limited literature in the area make broad claims to its efficacy difficult to support. This study uses mixed methods to assess the outcomes of a student-generated multimedia assignment within a third-year university physiotherapy subject. Findings from this study demonstrate that all students were able to complete the assessment task in a way that demonstrated key disciplinary learning and professional communication despite many not having prior experience of this kind of assessment. Student survey data demonstrated that students were able to navigate between new tools and methods to achieve a complex task. While multimedia gave students new and creative ways through which to engage with practitioners, patients and the profession, attitudes varied in accordance with student self-efficacy and confidence. While more work has to be done in this area, the self-directed nature of the task proved both an opportunity and challenge. These findings contribute further to our understandings of implementing student-generated multimedia projects and extend this to the health sciences’ discipline.

About the authors

Susan Coulson

Dr Susan Coulson is a clinical and academic physiotherapist whose main area of interest is in assessment and treatment of facial nerve disorders. Her Doctoral and Masters research were at the University of Sydney, where she currently holds an academic position. For more than 20 years, her clinical and research work has focused on assessment and treatment facial nerve disorders including 3-D motion analysis, reliability of grading systems, reviews and intervention studies. Susan is currently working on projects in telerehabiliation as well as student-generated digital media for use as a student assessment tool.
Susan is a founding member of Sydney Facial Nerve Service, a multidisciplinary clinic of practitioners with extensive clinical and research experience in facial nerve disorders.
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Jessica Frawley

Dr Jessica Frawley is a lecturer and academic developer at the University of Sydney where she works in Educational Innovation. With a disciplinary background in HCI and design computing, she is an Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning. Her research interests focus on Educational Technologies, specifically mobile learning with an emphasis on human computer interaction, design and social methods. Jessica is Co-President of the Australian and New Zealand Mobile Learning Group (anzMlearn) and a regular contributor to Teaching@Sydney.