As Lead for Student Support for a new Medical School I had to consider what level of support the students would need in order to adapt to a situated learning environment where group co-operation would be a key factor in their educational achievements. I also needed to consider the context – a medical school which is expanding year on year, with a diverse student body including Undergraduates and Post-Graduates, aged between 18-30, UK and international students.
The School had previously contracted Anneliese for several workshops for educators, focussed on embracing diversity and facilitating student learning. These had been very well received and appreciated by all involved, notwithstanding the varied backgrounds and experience of the educators. The School therefore decided to contract Anneliese to develop and deliver a number of student programmes, starting with a team-building workshop during Induction week, with follow-up programmes – Effective Teams: creating cultures that workand Managing Conflict. Later on in the course, by way of preparation for work placements in hospital, Anneliese runs a workshop on Culture and Communications in a Professional Context. For each programme Anneliese provides an accompanying Resource Handbook. Personal Tutors are also given additional support materials for each workshop as appropriate – for use in follow-up one-to-one or group tutorial sessions. Again, all the programmes have been well-received and feedback from students is extremely positive regarding both the interactive style, the content of the programmes, and their effectiveness in preparing the students for the requirements of the university programme. From my own perspective as Student Support Lead I have first-hand experience of supporting students that struggle to adapt to the situated learning environment. It is thanks to Anneliese’s ability to successfully engage with the students and make them aware of the issues involved in collaborative learning that this number is lower that I would otherwise anticipate – an opinion shared by the educators, tutors and facilitators. From the beginning we have worked as a collaborative partnership, reviewing and adapting as the student numbers have grown and the needs evolved. I would heartily recommend Anneliese and her services to other Medical Faculties seeking to offer similar support to students as they establish their own professional identity.
Senior Lecturer and Student Support Lead University of Buckingham Medical School, Buckingham