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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.10 - A dietetics professional practice course transformed: Students as creators of knowledge

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The project team redeveloped, evaluated and refined a pre-practicum professional practice course for the Dietetics program. Stakeholder feedback highlighted issues students experience transitioning to professional environments, which provided the impetus for the project. These issues included: low learning engagement and difficulty applying foundational knowledge during practicum. The pilot course incorporated self-directed learning approaches in order to increase learning engagement and knowledge recall during practicum. Research shows that active, self-directed learning builds self-efficacy, successful performance, and workplace leadership (Boyer et al., 2014). In the pilot course, student groups researched subjects surrounding preparation for practice with the support of professional advisors. Each group identified learning needs, researched this narrowed topic, and created educational content (including media for online sharing, and an interactive workshop for peers). Evaluation showed the pilot course supported student engagement and ownership of learning. Students reported their technological and networking skills improved, and they valued the student-led workshops. Michel et al. (2009) noted similar findings; students in active-learning environments were more participative, accountable, and able to retain knowledge. Students shared that the student-created-media was of greatest value during practicum preparation, when opportunities for exposure to experiential learning in practice settings were not yet available. These results show promise for applying similar pedagogical approaches in preparing for asynchronous learning in professional programs. The objectives of this facilitated poster session are: (1) to share experiences with a course re-design initiative and its effect on learning, and (2) to discuss with attendees strategies to address gaps between academic learning and professional practice. 

Boyer, S.L., Edmondson, D.R., Artis, A.B. and Fleming, D. (2014) Self-directed learning: a tool for lifelong learning. Journal of Marketing Education, 36, 20. doi: 10.1177/0273475313494010

Michel, N., Cater, J., & Varela, O. (2009). Active versus passive teaching styles: An empirical study of student learning outcomes. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 20(4), 397-418. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.20025

Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Bayshore Foyer

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