April 29, 2014, by Teaching at Nottingham
Using participatory research and action (PRA) to initiate change to a curriculum
Dr Geraldine O’Neill, University College Dublin on “Using participatory research and action (PRA) to initiate change to a curriculum”. This was a session at the 2014 University Teaching and Learning conference on Students in Conversation.
Traditional student feedback mechanisms have been criticised for being teacher-centred in design and, in particular, for their absence of transparent follow-up actions. In contrast, this study describes the process and the evaluation of a participatory research and action (PRA) approach used in an undergraduate physiotherapy degree. This approach aimed to give students a stronger voice in order to identify the issues they felt were most important and to involve them in the subsequent actions to change or influence their curriculum. Using group consensus, key areas were identified by the students using a variety of PRA techniques, solutions were recommended and some actions were implemented. Both students and staff maintained that the process had gone some way to empowering students and had begun a ripple effect in relation to student involvement in ongoing curriculum design and debate.
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