Creating a reflective voice- patchwork writings

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Abstract


Background & Purpose TLHP is a medical education course at Bristol University. As with many such courses we have predominantly written assignments where students are required to demonstrate reflecting learning and critical engagement with literature. Mindful that our students are required to join an unfamiliar discourse (in education) we have moved to an innovative formative assessment strategy using patchwork texts, as proposed by the HEA and educational literature. These short pieces of writing are generated by students before and during Certificate units encouraging reflective writing and self & peer assessment. Furthermore, they are mapped to the Professional Standards Framework of the HEA, thereby demonstrating achievement through the course of the HEA fellowship. Methodology The evaluation of this initiative is ongoing. All 69 students entering the Certificate in 2017/18 have written at least two patchworks, with a further 31 writing 2 patchworks for their second unit. Ongoing analysis is looking at the development of a depth of reflective analysis as measured against Koole et al’s operational indicators of the reflection process, which is now embedded in our marking criteria. Furthermore, student and teacher evaluations of the scheme will be collected at the end of the academic year and thematically analysed to show impact on teaching and learning. Results Early analysis of the patches show students reflecting on their own learning and teaching, and in particular identifying areas that they want to improve. One patchwork asks for a definition of learning and although the ‘acquisition’ metaphor of learning is prevalent, there is also discussion of what it means to ‘know’ something. In addition, teachers report they are able to use the patches (which are produced before teaching sessions) to drive early discussions on teaching and learning. In the first teaching assessment a small number of students have quoted from their patchwork texts as part of the reflective assignment (6%), which we are now encouraging in later units. A fuller description of the patchwork texts strategy will be shared at the conference. In addition, further content analysis of the patches and the student and staff evaluations will be presented. Discussion & Conclusions Students are already demonstrating progression in reflective writing. The final unit of the Certificate will also incorporate peer assessment and feedback into the process. We expect the use of patchwork texts as a formative assessment strategy to strengthen our students’ confident use of educational discourse and to find their own ‘educational voice’ more quickly and confidently than in previous years. References Winter, 2010, Race, 1995. Brown, 1994. Prosser, 1999. Mabbett, 2011. Brockbank and McGill, 1998 Koole et al (2011) Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review. BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:104 Wegner, E. & Nückles, M. (2015) Knowledge acquisition or participation in communities of practice? Academics’ metaphors of teaching and learning at the university. Studies In Higher Education 40: 4
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2018


  • Writing


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