[29] Report of a SPIN Placement: A Student-Led Programme Evaluation


Report of a Spin Placement: A Student-Led Programme Evaluation

Author (s)

Susanne Darra Associate Professor and Programme Director Health & Social Care
College of Human and Health Sciences



Aim: To reflect the theme of ‘Teaching with Impact: Innovate, Develop, Engage, Aspire’ through a new pro-active and inclusive approach to reviewing the BSc Health & Social Care programme.

Objectives: To use a powerpoint presentation to set out –

  1. a) The background and drivers for the project
  2. b) The plan for co-production within the project
  3. c) The hopes for a fully co-produced process of curriculum revision.
  4. c) The plan for implementation of any changes to the programme
  5. d) The plan for monitoring and evaluation of any proposed changes
  6. e) On-going ambitions to develop a Community of Practice (Learning) and a Combined Academic and Professional Reference.

Given the current state of the NHS and Social Care Provision there is great and growing need for thoughtful, knowledgeable, competent, confident and professional practitioners to develop and deliver services. Studying Health and Social Care to Honours Degree Level is therefore attractive to many people from diverse backgrounds. The BSc Health & Social Care programme supports learning that considers the great diversity of health and social care and the human experience of health, well-being and illness, and social care. It aims to create a Community of Practice that critically explores health and social care in a wide range of contexts and perspectives and enables students to apply learning to current practice through employability and work experiences. Our students do not commonly arrive here through the ‘standard’ A Level route and a large proportion of them have working and caring responsibilities. They are also typically less ‘academic’ in their background and their approach to study. The programme is particularly designed for health and social care career preparation and development, instilling in students the necessary skills and attributes which will enable them to be effective and professional in the workplace in diverse settings in the public and/or private sector. A strong focus is on self-development and an employability mindset with an aim to produce flexible, autonomous and critical learners who become effective graduate employees.

Common (though not ubiquitous) challenges in the programme are:

  • Less than optimal attendance.
  • Lack of engagement in formative assessment.
  • Disappointing involvement in community opportunities.
  • Poor levels of confidence and assertiveness.

I have secured the support of a student on a SPIN placement to help me to

  • Explore the students’ perspectives on the challenges noted here.
  • Talk confidentially to students (face-to-face, on social media and via a questionnaire) to try to elicit their feelings about attending university for their lectures, tutorials and other offerings, such as community initiatives and placements.
  • Analyse the data that s/he has collected, in order to produce a report for the Learning and Teaching Committee and this Conference.

At the end of the placement we plan to use the findings to devise, implement and monitor developments to the programme. I will also seek to work with a selection of employees in health & social care settings to inform the development of a Community of Learning in Health & Social Care and a further development of a pro-active reference for future employees. Throughout next year I plan to work with Student Year Reps to refine and implement a combined academic and professional reference (CAPR). I will then seek to recruit another student to a SPIN placement next year to monitor its progress.

Session Outline

I plan to present alongside my SPIN placement student to

  • Use powerpoint to set out the ‘facts’ of the situation
  • Discuss the challenges in the programme using data and stories
  • Ask attendees to share any similar experiences
  • Share early findings from the SPIN Placement student’s work
  • Set out the plans for the project to develop the CAPR
  • Invite questions and discussion

Key Words

SPIN placement, Co-production. Academic and Professional Reference

Key Messages

Utilising a SPIN placement opportunity.

Co-producing a new pro-active and inclusive Combined Academic and Professional Reference (CAPR) initiative for graduates.



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