Occupational Therapy students push creative boundaries in test of problem solving skills
Occupational Therapy students in the Faculty of Health have risen to a major challenge in an innovative approach to learning using creative media. Students used film, animation and photography, among others, to express their skill in critical reflection, and show how their learning might inform future occupational therapy practice and interventions.
Working in groups of four, the forty 3rd year students faced a significant challenge to create a 10 minute production on subject areas from deprivation, adaption, meaning and creativity. For all the students involved this was an entirely new challenge and thoroughly tested their ability to solve problems.
The final productions ranged from a cartoon animation which showed the journey of adaptation recovery from alcohol addiction, to a thought provoking and illuminating film taken from the perspective of a wheelchair user tackling issues of access, and a film about a young persons sense of meaning gained through the activity of tagging.
Mick Collins, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health Professions, said, “The students have risen to the challenge of this module and they’ve responded brilliantly. The aim of the module was to take the students out of their conventional academic environment and asked questions of their skills in creative and original thinking – which is just what will be expected of them in meeting the needs of their patients. Occupational Therapy demands a problem solving/creative approach to finding solutions for the people we work with. These solutions often have to be bespoke, original and not framed by template answers. I was delighted by the quality of the work and the creativity the teams showed.”
Commenting on the module a student said, “The project was challenging but great fun and really rewarding. We’ve opened our eyes more to what can be done in practice, and how we can challenge convention. I also think we’ve gained a greater depth of understanding of occupation and the role it plays in our lives. It certainly makes me want to consider the individual in greater depth, and to take account of all the factors affecting them. ”
In this example the group wanted to study the interactions between young peoples experience of occupational deprivation, and how 'tagging' reflects a form of meaningful expression and occupation. The group were inspired by an article by: Emma Russell (2008) Writing on the wall: The form, function and meaning of tagging. Journal of Occupational Science, 15(2): 87-97.