Saturday, February 12, 2011

New job at Griffith University

I am just about to leave Brisbane after three weeks of getting to know the staff and students at the Griffith School of Midwifery. It has been a crazy three weeks getting my head around a new program and teaching clinical skills to second year midwifery students. But at the same time, it has been heart-warming to be working with women who are so dedicated to bringing about change in the Australian maternity services, against quite considerable odds to introduce continuity of midwifery care.

My job at Griffith University in Brisbane is teaching undergraduate midwifery students mostly online, developing new courses for the degree program, contributing to the development of the midwifery team, and looking for opportunities for research.

It is very exciting to be working on a new midwifery program - the program is just entering its second year. As you can imagine, it has a few rough edges to iron out, so the experience I have gained working in the Otago program for 10 years will be invaluable - not so much around content, but academic processes. Having said that, I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to put my own spin on the online courses that I will be developing over the next year.

It has been a while since I have needed to carry out a catheterisation or cannulation procedure, but it is affirming to know you never lose these skills. At the same time, I have enjoyed being challenged by students to justify why I do what I do. The feedback from students has been that they have enjoyed the last couple of weeks but I do waffle on some times, so need to address my time keeping...which has always been a problem I struggle with.

One of the things I am going to enjoy most with working in a team where innovation, creativity and personal autonomy is encouraged. One of the challenges for me as I return to New Zealand is how I am going to manage the distance between myself and the rest of the we're going to grow our developing relationships as well as manage university processes.

Have you worked as a member of a virtual team? What worked for you and what pit falls would you advise me to avoid?


David Callaghan said...

Hi Sarah

If I were to start teaching again I would be tempted to invest much time in creating on-line materials, mostly ‘video lectures’ to deliver a sessions content, and then use the face to face time in the session as ‘discussion’ – to personalise the content to the cohort … and then continue that discussion online (asynchronously) if appropriate. I’ve found that when I’ve created such materials an hour long lecture is condensed to around 20 mins – so is great for my timekeeping (did that hit a point Sarah?). It’s very time intensive though – so watch out if you’re going to try this for all your sessions!

Kindest, D

Sarah Stewart said...

Yes, that is the model we're following it. I hope to use our synchronous sessions for discussion and debrief. It was the clinical skills sessions I ran into problems...I'll just have to keep working on it. The main problem is we're tried to push so much info into a very short time frame. I think we also need to give ourselves more time when we're working with such complex clinical skills.