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Teaching and Learning Showcase
Digital Badges in Psychiatry
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Module Title:

Psychiatry

Module Coordinator:

Prof Allys Guérandel

Module Code:

PSYC40150

Target Audience:

Stage 5 medical students

Collaborator(s):

Dr Edyta Truszkowska, Dr Yvonne Emmett, Dr Katherine Stroughair
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background:

PSYC40150 is a 10 credit clinical module in Psychiatry which students take in stage five of their medical degree course.


Typically the teaching of this module comprises of approximately 240 students who are taught in four different groups four times a year. They receive their teaching in two different centres but are subdivided and sent to multiple clinical sites for their clinical placements. There is therefore a significant variability in clinical placements ranging from degree of activity, to types of clinical exposure, to teaching commitment of teams.

In the two teaching centres, teaching is thematic. Small group teaching, workshops and lectures take place on Monday and Fridays and clinical placement and teaching is midweek. Standardising the student clinical experience, engaging them in the clinical placements and monitoring their attendance and progress can be challenging. In particular, students that are slow progressing can be difficult to identify and therefore miss out on potential remediation and help.


The assessment of this module comprises 20% Reflective open essay, 20% MCQ, 20% Continuous clinical assessment consisting of clinical tasks and presentation of cases with some reflection. Previously this had been recorded on a paper based logbook type document or Clinical assessment Form CAF. 40% goes to the exit module OSCE exam.

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goals:

To address the previously highlighted problems associated with clinical placements and the monitoring of students in multiple sites we have been looking for a solution that would allow us to check attendance, monitor progress on tasks and gauge engagement.


Remote monitoring that allowed interaction with the students seemed to be what we should aim for. Improving and ensuring student engagement was also a main aim and we felt that structuring and supporting learning was one way of helping this. Having become aware of UCD’s pilot of Digital Badges through Teaching and Learning it seemed that this may be a solution for us.

We therefore decided to:

  • pilot digital badges as an online interactive alternative to the CAF/Logbook
  • enhance student’s engagement with the module
  • enhance their motivation to complete the clinical tasks set for them
  • facilitate learning through the structures provided for the acquisition of the badges
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The Innovative Approach:

Digital badges is a novel means of recognising attainment of knowledge and skills in education. Badges are a visual symbol of knowledge gained, achievement or acquisition of a new skill which can be displayed or shared online via a variety of platforms. They have data embedded in them such as criteria for earning the badge or evidence of achievement. The research suggests that badges may facilitate student motivation with sustained emotional engagement. They can be linked to recognizing reaching specific achievements or competences as milestones to motivate and encourage learners.

Digital Badges were introduced in PSYC40150 to enhance student’s engagement and motivation, to help them structure their work and to monitor attendance.

Gold, Silver or Bronze badges are acquired on completion of specific clinical tasks, an MCQ, and an uploaded signed attendance form. The weekly clinical tasks match the themes being taught and facilitate standardizing the clinical experience in all centres. These badges are earned on a weekly basis and can be used as milestones as students progress through the module and help scaffold their learning. This is all done online and student’s progress can be monitored remotely. The badges explicitly and visually capture progress. Percentages of students attaining Gold, Silver or Bronze is feedback to the students so they know how they are doing in relation to their peers.

 

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Results:

 

1) Earning badges made the assignments more significant to me

Agree Neutral Disagree
45%                     15% 39% (16+11+12)
Av. 39.7   Av. -39.3

2) The digital badges made me want to keep on working

Agree Neutral Disagree
45% (4+14+27) 25% 29% (14+6+9)
Av. 36   Av. -28.7

3) I felt motivated to complete the module because I was earning digital badges

Agree Neutral Disagree
50% (6+17+27)  16% 33% (8+12+13)
Av. 43.3   Av. -38

 

Results: structure

 

 

The digital badges helped me to achieve the learning outcomes for this module

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

64% (9+ 17+38)

15%

21% (11+ 4+6)

Av. 53

 

Av. -20

 

 

 

The digital badges helped me to meet the assessment requirements of this module

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

68% (6+20+ 42)

12%

19% (9+6+4)

Av. 40.7

 

Av. -31

 

 

 

The badges increased my overall level of satisfaction with completing the continuous assessment requirements

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

59% (9+17+33)

11%

28% (13+ 6+ 9)

Av. 50.7

 

Av. -28.7

 

 

 

The digital badges helped me to understand the content of this module

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

68% (7+18+43)

13%

18% (6+ 5+ 7)

Av. 53.7

 

Av. -19.7

 

 

 

I was more aware of the module continuous assessment requirements because I would be earning digital badges

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

78% (16+30+32)

7%

15% (6+ 4+5)

Av 75.3

 

Av. -15

 

 

 

The digital badges helped me to understand my progress through the module

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

78% (16+30+32)

7%

15% (6+ 4+5)

Av 75.3

 

Av. -15

 

 

 

I talked to others about the badges I earned

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

42% (9+14+19)

12%

44% (9+12+23)

Av. 39.7

 

Av. -55.3

 

 

 

The potential to earn digital badges at gold, silver and bronze levels made me feel competitive.

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

49% (7+16+26)

11%

39% (12+ 8+19)

Av. 42.7

 

Av. -46

-61% of student support badges being continued

Further evaluation is needed but results are in keeping with literature and is promising.