SAH- Prac Ed Symposium
Eimer Ni Rhiain, MSc Occupational Therapy, Practice Education Co-Ordinator
Monday, 6 March 2023

There was a welcome return to real life contact for staff and practice educators for the School of Allied Health on January 20th 2023, when the School held their Annual Practice Education Symposium in the Health Sciences Building. This was the first in-person Symposium the school has held since 2020, having held it online the previous two years. This year, the Symposium was themed around “Feedback and Evolvement of Practice Education”. We welcomed numerous speakers and Practice Educators from around the country who showcased their respective ideas surrounding the topic throughout the day.

The invited speakers were Dr. Siobhán Davis from Dublin Dental University Hospital (DDUH), who spoke on “Developing student feedback literacy in healthcare curricula - a supportive educational innovation.”, Clare Whelan, a Clinical Skills Tutor at Trinity College Dublin who spoke on the “Development of the interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning for Practice Educators eLearning programme.”, and Anne-Maria Scanlon, a Physiotherapy practice tutor at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, who gave a presentation on “Enabling the feedback process in work-based learning: an evaluation of the 5-minute feedback.”

In their talks, Clare shared a new online, open access digital teaching and learning module which will be available to support clinical teachers who supervise students in the clinical environment.

Anne-Maria presented the 5 Minute Feedback Form (5MFF) she developed with colleagues, aimed at conveying feedback to students faster, while saving time for Practice Educators in providing the feedback. This form is available at:

SAH Practice Education Co-ordinators, Marie O’Donnell (Physiotherapy) and Eimer Ní Riain (Occupational Therapy) then spoke on the “Blended placement learning model and the digital academy.”, covering the 60/40 learning split and the students’ preferred mode of learning, as well as how to deal with students’ concerns about time management when expected to attend both online and in-person tutorials and labs.

Two workshops followed in the afternoon, with the first centred on feedback conversations and the second focused on “Practice education development framework and placement evaluation tools”.

Practice Educators were also presented with an insight into students’ perspectives on feedback, with a video of students being interviewed on topics such as their preferred form of feedback and how feedback helps them to progress in their placements.

The  Symposium was closed with a virtual visit from Canada by Dr. Andrea Gingerich (ND, MMEd, PhD) (University of Northern British Columbia). Andrea spoke on the well-known phenomenon of  “Failure to Fail”, and how to address it. Practice Educators then had a lively question-and-answer session with Andrea.