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Winner of the Gold Award in the ‘Excellence in the Production of Learning Content – Not for Profit Sector’, this case study provides insight into St George's, University of London ‘Widening Participation’ (WP) strategy, engaging with individuals at all stages of their educational development encouraging those from sectors of society currently under represented in Higher Education. They wanted to dispel the myth that only those with a privileged background or university education could enter the profession. But how do you engage the disengaged?
They wanted a programme that would raise their audience’s aspirations towards higher education & specifically increase their interest in medicine and the allied healthcare professions. They also wanted to challenge inaccurate stereotyped views of healthcare & to see just how many career options were open to them. Finally they wanted a programme that cut through preconceived ideas of disenfranchised youth to show that a career in the medical profession was achievable, counteracting “I’m not a University type” thinking.
To create the programme, pilot schools were identified and classes given access to the resource. These students were then asked to participate in focus group research to ensure appropriateness of tone and content as well as usability. The resulting Taste of Medicine website is an interactive, educational and engaging web portal aimed at increasing awareness, boosting aspiration and raising attainment among younger students from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not otherwise consider Higher Education as an option.
The aim was to illicit changes in aspiration, interest and understanding – factors that are challenging to measure. However they took an innovative approach to this analysis using a methodology that used online pre and post exposure questionnaires with an appropriate sized sample to identify attitudinal changes in the target population.
Top Tips from this story include:
- Recognise that e-learning can be used creatively to target hard-to-reach audiences.
- Challenge stereotypes and pre-conceived ideas on learning approaches.
- Combine information and exploration through engaging, animated, interactive content.
- Provide career opportunities for those who may have felt that it was beyond them.
so read on to find out more.....
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