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Service User and Carer Involvement in Students’ Classroom Learning in Higher Education

Unwin, Peter and Rooney, Joy and Cole, C. (2017) Service User and Carer Involvement in Students’ Classroom Learning in Higher Education. Journal of Further and Higher Education. ISSN 1469-9486 Online: 1469-9486 (In Press)

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Abstract

The following article presents a small-scale qualitative study in which the student learning experiences from service user and carer (SUAC) involvement in social work, mental health nursing and social welfare courses at an English university were evaluated for any effects on student perceptions, knowledge, skills and practice. Using focus group methodology, student participants reported positive outcomes from exposure to SUAC classroom inputs such as a greater valuing of SUAC knowledge as expert knowledge, help with the development of empathy and an appreciation of constructive challenges to mainstream curricular delivery. Notes of caution were identified, particularly in respect of the sometimes unexpected levels of emotion displayed by SUAC presenters. Recommendations for meaningful SUAC involvement in higher education are made regarding the need to involve SUACs across the whole duration of a course; the need for the preparation of both students and presenters regarding boundaries; the fit of presentations with intended learning outcomes; more partnership delivery in classrooms between academics and SUACs (possibly with a differentiation between theoretical and practice inputs); the opportunities for SUACs to present their own situations as real rather than hypothetical case studies for students and the possibilities that may result from introducing a ‘buddying’ system between students and SUACs throughout their studies. It is suggested that the insights from this small-scale study merit further exploration on a larger scale if policy and practice in the field of service and user involvement in higher education are to move forward in an inclusive manner.

Item Type: Article
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Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests Service.

Uncontrolled Keywords: service users and carers, student perception, health and social care, education, classroom learning, Higher Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
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Depositing User: Karol Kosinski
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2017 13:35
Last Modified: 15 May 2017 09:05
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5395

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