University of Nottingham Contemporary Practice in Manual Therapy - Upper Quadrant

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Course Description[edit | edit source]

This project forms part of the University of Nottingham’s postgraduate modules in Contemporary Practice in Manual Therapy – Upper Quadrant (B94018 and B4023).  Students will be writing personal blogs to demonstrate evidence of Masters-level academic learning throughout the module.

Course Instructors[edit | edit source]

Roger Kerry

Course Dates[edit | edit source]

13th November 2013 - 2nd April 2014

Instructions to Students[edit | edit source]

Summary[edit | edit source]

You will develop your own personal blog over the course of the module. This blog will demonstrate evidence of your Masters-level academic learning throughout the year. The blog will allow you to integrate your thoughts and reasoning with constructive critical analysis of the best and latest evidence surrounding each subject area. You can choose a particular topic area to focus on overall, but attention to most subject areas will be given. The blog is also the perfect opportunity for you to show professionalism and critical reflection of your own learning. Instructions on setting up a blog account will be given. Ensure that you read the criteria in the module handbook so that you are happy with what you are being assessed on. Also see the marking grid below that your assessors will be using to establish your final mark. 

Modern Manual Therapists[edit | edit source]

The modern health care professional is someone who is so much more than simply a great clinician, carer, and reasoner. Health care and health education now firmly exist in the world of social media, and this WILL only increase. As a modern manual therapist you will develop skills of communication that will enhance your position as a health care professional an allow you to engage in the fast, dynamic, exciting and professional world of health in social media. We at the University of Nottingham aim to facilitate all of our students to acquire these skills and become part of the very forefront of knowledge dissemination, discussion and professional advancement in social media. This assessment forms part of that journey.

Detail[edit | edit source]

Blogging (or “Web Logging”) is a modern form of writing. There is nothing unusual and special about it, it is simply writing which utilises Web2.0 technology to efficiently and effectively communicate ideas, knowledge and thought. Web2.0 technology simply means that interaction between users is fast and dynamic. 

Writing has been used in academic institutes to assess student’s knowledge and intellect for centuries. In other words, writing is the medium for communicating your knowledge and intellect. Traditionally this has been in the form of essays, which you may be quite familiar with. The World has changed, and with it so have communication methods. Your writing assessment for this module reflects that change. Instead of a traditional essay, you will communicate your thoughts, ideas, knowledge and intellect through a web-based blog. 

There are many advantages to blogging over traditional essay writing, e.g. interaction with /feedback from other people to shape your thoughts and ideas; an on-going process which demonstrates real-time development; an ‘openness’ which enhances quality of writing – i.e. if you know that many other people will see your work immediately, you will aim to produce better writing, etc. 

Although the medium might seem a little more ‘casual’ than a formal essay, it is essential to maintain all the academic rigor of traditional methods. This means the blog will be writing in academic/scientific prose – not abbreviated and casual language; argument development will be as robust in your blog as it would be in an essay (see Moodle for a crib-sheet on argument formation); structure of your prose will be well-considered and facilitate flow; critical analysis of literature will be thorough and meaningful; extensive citation of published literature will be given, and proper referencing styles will be used (see back of module handbook). 

Further, you will also consider practical parameters, such as ensuring adherence to copyright procedures if using images; ensuring all images are properly referenced etc.

What shall I blog about?[edit | edit source]

If you were doing an essay, you would be given a title and expected to answer the question in that title. Your blogging assessment is slightly different in so much as you are responsible for developing your own blogging theme.

Your theme should be consistent, but it is totally acceptable to write about your thoughts leading up to developing an area to concentrate on. This shows academic and intellectual development. By the end of the module, you should consider yourself a “mini expert” in the area you have chosen.

For example, you may decide that Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) is the area (theme) you want to blog about. A summary of a modules worth of blogging might read something like:

“Before the module I had some experience with patients suffering from WAD and often felt confused, or held strong assumptions about those patients; during the module I started to read and think more about the phenomena; it soon became really fascinating, especially with the emergence of scientific findings in this area; I spent a lot of time understanding the details of often conflicting trial findings, and what these meant; it was very enlightening to spend time understanding the mechanistic evidence and trying to work out what the real nature of WAD is; now my approach to patients with WAD would be very different, and here are some examples of how I think my practice might have changed; overall, the project has given me the opportunity to engage in a subject area in a masterly way and really helped me understand the literature and the discussions around this fascinating area of clinical practice and research”

This sort of story would be spread out over several months of blog writing in palatable sections which suit your own pace of learning and writing. Within it you would demonstrate masterly levels of critical analysis of the published literature, whilst at the same time adding your own reflection as a lifelong learner, and providing meaningful interpretations of the evidence for clinical practice.

There is no formal word count for a blogging assessment, but we would expect your final blog to be around 3,000 words.

Some theme ideas [edit | edit source]

You might blog about a specific pathology or clinical phenomena, e.g. WAD; headaches; shoulder tendinopathies; complex regional pain; etc

Or you might choose to blog about a particular dimension to clinical practice, e.g. clinical reasoning; evidence-based practice; etc.

You might also like to blog about particular approaches to manual therapy, e.g. osteopathy; the McKenzie approach; Maitland approach; etc

Or you may be interested in exploring an emerging area of science, e.g. pain science; sensory-motor dysfunction; etc

You might want to get very specific and use your blog to focus on a specific technique, e.g. manipulation; neural mobilisation; etc

It is important to understand that you don’t need to attempt some sort of systematic review which would normally intend to answer a specific question such as “which intervention works best”. Your blog should be broader and more intellectual than that, showing a wide acknowledgement of a variety of evidence sources in the field, and an ability to personally reflect and interpret your new-found knowledge and wisdom. 

Treat this assessment as a wonderful opportunity to delve into a clinical area and become a master of that field - it is rare to have such an opportunity!

Blogs[edit | edit source]

Blogs taking part in this project are listed below: