Senior Lecturer of Paramedicine at Charles Sturt University Sam Willis, highlights the benefits of Australian Paramedical College students entering university via Vocational Education Training (VET) pathways.
“We do have ex APC students here and they’re actually doing really, really well. What I mean by that is, not only are they able to transition really well into the practical classes, in other words they get into the prac (practical workshops) classes and they’re able to do everything the non prior APC students can do but they can, they’ve already got that practical background, that practical experience behind them that other students don’t come into the classroom with.”
“And in a way, you can see that the other students do tend to look up to them because they can see how well they’re performing. And they approach them and they hang around with them asking them questions and getting them to be role models and getting them to show them how to do the things that we’ve shown them and now they have to go off and do it autonomously. So, they actually are really, really successful when they get into the program.”
“But not just from a practical perspective as well. Usually, when I’m teaching in a class, when I’m teaching the theoretical aspects of paramedic practice whatever that might be, they are usually the first people to put their hands up to be able to answer the questions. And trust me, I do try different techniques to engage the classroom but they are usually the first people to try and answer the question. So, I have to sometimes rein them back and say, thank you for willing to be a participant here but I’m just going to open this up to the rest of the class.”
“And that really does demonstrate a level of understanding that really is conducive to success really. And in fact, going one step further, we have a system here called peer tutor system where we get students to teach other students. That’s a system, peer to peer learning, again it’s highly ingrained in the literature and on most occasions, it’s ex APC students who are being the mentors to other students. So, there’s a number of things that I’m seeing with regards to APC graduates which includes how they’re excelling in the prac (clinical workshops) classes, in the theoretical classes and in fact they’re being role models through the peer tutor system.”
“So, yeah good question and I’m glad I was able to share that with you because apart from seeing them excel in the classroom, it actually makes the classroom environment much more rewarding too because it shows people, they are showing people how to interact with others. They’re showing people how to participate and it’s participation where all the good qualities are coming from, the expert qualities.”
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