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Transforming professional practice

This module comprises a guided enquiry into advanced professional practice and leads to recommendations for improvement in your workplace. During this module you will undertake an investigation of both evidence and experience. Enquiry focuses on one of three possible improvements, that within practice skill, service to clients or system development. You will explore the most effective means to disseminate the best practice that you have discovered, through publication, presentation at conference, preparation of a consultation paper and the making of a case for change to others.

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Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Oct 2016 Not yet available

Registration closes 10/09/15 (places subject to availability)

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This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.

What you will study

Your work for this module will be more self-directed than in your earlier modules, but you will continue to have access to a study group and a tutor to help shape your enquiries over the coming year. You will work with your tutor to plan your enquiries and need to update them regularly on your current activity.

Scholarship involves a demonstration of your ability to enquire, design, analyse, debate, argue and recommend in ways that demonstrate rigorous thought and a good command of issues and information. You will need to demonstrate what you already know and do, and advance a vision for further improvements that benefit the patients/clients of your service. To help you achieve this, you are led through five study blocks of work during the one-year module:

  • Enquiry, conception and design
  • Review of relevant evidence
  • Analysing experience
  • Reviewing progress
  • Making the case to others.

Your enquiry will be conceived as an investigation of existing data and as a series of disciplined practice reflections and discussion, the review of literature and discourse with colleagues interested in practice improvement (personal and collective experience). Your review of experience will be drawn from your day-to-day practice and discussions with professional colleagues. This module does not require you to design and conduct a research project (there are no questionnaires, interviews or data-gathering instruments to design) nor should your work be designed so as to require submission to a research ethics committee. Rather it relies on heightened skills of speculative reflection and debate associated with work that you conduct with others. It will be necessary therefore to select an enquiry that relates closely to your day-to-day practice and to engage in reflection at a deeper level than you may currently be accustomed to. The study guide will instruct you in the relevant techniques to enable this. Working in this way, and combining what you learn from your review of evidence with current experience, you will be assisted to make a coherent case for practice improvement.

The study materials provide a scaffold that enables you to complete your enquiries and prepare work that you can demonstrate to others. The tutor-marked assignments and the end-of-module assessment constitute an exhibition of your enquiries those that illustrate disciplined powers of reflection and analysis. You will need to be well organised, focused and consultative in order to meet the assessment deadlines and complete your enquiries alongside other professional work. You will work on study blocks Review of relevant evidence and Analysing experience in parallel.

You will learn

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • systematically conduct enquiries in the literature, reflections on your own practice and local contexts, making appropriate records of your learning in ways that demonstrate scholarship
  • disseminate your knowledge and skills in ways that are relevant to the development of practice now and in the future
  • present clear observations, arguments and conclusions about your chosen aspect of practice, so that others could either replicate or build on your scholarship
  • defend the advancement of practice within your enquiry, making the case to an appropriate authority.

Transferable skills

On successful completion of your module you will be able to:

  • work collaboratively
  • manage uncertainty
  • translate concepts into practice
  • demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
  • utilise information technology
  • retrieve, interpret and utilise data (qualitative and quantitative), information and evidence.

Vocational relevance

This module is relevant to a wide range of practitioners in health and social care settings: if you are already or wish in the future to engage in project-working with others, if you are charged with leadership and change agency roles, if you hope to innovate in practice or if you aspire to coach or advise others in their professional development. The module offers valuable opportunities to develop the communication and knowledge dissemination skills that are so important to practitioners who advance professional practice. The module enables you to enhance your reflective practice abilities and will appeal to those who see personal and collegiate reflection as an important vehicle for continual improvement in practice. Because no assumptions are made with regard to the health or social setting, the system within which the practitioner works, the module will also assist those working overseas, and in the voluntary sector (beyond the statutory provision in health or social care).

Entry

This module is open to practitioners who have normally completed the requirements of the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice (E46).

Due to the focus on a given area of practice and a specific enquiry, you must maintain continuous access to a chosen practice environment for the duration of the module. If you anticipate a role or job change or move to new employment you need to review whether this commitment can be made before registering on the module.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

Work designed to focus your plans on an appropriate aspect of practice should be conducted at the start of the module and with the guidance of your tutor. You will however benefit from considering aspects of practice you have explored in previous study that lend themselves to further enquiry.

Qualifications

K829 is a compulsory module in our:

Some postgraduate qualifications allow study to be chosen from other subject areas. We advise you to refer to the relevant qualification descriptions for information on the circumstances in which this module can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements may change.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with our Student Registration & Enquiry Service before registering.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.

Study materials

What's included

Module texts and dedicated website.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Although the study guide provides detailed guidance on the scholarly activity associated with this module and the online resources guide you on the different ways of formatting work for dissemination, you will work closely with your tutor to:

  • identify and focus your chosen enquiry
  • evaluate what the evidence review has taught you
  • examine and refine reflective practice techniques
  • make arguments based on supporting information
  • formulate a case.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) must be submitted online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Distance learning

The Open University is the world's leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you're at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you'll be supported throughout your studies - your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information about distance learning at the OU read Study explained.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code K829
Credits 60
OU Level Postgraduate
SCQF level 11
FHEQ level 7
Course work includes:
4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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