Using video in speech & language therapy education

Jane Stokes, University of Greenwich and the teaching team on the Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Speech and Language Therapy have put the use of video at the centre of their strategy for developing skills for practice, and in their teaching and learning approaches.

Background
Many lecturers use video clips in their teaching and students regularly use YouTube links to support their understanding of speech and language difficulties but the speech and language therapy teaching team have taken the use of video several steps further.

Good Practice
Students are all supplied with video cameras which they use on placement to video their own interactions with people. In collaboration with colleagues in practice, students regularly video sessions that they contribute to on placement. This allows for a deeper level of reflective practice, and allows students to look back at exactly the language that was used, the non-verbal communication that they are developing and the reactions that people with communication difficulties have which may be otherwise difficult to record.

Together with colleagues in practice, students and staff have devised scenarios that have been videoed to exemplify good inter-professional practice. People who have been on the receiving end of inter-professional care have been videoed about their experiences, and these clips are then available to students to review and reflect on. This allows the students to hear first-hand about how it feels to be a patient, or client.

Colleagues in practice have also made videos of a typical speech and language therapy session which are interspersed with a running commentary about how the session went, the techniques used, and the responses observed. Students find this invaluable in learning about the clinical decision making process that experienced speech and language therapists use but often do not explicitly describe to students. Video gives an insight that no other medium can give and can be used so much more creatively than just using clips of people talking. In this way reflective practice is greatly enhanced, both in students and in practitioners.