Yesterday was Comms skills, and despite Faculty knowing that there are only 5 roles per session, and only 4 sessions through the year, they put 6 people in each group!
Because I as off ill for our introductory session, I didn't have a role yesterday, so I watched the other 5 - who were really quite good, and tried to give useful comments in the spirit of our peer support curriculum.
I also noticed that faculty have been out spending money again. Not only do we have 3 plasma screens around the place with a list of what lectures / tutorials etc are taking place in which areas of the building each day, but we now have plasma screens in the Comms Skills rooms.
Until now, the camera / mic in the Comms Skills consulting room have been linked through to a small 24" TV/Video combi unit in the 'group' room next door. Soon though faculty wants us to move to a DVD based system. The idea is that each student will be able to record each consultation onto DVD for review later. In most rooms the DVD recorder's are in place, but in their wisdom, faculty have also purchased a 48" plasma/LCD screen (I can't tell which as it still had a cover on it) for each room.
My issues with it are:
a) why could the DVD recorder not just be hooked into the existing TV
b) how much are the plasma screens costing - my guess is about £8k for them all
c) if students are expected to record the stuff onto DVD, then the DVD will have to be finalised in that machine before it will play on any other machine, so this will be a 'cost' of one DVDR per session.
d) This outlay is despite the same department saying that copying all the Clinical Skills instruction videos onto DVD for students would cost too much.