About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Thursday, November 29, 2007


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.


Anonymous said...

something i don't get is why have all this fancy multimedia equipment, and play 1980s style comm skills videos on them?

PhilT81 said...

You're sounding like a grumpy old man.

Technology needs to move on. Good technology leads to a good modern image and image leads to a good reputation (so long as they also have the teaching skills to back it up).

A poorly equipped med school produces poory equipped doctors.

I don't think you understand why it's too expensive to copy all the videos on to DVD yet they're willing to record things on to DVDR.

A DVDR costs about 15p, I doubt that's the problem when it comes to copying them. The problem is the man-power. First you're going to need to get the right equipment and if you have it then you're going to have to find someone to do the copying and then pay them. As you'll know yourself, it's a time-consuming process so that's why it would be costly.

dr_dyb said...

They put them all on the web for streaming (not download), so they have already digitised them. Copying the files to DVD takes about 5 minutes, then media Service / Computing could use their nice big CD duplicators and produce 7 every 5 minutes after that. The cost of manpower could be covered by selling the DVD to students at £1 to cover costs.

I dispute your comment about doctor quality, as half the staff cannot correctly operate the equipment we have which sits their unused gathering dust.

We also had video players and monitors in the study area where we could review the videos in our own time but IIRc these machines do not take DVD as well, and the PC's in our study area do not have the correct DVD codec's (to stop us watching entertainment DVDs) and new codec downloads are blocked, so we can't even review our communication skills performance in Uni.

PhilT81 said...

The technology is a good thing but it's how they're handling it that's wrong.

Firstly, staff need to be properly trained in use of equipmentotherwise the money has been wasted.

I don't have a secondly other than to say that they correct codecs should be made available.

If the DVD's are already on the internet then why not save them to DVD yourself? Now, you'll claim that that's not possible... but it is. I have software that'll do that.