1 Turku University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
2 Manchester Metropolitan University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 11120-11124
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.2751
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Undergraduate courses on biomedical sciences are often restricted in their curricula by a programme agreed between universities and the relevant professional bodies. Accreditation from such bodies focuses on guaranteeing the highest standards of training, education and assessments for biomedical scientists. Even though programs incorporate employability skills, they are still focused on the scientific aspect, not offering enough training on soft skills, such as digital tools and reflective writing, not coaching them in preparation for life after graduation. We consider that such tools are key for biomedical students to express and understand their journey at university when becoming biomedical professionals, as well as to reflect on what they aspire for their career.
This work reflects the collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and Turku University of Applied Sciences (Finland) to use autobiographical digital stories as means of documentation and reflection for students in their last year of the bachelor and the integrated Masters in Biomedical Science (BMS and MBioMedSci) at Manchester Metropolitan University.
This pilot project aimed to tell the student journey story (digital story) and to associate it with their wider autobiography, to help them reflect on their university experience and clarify which career path they wanted to follow

After approval from MMU ethics committee (no. 0461) the Students were invited to participate voluntarily in this study as an additional activity to support their professional development. For this, they had to participate in a digital storytelling workshop and complete a pre-workshop activity consisting on gathering up to 20 digital photographs that had something to do with how (s)he became a biomedical student, and one printed picture of the most meaningful photograph for this.
The workshop was conducted over two days to allow enough time of reflection.

The stages included the following activities:
A) ice breaking: everyone presents the meaningful picture and tells why this picture is special at the moment,
B) introduction to workshop,
C) raw stories: writing stories using structured freewriting method,
D) stories for voice over using raw stories and shared experiences in writing,
E) voice over recordings,
F) photos, voice over etc. media loading on Wevideo,
G) editing videos,
H) presenting videos: sharing and reflecting,
I) feedback.

Results, discussion and conclusion:
This project evaluated students’ perceptions on their student journey, future career and self-awareness, prior and post-workshop, using a questionnaire designed by the team before the workshop started and at the end of the workshop. Results demonstrated that the workshop helped students to increase their self-awareness, as well as to identify and clarify their career pathways. Students reported that this technique was “eye opening” and gave them the opportunity to learn a completely new skill (digital stories) to present information.
Digital Stories, Reflective writing, Student journey, Biomedical Science.