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Reaching my Fellowship goal and embracing new approaches to teaching

12 Apr 2023 | Ramani Saravanan Award-winning Senior Assistant Director and Lead for Clinical Procedures at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Ramani Saravanan, explains her journey to achieving Fellowship and how Advance HE’s Fellowship Category tool provided an important starting point.

Since earning the Advance HE Fellowship, I have become more proficient at communicating my past and current professional experience – a task that I previously found challenging and often stuttered when attempting to explain.

My career path has spanned across various roles such as nurse educator, nursing lecturer, and now, as a lead for Clinical Procedures at a medical school. However, prior to embarking on the Fellowship application process, I lacked clarity and direction in my professional perspective. Through the application process, I thoughtfully articulate my pedagogical stance and decision choices that aligned with my academic goals. By viewing my career through the lens of the Fellowship application, I developed a holistic appreciation of my professional journey.

Using the Fellowship Category Tool, I was able to analyse and share data about my practice considering the available Fellowship categories. With the support of Professor Jennifer Anne Cleland, Vice Dean of Education, I analysed the results to establish the best fit for my current practice. I am glad that we had that discussion because it motivated me to record my applicable experiences that met the requirements. As it turns out, choosing the Fellowship option based on those experiences was a wise decision for me.

Explicit stem statements from the Professional Standards Framework enabled me to review my teaching strategies and rekindle my "lived experiences”. Despite the ever-changing landscape of technology, I was surprised to discover that I had been teaching basic clinical skills using a conventional method. While this may be a reliable approach, it may not be the most effective, given the vital role technology plays in modernizing healthcare. This critical evaluation motivated me to reflect on past experiences, adapt my skill-training practices and embrace technology to enhance future training opportunities.

Engaging in the reflective writing process provided me with the opportunity to connect with a network of peers and colleagues whom I may not have interacted with otherwise. By sharing our teaching experiences, we were able to convey our personal and relatable stories. This introspective dialogue allowed me to appreciate my academic successes while also identifying areas for improvement, including my efforts to incorporate well-being initiatives into my curriculum to promote Positive Education.

Achieving the Fellowship certification can serve as a ‘badge of distinction’ for educators, demonstrating their commitment to continuing education to their students. This recognition highlights how, as a representative of the learning organization, I have made a professional contribution toward creating a safe and nurturing learning environment where students can flourish.

My aim now is to integrate the principles of positive education into skills lab-based training using insights gained from the Fellowship application process. Through critical self-reflection on my professional accomplishments, I have truly enhanced my comprehension of academic practice.

Find out more about Advance HE Fellowship

Mrs Ramani Saravanan is Senior Assistant Director, Lead for Clinical Procedures, LKCMedicine. In 2018, Mrs Saravanan was awarded the WorldSkills Singapore (WSS) Long Service Award for her contributions to the Health & Social Care Technical Work Group (Singapore). She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2017 & 2020 and was awarded Nanyang Award (Teamwork) in 2015.

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