Each year SPOTeurope hosts an student meeting during the ENOTHE Annual Meeting. During covid these meetings have taken place online.
The purpose of this meeting is to gather the students opinion on us as a platform and the students idea on OT education.
We really value your opinion and are transparent in the ideas that we receive. Therefore the summaries of the student sessions will be published on this page.
Summary Student Session 01/12/2021
On the 1st of December 2021 we held our annual student session online. Around 25 occupational therapy students from around Europe took part. The aim was to get other students’s opinions and feedback on the further development of SPOT.
After an introduction from the board members, the students were asked to answer two questions via a mentimeter.
- How did you get familiar with SPOTEurope?
- Which opportunities does your curriculum offer regarding internationalization?
Most students heard of SPOTeurope through their University/School, social media or their local miniSPOTs. Some had attended SPOT-webinars or got familiar with it through their country’s OT professional organisation.
The most frequently named opportunity, regarding question two, was Erasmus. Besides an internship abroad, mobility weeks and online webinars were mentioned. It was also mentioned that a few universities don’t have any programs or projects concerning these topics.
Afterwards, all board members continued to proceed with presenting the promo presentation. Topics were the core beliefs and strategy plan of SPOTeurope, the jobs of the board members and upcoming events. Also for this Student Session the SPOTeurope Board decided to do a brief workshop on how to set up a MiniSPOT, because the students were interested in knowing more about this topic. Three students showed interest in our vacancy for the social media board member and we had a discussion with the students from Belgium about the possibility of SPOT growth in their country.
In order to receive the student’s feedback and use for further improvement over the course of the upcoming year, a padlet was made accessible for the students. They were able to give their opinion on four different categories concerning the miniSPOTs, the blog, SPOTinars and the general development of SPOT. The answers were subsequently discussed in the whole group.
The following will give an overview of the questions from the board and feedback of the students:
Q: What would encourage you to set up a miniSPOT? What could be the facilitating factors and barriers when you are setting up a miniSPOT? How can these be overcome? How can SPOTeurope help with this?
The main motivation when setting up a miniSPOT seems to be helping others know about OT in general, promoting internationalisation, meeting new people and increasing social interaction, and learning about other cultures and OT in different countries.
The students experience the following barriers when setting up a miniSPOT: finding enough people who are willing to do it in their free time, leading people (if never done before), setting up meetings in times of Covid, not receiving support from the school/university and not knowing the responsibilities within a miniSPOT. They see it as helpful cooperating with their university and cooperating with and meeting other OT students. The feedback on overcoming the barriers was the wish to learn about managing a group of people, how to create online meetings and having a subject in school that supports cooperation amongst the students. It would also be helpful if the universities knew about SPOT and encouraged and supported the students in setting up a miniSPOT. Regarding this, our ways of helping are limited, so we encourage the students who are interested in setting up a mini SPOT to get in touch with a professor to support them.
Q: Should a miniSPOT have the same/less/more roles as SPOTeurope? What can students and teachers do to improve internationalisation in the curriculum?
The general opinion on the first question was that miniSPOTs should have fewer roles, whilst taking the essence of the board’s roles into account.
In terms of improving internationalisation, the feedback consisted of teaching the (first semester) students about the value and benefit of it, universities providing opportunities for students to gain experiences abroad, i.e creating contracts with erasmus, teachers sharing information on internationalisation and encouraging students, linking students’ study points to putting effort into internationalisation. Ideas were also students getting in contact with SPOTeurope for help, creating a miniSPOT and schools becoming ENOTHE members.
Q: What would encourage you to be a guest writer for our blog? What would you like to read on the blog? What would you like to read about in our newsletter?
Encouraging would be a set topic (an appeal posted on social media) to which students can write about as a guest blogger, or a challenge of some kind. This would speak to the students more directly.
Students seem to be interested in reading about the existing miniSPOTs and updates on them, fun facts, OT in different countries, new methods used in OT, differences of study curriculums, and internship (abroad) and mobility week experiences. A suggestion was writing a blog entry on how first year students experienced the start of their studies. The newsletter could include bachelor theses, successes of students or events that have taken place/ are to come.
General SPOT development
Q: Which things do you think can be improved? What’s your general impression of SPOTeurope?
A big topic was improving the advertisement made for SPOT. Only a few universities seem to know about it, the same goes for OT students. It was also asked to upload more posts; the ‘mememonday’ received positive feedback. The general impression was positive as well. It was said that SPOT has a lot to provide and is a platform that brings us OT students together, creating opportunities to collaborate with other students.
Q: Which topics would you like to discuss in upcoming SPOTinars? Would you like to see students present their projects in SPOTinars?
Topic ideas for SPOTinars were Autism, OT after a severe covid infection, healthy ageing, technology and OT in different countries, OT for marginalised groups, wellbeing and OT. The idea of students presenting their projects was accepted positively.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate in this year’s student session and for sharing your thoughts with us. If you feel there is anything not represented in this summary or something new you would like to add, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!
We are looking forward to a new and exciting year 2022, and hopefully we will get to see some of you in person again at the ENOTHE congress in Georgia.