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Key concepts

Self directed learning

  • Designing your own assignment with an interesting topic and sensible assessment criteria
    • Look at past assignments set by the Faculty and see the way they write assessment criteria
  • Submitting a quality proposal plan on time

Critical evaluation

  • Search should be well done, tabulated and appended
  • Evidence/sources well cited and referenced
  • Critical thinking skills demonstrated, awareness of own and others' values and biases, logical argument and use of evidence
  • Include your search strategy in this assignment (do the search strategy along the way)


  1. Find a suitable topic
  2. Write your own assessment criteria and proposal plan
  3. Check this out with peers/facilitator
  4. Submit your final draft proposal plan with justifications etc to eMed by 9am Monday 7th May
  5. Wait for feedback - by end of week 2
  6. Respond to feedback in your final plan and criteria
  7. Research and write your assignment
  • Last year out of 90 they refused only 8

Her advice

  • Read the official advice
  • Keep your topic simple and within the Phase 1 capabilities (sub-categories)
  • LESS management/treatment, MORE analysis/diagnosis/assessment
  • Phrase your title as a QUESTION!
    • Don't look at therapeutics/treatment: look at what is normal and look at diagnosis/assessment

What topics are good for BGDB?

  • What are you interested in?
  • What will help you to learn more for towards your BGDB exam?
  • Focusing on scenarios 1 and 2 makes more sense
  • Avoid tough psychiatric/psychological questions
  • Avoid over-specific therapeutics e.g. innovative surgical treatment of an over-focused topic
  • Choose a topic that helps you learn more about something that you find hard!
  • Science/socio-cultural/ethics/diagnostic topic areas are good for this course.

Recommended topics

  • Child development
  • Nutrition and guts, body image, eating disorders
  • Childhood infections (science, clinical, PAM, PH/epid)
  • Endocrine (puberty, sexuality, embryology, congenital abnormalities)
  • Embryology and/or congenital malformations - BGDB topics only
  • Psychology/psychiatry
  • Post-natal depression, bonding, parenting
  • Genetics - BGDB topics
  • Further list on Blackboard under Assessment Activities. Lecture notes are also available there

Checklist for the proposal

  • Does the proposed question deal with a topic or issue that interests me and fits with broad themes of BGDB?
  • Is the topic easily and fully researchable in the time available?
  • If it is too broad can I focus on a key part of the issue?
  • What type of information do I need to answer the research question?
  • Is the scope pf this information reasonable?
  • Is my question too broad, too narrow, or just right?
  • What sources will have the type of information that I need to answer the research question?
  • Can I access these sources?

Final report

  • Must include ALL OF THE FOLLOWING (or you will fail):
    • Your assignment report
    • The original plan
    • The feedback document received from the course convenor
    • A statement of modifications made to the plan in light of feedback and/or problems encountered while doing the assignment
    • Your assessment criteria for the assignment. Incorporate any changes made to the criteria that were originally proposed in light of feedback
  • Statement of modification is included in the word count (BUT CHECK CRITERIA)

Rachel Thompson's Blackboard Announcement

Follow the link above to read the instructions about negotiating an assignment in Phase 1 on the Medicine program website.

Regarding Negotiating assignment in BGDB: BGD is not so straightforward for drafting a negotiated assignment so here are some tips on how to choose topics and write the drafts for negotiated assignments:

1. BGDA topics in general will not be allowed but check the list attached as there is some cross-over. This list is not exhaustive so please do check with your facilitator or myself if you are still unsure (after checking out the list carefully first!).

2. Stick to BGDB themes and content (see your guide and eMed).

3. Stick to the younger age bracket (<18 but <25 for mental health.) i.e. Babies – Children – Adolescence where possible - unless specified in the list (e.g. endocrine and gut topics etc. can be adult med).

4. Avoid a topic with similar focus and assessment criteria to previous and current assignments and projects (including wiki topics) where possible – See attached list below. However you may find that reading other assignments etc. will help you with ideas and structure of your draft – e.g. How to write assessment criteria succinctly – you may need several attempts to get them good – we do!

5. In writing your draft be clear re your focus, and make your tasks do-able in the time you have. Be specific in your focus capability choice – there is a tendency to try to do too much and also cover more than one capability – but you can only do ONE! Be as specific as possible in writing the assessment criteria for this (check the graduate capabilities for Phase 1!) – check out the help on this online in the med program website under Phase 1 assessments.

6. We have been advised that contacting or visiting parents/ patients or staff at the Children's hospital for the purposes of this assignment is just NOT possible due to nature of paediatrics and the work loads that staff are working under. Therefore there is a total ban on contacting or visiting the SCH for this purpose. In line with the course themes of understanding normal growth, nutrition and development the assignments should focus on children outside the hospital system, i.e. in the community rather than those with illness requiring hospital treatment. The focus moves to hospitalised children in Phase 2 and 3 paediatrics. In terms of accessing (well) children and teenagers, you should look at resources such as childcare, kindergartens, well baby clinics, schools, etc. to access children and allied health staff such as community nurses and child carers. GP's may also be an option as a resource for students to gain access to their community allied health such as speech therapy, physio, OT who you may refer to outside the hospital setting. There is also a good amount of high quality literature on allied health care for children. The same applies for the communications assignment as previously explained. We plan to have the bulk of the negotiated assignments reviewed and back to individual students via eMed by Thurss 10th lunchtime. If you have not heard by 2pm we suggest you double-check your junk-mail folder and then email Peter Herring with your submission number.