Temporary Parenting Exercise
We have two reality babies in the ECS department - Beth & Jack. These are computerised dolls that, when programmed, replicate an infants schedule for a set amount of time. They need to be fed, burped, have their nappy changed, and rocked. The schedules are based on those of real babies, and require the student caring for them to determine their needs and then meet them. This can be at any hour of the day (or night), and can require them to sit feeding or rocking the baby for a realistic period of time. Some babies are more demanding than others.
Once the Temporary Parenting Exercise is over, and the baby returns to school, we can download a report showing how well the student managed to meet the babies needs - it records incidents of missed care, lack of head support, and rough handling.
ECS students take the babies home over a weekend for their Temporary Parenting experience. Whilst this does not contribute directly to any specific assessment tasks, it does provide a valuable and authentic learning experience relevant to the course.