When did you first introduce the innovation?
Between 12 and 24 months ago
Please describe the innovation you have developed
This session was based upon the Race (2007) ‘ripples on a pond’ model of learning involving wanting, doing, feedback and digesting of learning. The preparation used a blended approach including lecture capture, in two different languages. To encourage learner engagement an interactive workbook was designed as a resource to evaluate students’ learning. This was then followed by an activity designed to increase student interaction which involved intricate cross over group work (Mortiboys 2010).
Students were asked to access the pre recorded lectures in their chosen language before attending the lecture; thereby following a flipped classroom approach. Garrison and Kanuka (2004) describe how blended learning suits the complex busy lives that nursing students often have juggling work, studies and family life. If students are motivated they are more likely to learn (Race 2007). It follows therefore, that providing a choice to students is seen as a positive way of engaging students and also recognizing them as individuals with diverse needs.
To evaluate understanding and to ensure the key points of the lecture had been grasped, the lecture started by reviewing the pre-recorded lectures. This was undertaken by asking students to work in groups to complete a gapped handout. The rationale for this was that recall is an important part of learning and demonstrates clear understanding of concepts (Kolb 1984). Peer support in the form of working in groups helps to bond the class, benefits the students’ learning (Exley an Dennick 2009) and again the students could choose which language to discuss.
Following this one scenario was then examined by each group for a set length of time. Then one member from each group would reform and create new group. In the second group each member had to present to the new group a summary of the discussion undertaken previously.
What prompted you to develop this innovation?
In recognition that Welsh is the indigenous language of Wales the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure (2011) protects the language ensuring that English and Welsh have equal status in Wales. Many nursing students now embark on their studies having completed their formal education throughout the medium of Welsh and wish to continue studying in their mother tongue. In the 2011 census 19% of the population speak Welsh and feel more comfortable in their mother tongue. The Welsh Language Measure (2011) Wales has granted Welsh official language status; providing Welsh people with the freedom to use Welsh with other people and that the language should not be treated less favourable than English. Thus the session offered choice so students could study in their preferred language.
In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?
Allowing students to study in their language of choice supported the University policy on bilingualism and simultaneously demonstrates respect to individual learners and diverse learning communities.
Nursing students have diverse needs and many constraints on their time. The use of pre-recorded lectures allows flexibility that can fit into the students’ complex lives. It allows students to review the information provided and consider at their own pace.
It also incorporated Mortiboys’ (2010) dynamic crossover group work which promoted participation and teamwork and minimized social loafing. The underpinning philosophy of the design recognizes a pedagogy that learner confidence is more likely to increase when activities are designed in a way that facilitates the success of the whole group (May and Thomas 2010).
To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?
Crossover Group work
To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?
The need for communicating in one’s first language is heightened in times of stress when people become ill and require the understanding of healthcare practitioners (Thomas 1998). For many Welsh speakers’ being able to use their own language is a core component of care (WAG 2012). This is the background to the ‘Active Offer’ (WAG 2012) principle, serving the needs of individuals. There is therefore a need for healthcare practitioners to adopt sensitivity and conscious awareness of the nature of language (Irvine et al 2006) and thereby improve quality care, and this is promoted by this lesson.
What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?
The learning experience created by this design was evaluated extremely well by the group simply at the end of the using a; ‘what went well, what could be better? Suggestions for improvement’ format on post it notes.
The pre-recorded version of the lecture was available for students to refer to after the session and many of them reported later that they had found these useful to review and revise the lecture at their leisure, thereby achieving the goal of guiding the students and increasing their confidence to use digital technology.
To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?
This innovation was presented at the Inaugural Teaching and Learning Conference held at Bangor University November 2011
Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.
This innovation has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Developing Higher Education.
This case study will be presented at future teaching and learning conferences if invited.