Research on expectations, transition, intensification of issues for nursing students
Also carried out collation and analysis of quantitative data set (1 st diet results of pre-entry week participants) for comparison with wider cohort, but would require longitudinal tracking for meaningful results since no. in SS so small in relation to general population.
the greater the blend of learning objects with the same critical dimensions, the greater the scope for student discernment of those differences and, hence, ability to extract meaningful learning from them. Thus, when presented with a video discussion, a text-based explanation and examples, and a blog post all concerning the same critical topic of referencing and paraphrasing, students were given the opportunity for repetition, discernment of variation and learning.
That nursing is an evidence-based profession and that academic work requires evidence rather than opinion or the narration of clinical experience is axiomatic to those within both those fields. However, this was a new concept to some students and the pre-entry week appears to have illuminated some of these often tacit practices.
unwilling or unable to engage with new technologies and new mediums for learning, for whatever reason. It is far from clear how to reach this heterogeneous group, or if, in fact, there is a need or right to do so.
The institution’s own Facebook ‘welcome’ site failed to garner any posts on its discussion board during the latest student intake
Stephanie McKendry 'The conflicting priorities of blended and inclusive learning development support in a widening participation institution '
The conflicting priorities ofblended and inclusive learning development support in a widening participation institution Dr Stephanie McKendry
OR, can you replace a successful campus-basedpre-entry programme with a virtual version?
My thesisOpportunities to replace campus activities withblended versions are limited and, indeed,anathema to certain learners. Thus, inclusivitymay be threatened and diversity potentiallycurtailed within the discourse of blendedlearning.Assumptions of digital literacy, the narrative ofdigital natives and the prioritising of reductivetechnology enhanced learning maydisenfranchise certain learners.
The caveats (inevitably)Very few people argue for purely on-line learning.Technology enhanced learning can be empowering anddemocratising (similar to telehealth).Anyone can learn to learn with technology (withsufficient support).I’m not alone in working any of this out.
Glasgow Caledonian University • Formed in 1993 with merger of Glasgow Polytechnic and Queen’s College, Glasgow • 5th largest in Scotland in terms of student recruitment. • Student population of over 17,000 • 3 Academic SchoolsStudent demographics(full time, undergraduate population 2010/2011)• 62% female (82% within School of Health & Life Sciences)• 35% 21 or over (45% within School of Health & Life Sciences)• 37% live in areas classified in bottom two quintiles of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)
My roleAcademic Development Tutor (ADT) in a LearningDevelopment Centre in the School of Health andLife Sciences.Academic contract with research remit.Learning development support to all students.
The LDC in the School of Health & Life Sciences LDC Director Admin Academic Development Tutors (ADTs) ICT Skills Tutor• First point of • English for • Allied Health • Psychology • ICT Skills Learning student contact Academic Professions • Vision Sciences and Teaching• Booking Purposes • Social Work • Website and VLE• Tracking• Evaluating • Psychology • Nursing • Midwifery • Biological Sciences• ADT lead in each of the following: International students, articulating students, students with disability, pre-entry and transition support, research and scholarly activities.• ADTs have roles on programme, curriculum development, learning & teaching boards/committees.
The research problem Diverse group of learners, many of whom can find transition into HE challenging:Mature students can struggle Link between heterogeneouswith completion (O’Brien et al student populations and2009; Cuthbertson et al 2004) withdrawal/ non completion (Leathwood and O’Connell 2003, NAO 2008)Women can encounterrelationship difficulties with Socio-economic and class factorspartners, friends and families can affect transition (Reay 2002)(Baxter and Britten 2001,Stone 2008) Balancing personal commitments Financial difficulties(Glossop with p/t work and study (Glossop 2002, Last and Fullbrook 2003) 2001, Rochford et al 2009)
Pre-entry support programme• Initial evaluation suggested efficacy of approachBUT- Does this impact on student success?- If so, how and why?- Numbers limited so what about those who cannot attend? Issues of equality/equity?
Studysmart for Nursing Week2009 – 66 students attended2010 – 92 students•4 days of learning development andsocialisation activities.•Theme of ‘Spirituality in nursing’ withlinked lecture, research paper, tutorialdiscussion and short essay withfeedback.
Summer 2010 Certificate of completion This is to certify that: Successfully completed the at Glasgow Caledonian University. (Congratulations!) Vic Boyd Stephanie Mckendry Academic Development Tutor Academic Development Tutor
Evaluation 09/10Of the 48 evaluation forms received:•All of the attendees rated the week as either very useful (94%) or useful(6%).•94% agreed that they were now more confident in finding their way aroundcampus.•100% agreed that they had made new friends.•94% agreed that they felt more comfortable about approaching staff to askfor help.•98% agreed that they now had a better understanding of the types skillsneeded for study at university.I think this week has been very good. I have loved everything about it andthink you have both done an amazing job in preparing us for uni life.Its been a really helpful week and I now feel much more confident. Shoulddefinitely be done again next year.
Evaluation 10/11Of the 70 evaluation forms received:•All attendees rated the weeks as either very useful (94%) or useful (6%).•93% agreed that they were now more confident in finding their way aroundcampus.•100% agreed that they had made new friends.•100% agreed that they felt more comfortable about approaching staff to askfor help.•100% agreed that they now had a better understanding of the types skillsneeded for study at university.Not only did it familiarise us with the campus it opened our eyes in what toexpect as a university student, and where to find all the resourcefulresources.Even though it was scary at times to see the challenges I feel now more awareand dare I say ready to start! Thank you.’
Research questions- Was the current pre-entry programme effective in easing the transition of new students?- Given possible cancellation, and issues of equity, was it possible to replace the campus- based version with a blended or wholly online programme?
MethodologyAction research: As distinct from positivist methods of enquiry AR is cyclical and reflective Examine own practice within context with aim of improving its effectiveness and justice (Cohen et al 2007). Applied to both the research and subsequent improvement of healthcare education (Hodgeson et al 2008).Mixed method
Research design Leads to development of research instruments for phase 2studySMART Phase 1. Design, pilot andfor Nursing evaluation of academicprogramme writing support for distance students Phase 2. Blended Semi structured interviews Semi structured interviews elements? with key staff involved in with key staff involved in provision of academic teaching first year studentAmended writing support nursesstudySMART Revisedfor Nursing formativeprogramme assessment? Phase 3. Semi structured interviews with students Leads to development of research instruments for phase 3
Phase 1: design, pilot & evaluate blogThe nursing student blog was developed to provide:- an accessible, moderated, interactive space for students to shareexperiences.-remote access to academic development materials whilst students wereon placement.-scope to facilitate peer support.-‘real life’ nursing biographies to support development of professionalidentity and foster engagement with institution.-Pilot for provision of academic development support in online format(different students in different circumstances but possible to extrapolatesome meaningful data).http://blogs.spokenword.ac.uk/nurseblog/
A short history of blogging- Offers agency and control to the contributor as a tool to capture / share the longitudinal experiential journey through online narrative (Pachler and Daly 2009).- Strengths in encouraging students to engage in ongoing reflection and analysis, and in enabling students to think holistically about the context of their learning (through making links to both internal and external content) (Ferdig & Trammel 2004).- Usefulness in engaging students at risk of isolation (notably distance learning students (Dickey 2004)).- Obvious potential within healthcare education: remote support and interaction; develop reflective and academic writing skills; source to share experience and develop communities of practice (Maag 2005, Kamel et al 2006, Sandars 2007).
Heather and Kayhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quGG5IAt_0w
Learning development materialsPedagogical principles- Marton and Trigwell’s (2000) variation theory of learning.- Salmon’s (2002, 2004) stages of development.- Timeliness, relevance (Beetham 2008, Thorpe 2000).- E.g. Blog entry, word document and video on ‘putting things into your own words’:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDgmeduiDso
Blog usage- Mid-November 2010 to mid-January 2011 the blog received over 1,600 hits.-470 views of video material.-In 1st two weeks after launch, blog received over 300 hits per week.-Through to June 2011, weekly figure not less than 51 and total views 4,793and views of videos 703. YouTube statistics on Heather and Kay’s introductory video
Student evaluation- 85%* of students who said they had accessed the blog rated it useful or very useful.- 68% agreed that the academic development materials helped them complete their assessments.- 70% said that the student contributions improved their understanding of placement and the placement experience.* n=110 of 205 students who responded to a paper based evaluation questionnaire.
Blogger evaluation- Useful resource – value in learning from experienced students.You do want to hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak.... Somebody going ‘och well actually this is how I felt emotionally, this is how I felt mentally, this is how I got through it, this is who I went to’, you’re kind of more likely to believe that it works from another student.Cos I always find myself looking to older students and saying ‘how did you do this?’- Learning opportunity – reflection, developing writing skills for diverse audience.
Blogger evaluation- Enhanced or reinforced confidence – empowerment, protected space, maintained own voice throughout editing.I literally hate reading my own stuff, so I was a bit nervous, I was like ‘oh God, people are...’ I felt exposed in a way, but... It was also good in a way cos you’re helping someone...I loved it. I felt important!It’s just nice to vent, in a ... professional way, but it’s nice to go ‘blaaa... This is how I’m feeling’... And I think it was really good for mental health, it was really good to say, ‘I’m alright actually, I know loads’- Acknowledgment of expectation of multimedia in learning.
Interactivity/engagementLarge numbers accessed blog, yet half the cohort did not and very littleinteractive engagement (fewer than 20 responses to blog postings).Provided flexibility and accessibility yet a minority of students were unable touse blog, possibly due to issues of confidence and competence.•Evidence that purely online learning is largely ineffective (Oliver & Trigwell2005).•Homik and Melis (2006) have noted that motivation to engage in technologyenhanced learning may be entirely assessment or task-driven. Implications for pre-entry programme, especially since new learners may not have necessary independent learning skills to engage in online environment (Kearsley, 2002).
Phase 2: staff interviewsGroup one (2 learning development staff Group two (2 nursing lecturers withwith experience of teaching in different responsibility for 1st year modules)environments)Provision of online material & support useful Pre-entry activities essential since time andbut only for transmission-based teaching or resource constraints prevented thedeclarative knowledge. development of academic skills during teaching.Interactive online support most effective in Sizeable group of students entered HE1-2-1 relationship built over time (relates to unprepared (less academic skills thanProsser & Trigwell’s (1999) teacher focused understanding of independent learning).strategies and Peters’ (2001) theory ofdistance learning).Pre-entry week would lose value if elements Blended learning could be successful onlywere replaced by online activities. A blend with substantial face to face contact.might enhance current provision but couldnot replicate it.
Phase 3: student interviews• Feb 2011 pre-entry week attendees emailed invitation to participate in research: 11 responses 7 semi-structured interviews• Asked to consider extent to which week had prepared them to become independent learners and how they would feel if different learning environments had been employed.• Grounded theory driven thematic analysis (Glaser & Strauss, 1967, Edgely et al, 2009).
Phase 3: student interviewsCharacteristics of interviewees Code Programme Year of Fee status Nationality birth 1 Adult Nursing 1975 Home UK 2 Mental Health 1981 Home UK 3 Adult Nursing 1963 EU Bulgaria 4 Adult Nursing 1977 Home UK 5 Child 1962 Home UK 6 Mental Health 1978 Home Zimbabwe 7 Adult 1973 EU FranceAll attended 2010 summer school and were now half way through 1st year.Broadly representative of both pre-entry and general nursing population but opportunistic sample with greater number of adult returners and all female.
Thematic analysis1. ‘It was kind of a taster’- Overwhelmingly positive attitudes to week as preparation for HE.- Initial wariness of education (supports lit on anxiety and emotional nature of transition Fergy et al 2008, Christie et al 2008, Gourlay 2009, Beard et al 2007).- Increased confidence, importance of writing activity and feedback.- 5 out of 7 raised academic writing as a major concern.I think it gave me the confidence to say, yeah ok I know I can do this. Student 7Do you know in fact I was really scared you know before I attend that week, that study week. I was really scared whether I would manage it all you know. Student 3That [writing] was my biggest worry and my biggest anxiety. I remember before I’d even applied to go to college telling friends that this was really what would hold me back. Student 4
Thematic analysis2. ‘Faces’Unprompted use of the word or concept repeatedly by all but one interviewee.Speaking to people face-to-face. Student 3I recognised faces… just knowing a face. Student 4- Significance of recognition, socialisation and peer learning, led to strong friendships for some, familiar faces in a crowd for others.- Insights emerged before discussion of using different learning environments.- Cues for socialisation, familiarity and learning were predominantly facial. Students wished to interact within a geographical space.Implications for online/blended learning opportunities
Thematic analysis3. ‘I don’t facebook’- 4/7 would not have engaged with programme in anything but face to face format- 2 students positive about online support but only as supplement to classroom- 2 felt there were limited possibilities for socialisation and acclimatisation.Students seemed to voluntary identify themselves as technically inclined or otherwise, not a matter of digital literacy but of learner preference.Strong identity of ‘adult or mature learner’ present ((Askham 2008, Stone 2008, Mckendry & Boyd 2010).
Thematic analysis4. Lightbulb moments- Pre-entry week ‘demystified’ HE.- Realisations and sudden flashes of understanding in terms of the need to substantiate arguments, to provide evidence by way of referencing.- Strongly substantiates theories of academic literacies (Gourlay, 2009; Lea, 2004) and student expectations.Coming on to the course made me realise that the writing that I was doing and the writing that was expected of me were two different things…. I mean to be quite frank I was, it proper shocked me because I really wasn’t expecting that there was certain ways of doing things. I just thought ok I’ll be writing. You know it’s my knowledge. But it’s not just the knowledge that you have. There is a certain way of writing. Student 6
Thematic analysis5. The ‘cascade effect’- Students spoke of taking on an ambassadorial role, passing on the knowledge and insights they had gained to other new students.Cos I felt able to say on my first day, in my first few days, oh I know how to do this cos of studySMART… and I passed on a wee bit to them. Student 5Mirrored in staff interviewsBecause although you might not have them all attending summer, if someone’s been on the summer school, and knows where to go. The rest of them then get taken along. Staff 3Self-selecting nature of cohort?Programme fulfils function beyond acquisition of skills for attenders?Less inequity than feared?
Digital natives debatePrensky (2001) : generation born from 1980 onwards (digital natives) havesignificantly different learning styles and needs to previous generations (digitalimmigrants) due to their immersion in new technologies, needs that highereducation is failing to meet. Assumption that younger students, at least, do not require support for learning with technology (Farrell, 2012)This dualist view has been described as akin to ‘moral panic’ by commentators(Bennett et al 2008), whilst others argue that learners do not fall neatly intothese categories and their use of technology for learning is diverse and nuanced(Creanor et al 2007, Kennedy et al 2008).
Digital entitlementGovernments around the world have begun to acknowledge an entitlementto digital capability alongside the entitlement to read-write literacy andnumeracy for their citizens. (Beetham et al 2010)But:-Digital opportunities disproportionately taken up by those with existingeducational capital.-Transferring digital capabilities from one environment to anotherproblematic.-Learners ICT skills often less advanced than educators (and learners) assume.-current frameworks for embedding digital capability into the curriculum aremissing the idea of a situated and critical technology use and fail to bedevelopmental.Our research project suggests that increased emphasis on blended/onlinelearning may disenfranchise certain students – the ‘digitally reluctant’?
Digital literacies and inclusion• Data collected during IT Induction at the beginning of Trimester A• Sample size 513, mostly first year students
Policy discourse• Assumptions of digital literacy• Prioritising of blended learning• Financial constraints – attractiveness of online pre-entry activities• From recruiting to selecting….• Reduction/removal of digital literacy teaching and learning
Possibilities for blended pre-entry support• Other institutions’ experiences echo our findings (Danvers & Hopf 2012, Brunel).• GCU’s social networking during transition largely ineffective (GCU 2011). It isn’t possible to replicate campus programme experience but could enhance that programme or provide alternative for those who cannot attend.
The future of our pre-entry support• University Bootcamp and Getting Ready for Articulation programmes• School/college liaison• College on campus activities• Development of bitesize learning objects housed on a freely accessible website
Contact detailsDr Stephanie MckendryGlasgow Caledonian University, School of Health andLife Sciencesstephanie.email@example.com 331 3450
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