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  1. 1. Work-based learning: Negotiating & integrating theory & practice within the real world of organisational change. Dr. Jane Bridger Lesley J. Moore Research Associate. Senior Lecturer Florence Nightingale Scholar Churchill Fellow Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FRSA
  2. 2. Session objective: <ul><li>To introduce the initial findings of a longitudinal evaluation of WBL for nurses. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Background to the evaluation study <ul><li>3 year staged developmental project financed by the local Workforce Development Confederation of the NHS: </li></ul><ul><li>1 - scoping exercise </li></ul><ul><li>2 - WBL prototype – process model, </li></ul><ul><li> learning </li></ul><ul><li> tools, suite of generic modules. </li></ul><ul><li>3 - testing phase </li></ul>
  4. 4. PORTFOLIO OF LEARNING   1a. Thinking- personal development plan (PDP) 4. Demonstration assessment, evaluation & accreditation 3. Development & implementation 2. Exploration & negotiation   1b. Enquiry & intent The stages of the work-based learning prototype  
  5. 5. Objectives of the Evaluation Project <ul><li>Explore & examine the impact of work-based learning on practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the sustainability of the preferred mechanisms that have supported the outcomes in practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Report on the learning that has been sustained & developed over time. </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the nurses’ experience of work-based learning & changing contexts. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Pawson & Tilley’s Framework <ul><li>CONTEXT </li></ul><ul><li>Learner - where are they coming from as an individual </li></ul><ul><li> - their working environment </li></ul><ul><li> - their roles in the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Manager - organisation and government frameworks </li></ul><ul><li> - frameworks for learning and support in the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor - organisation and learning opportunities </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mechanisms <ul><li>Learner - support for learning access </li></ul><ul><li> funding </li></ul><ul><li>Manager - funding streams & learning resources in the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor - learning resources </li></ul><ul><li> - funding to support the role </li></ul><ul><li> - support frameworks </li></ul>
  8. 8. Outcomes <ul><li>Learner - impact of learning on practice </li></ul><ul><li> - further needs – what & where next </li></ul><ul><li>Manager - impact on organisation & integration </li></ul><ul><li> - value for money </li></ul><ul><li>Mentor - their ability to support </li></ul><ul><li> - impact on personal development & organisational change at a more </li></ul><ul><li>local level </li></ul>
  9. 9. Data collection <ul><li>Documentation- student evaluations, learning contracts, formative & summative feedback, assignments, portfolio evidence, reflective logs. </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence of original developmental study, including case studies. </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews/ focus groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Needs analysis questionnaire </li></ul>
  10. 10. Sampling <ul><li>Purposive sampling, actual sample: </li></ul><ul><li>28 learners </li></ul><ul><li>17 managers/mentors </li></ul><ul><li>9 academic facilitators </li></ul>
  11. 11. Data analysis <ul><li>Content & thematic analysis </li></ul><ul><li>IT package – NVivo </li></ul><ul><li>SPSS – learning needs analysis </li></ul>
  12. 12. What helped the learners to learn? (academics) <ul><li>“ It is that process of discovery I think that is the key, and that is done through the action plan that they develop.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Clarity of setting goals. Encourage the students to negotiate what is manageable as sometimes they can be too ambitious.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. What is the impact of WBL on how practitioners work? (academics) <ul><li>“ You see a much more refined, global thinking sort of clinician.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Their work is a much more holistic approach to work with other people. They need to understand how to manage change and that others can feel threatened.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. What do you think is the impact of WBL on the organisation? <ul><li>“ It can be quite contentious…one of the reasons is because of the skills involved and people may feel they couldn’t achieve, they feel threatened by it.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is a cultural shift in the thinking of people in this organisation and there are still the debates going on and some people will embrace it, and others will put all sorts of barriers up to it, and that’s still going on.” </li></ul><ul><li>(academic facilitators) </li></ul>
  15. 15. What is the impact of WBL on you, the facilitator? <ul><li>“ It has been quite stressful…..I am a bit of a novice.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Taking new taught modules through validation is something of a nightmare as the university system is like a dinosaur. Facilitating WBL is a more interesting job.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It just makes sense. I am excited that people are finally realising that facilitation is as important a teaching skill as chalk and talk.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. What did you, the academic facilitator, learn? <ul><li>“ How things progress in practice and this learning curve helps us to make changes with the curriculum.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think that in today’s NHS it is very important for people to feel that they have the potential to grow and develop.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ How learning is undervalued in the health sector.” </li></ul>
  17. 17. Facilitator’s learning continued. <ul><li>“ The whole concept of a learning organisation is a joke in some cases. You engage with learners out there and they are ready to fly, getting a real ‘wow’ factor, and then they are beaten down in a way, because of the culture, the attitude to learning, and just the huge misconception about it.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. The positives: <ul><li>Witnessing the educational development in the adult learner- the articulate enquirer, problem solver, reflexive practitioner. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative innovations & change management </li></ul><ul><li>Making tacit knowledge more explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Seeing windows of opportunity for more development & collaboration. </li></ul>
  19. 19. The positives continued: <ul><li>Outcomes informing the strategic plans of Faculty and curricula, & clinical academies. </li></ul><ul><li>Growth in Continuing Professional Development through integration of theory & practice. </li></ul><ul><li>ACADEMIC LEARNING! </li></ul>
  20. 20. Manager/mentor comments <ul><li>“ I can now go to those individuals with real problems that are a priority to the organisation and I have the confidence that they will take these on board.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ belief and observations are that people who work, people who have undertaken WBL are more sensitive towards their clients needs and so would hope they get a better standard of care as a consequence of it and I certainly think that in terms of therapists and working with people with cancer I feel certain that they do.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Manager/mentor perspectives <ul><li>“… the impact on patient care is that the things that they are doing are about improving quality usually, certainly about the staff that I manage it would be about improving quality and working towards meeting national standards which are about improving quality.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… I feel work-based learning is all about, the complete focus is on patient care and making a difference, not for the sake of it but actually is it needed, is it practical is it realistic and how is it going to happen. I think that’s the best aspect of WBL.” </li></ul>
  22. 22. Future needs - managers <ul><li>“ There should be preparation for managers and mentors to ensure that they are aware of WBL and preferably have done a WBL module themselves.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The process and the outcomes should be shared as the module and work progresses to ensure the organisation is engaged with the process to provide support and to increase the chance of practice development being secured and spread.” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Major impacts for learners (reflections x 19) <ul><li>Challenges to original thinking (positive self belief) </li></ul><ul><li>Working with others (inspiring mentors) </li></ul><ul><li>Professional practice (advanced practice, new roles) </li></ul><ul><li>Project management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Publication </li></ul><ul><li>Learning (importance of reflection, discussion, mentors, critical analysis) </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Raising profile of WBL in the workplace </li></ul>
  24. 24. Intrapersonal: need to build confidence to: <ul><li>“ I think it was perceived that because I wasn’t going to University that I didn’t need to… I therefore didn’t need study days to attend. And I really needed those to continue. Some of those I probably should have negotiated strongly but I found it quite hard to do that, so I would recommend somebody should negotiate their time beforehand. Therefore I think you should be very explicit about the minimum amount of time that would be required.” </li></ul>
  25. 25. Project management, decision making <ul><li>“ I think that a lot of us develop a way of thinking where we actually identify problems and jumped to the solution straight away, but for me it is slowing down that whole process to think about what my options were and gathering the evidence. I think it made me much more effective decision maker at the end of it.” </li></ul>
  26. 26. Interpersonal: Focussing self, learning contract <ul><li>“ I made myself a learning contract and that really focused me, and then from that point of view, my own personal learning continued on despite all these other sessions, so I did develop myself from that point of view.” </li></ul>
  27. 27. Key caveats to successful WBL <ul><li>Motivated learner supported by committed managers and learning facilitators. </li></ul><ul><li>Project should have a clearly structured focus, and </li></ul><ul><li>Arise from mutual organisational & personal need. </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledgement that WBL is complex and needs time. </li></ul><ul><li>Need for external & internal preparation & dissemination. </li></ul>
  28. 28. A parting message from a learner! <ul><li>“ I think it just gives you the confidence to actually look at something and think actually that needs to be changed, and rather than just sitting and moaning about it and saying that it needs to be changed. It gives you the tools to go ahead and look at ways of changing things and you know the right procedures and the right people to go to or how to go about managing change, which was part of my course.  So I think that it has given me a lot more confidence and many more skills.” </li></ul>
  29. 29. Conclusion <ul><li>“… work-based learning is as a technology through which selves become enterprising, seeking betterment and fulfilment in the work context in ways that can be both personally and organisationally effective. Work-based learning therefore becomes the indicator both of self-management and a culturally sanctioned way in which employees in restructured workplaces can make a ‘project of themselves’ and at the same time add value to the organisation.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Garrick & Usher, 2000. p.9). </li></ul>