Learning Conversation events


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Less than 12 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

The new Learning Conversation events provide a professional forum for all pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery students and academic staff to share thoughts, ideas and reflect on a contemporary selected topic, through the promotion of shared learning and widening participation across disciplines. This forum embraces and promotes active inter-professional learning and shared understanding across the pre-registration programmes. The Learning Conversations have been delivered on all 4 UWS campuses over an informal lunch to maximise student and staff opportunity and engagement.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

This innovation was developed to actively promote and enhance a culture of shared learning and professional support which are essential assets required for contemporary healthcare delivery. The Learning Conversation platform provides an opportunity to build on the concept of shared learning with the first Learning Conversation focused on patient safety cultures; specifically related to The Vale of Leven Enquiry and Francis Enquiry. Thus, promoting students’ to actively participate in professional conversations, through exploring patient safety cultures. Student nurses and midwives are our future frontline health service providers, they are our best early warning system and our leaders of tomorrow, providing them with a platform to explore, discuss, reflect, voice and learn is imperative to the future of a dynamic and safe nursing profession.

In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?

It is imperative that we create an open and shared learning culture, where the opportunity to discuss, debate, reflect and learn from topical areas within health are actively embraced. This innovative approach encourages students to confidently participate in relevant professional conversations with students and staff from across all nursing and midwifery curricula and year groups. The Learning Conversation platform provides the opportunity for inter disciplinary learning and a safe platform for all students to extend their communication skills and leadership qualities, through active debate, discussion, reflection and shared learning to support the delivery of quality, safe, patient centred nursing and midwifery practice.

To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?

This innovation builds on the existing social learning theory of Vygotsky (Vygotsky, 1978) and utilises our most valuable resource of each other, to facilitate the development of interdisciplinary dialogue and support shared learning and understanding (Gadamer, 2004); which are imperative to our professions of nursing and midwifery. The resources utilised are each other, within a safe, supported and open environment where active participation is encouraged. The technologies utilised are paper tablecloths and marker pens, very simple but proven within the forums to be highly effective in capturing rich student orientated data.

To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?

Our first Learning Conversations events were facilitated in March – May this year, and both student and staff evaluation and feedback (written and verbal) have been very positive and encouraging. The first Learning Conversation event focused on the Vale of Leven Enquiry findings and challenged students to discuss and debate these findings and consider safeguards for the future. Students have suggested that these opportunities have afforded them the opportunity to find their voice and recognise the need to be actively heard as part of a patient safe culture.

What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?

Student attendance numbers, informal evaluation and feedback from the events have been particularly positive and has been further echoed with in our formal Student Staff Liaison Groups (SSLG). Students have welcomed these events, requested more and suggested further topics for future discussions. Active student engagement and encouragement for the development of more of these event is an early indicator of the positive impact on the student experience.

To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?

The student feedback and evaluation of the campus events has been reported and widely disseminated to all HNM School students through the e-newsletter, WordPress site and SSLG Moodle site. Our next programme of Learning Conversation is currently being developed for delivery later this year, with plans to formally gather and evaluate the data for a conference paper and possible publication.

Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.

There are further plans to widen participation to all postgraduate students and across schools in the future. With the possibility of this event being offered to nursing, midwifery and health visiting mentors also. This would embrace the inter-disciplinary ethos and extend the learning opportunity across the student and professional body.