‘Masterful Mentoring’ interactive board game


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Between 12 and 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Masterful Mentoring is a board game relevant to the continuing development of professional staff involved in teaching, assessing and mentoring students in healthcare.

The game can be played in up to four teams accommodating both smaller and larger numbers of players and is facilitated by the session leader for up to an hour. Flexibility in terms of numbers, content and duration enables the facilitator to structure the game sessions accordingly.

There are two hundred scenario cards available in the game based on common mentorship experiences. They incorporate nine themes representing the NMC Standards to Support Learning and Assessing in Practice (NMC 2008). These include:- Leadership, Evidence Based Practice, Assessment and Accountability, Creating Learning Environment, Context of Practice, Establishing Effective Working Relationships, Facilitation of Learning, and Sign off Mentor.

The aim is for teams to progress around the board collecting as many mentorship cards as possible. On collecting a card the team discuss and present their ideas and views to the rest of the players.

The scenarios promote the opportunity for players to discuss, share and reflect on their own mentorship experiences in a supportive environment thus further enhancing critical reflection skills for future development.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The interactive board game was created as an alternative to traditional didactic teaching methods and as a unique learning strategy to promote activity in mentor preparation and updating sessions. A key consideration was enhancing and supporting the different range of teaching and learning styles of mentors. It was anticipated that this approach would promote engagement and manage some of the challenges of engaging mentors in continuing development sessions.

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

The game is a unique way of engaging all professional mentors in (mandatory) updates. It is designed to encourage team participation, provide networking opportunities and create a forum for problem solving. It offers the opportunity for mentors to analyse the many facets of the role through discussion and by encouraging reflective practice. The game promotes communication, interaction and is fun, so aims to stimulate thought provoking learning. Through this process mentors are also able to identify their key strengths and any areas for development in their role.

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

The scenario cards used in the game reflect the Nursing and Midwifery Standards (NMC) to support learning and assessing in practice (NMC 2008) and are also relevant to health professionals as reflected in the Health Care Professions Council Standards (HCPC 2012).

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

A year on our primary focus is to ascertain whether this educational game has achieved its principle aims. A survey is currently being devised by ‘focus active games’ to capture the views and experiences of the other organisations that are currently using it.

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

Locally anonymous evaluations have been used to derive qualitative data from those who have participated, comments include:

‘An interesting way to facilitate discussion’

‘Made learning more enjoyable using a board game that was fun’

‘A good way to reflect on practice’

‘A very effective way to learn.’

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

The game has been piloted across various disciplines, educational forums and presented at several RCN conferences in the UK. Locally the game has become a predominant feature in Bournemouth University’s mandatory update sessions for nurse mentors. Adaptable for use in small groups or at larger conferences, it has also become a valuable addition to the accredited Learning and Assessing in Practice course for future aspiring mentors.

To-date the game has been purchased and utilised by approximately sixty organisations, including universities and healthcare NHS Trusts across the UK.

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

A year in the life of Masterful Mentoring will be presented at the annual NET conference Cambridge (September 2015).

More information is available on the website www.mentorgame.co.uk or follows via twitter @mentorgame