Student as Co-creator: Re-shaping Learning Development input into Return to Practice Nursing / Midwifery @ GCU


When did you first introduce the innovation?

Between 12 and 24 months ago

Please describe the innovation you have developed

Working with students from a previous cohort of GCU’s Return to Practice Nursing / Midwifery to evaluate the programme and inform changes/enhancements/developments for future input. This was done via email and in a focus group, where two graduates from the programme provided feedback regarding the programme in general, but specifically Learning Development input relating to critical analysis, academic writing and referencing. The Return to Practice course runs for one trimester, with two intakes per year. The course attracts groups of mixed ability in terms of academic writing, ICT competence and critical analysis. Students can have been off the register for as little as two years and as many as 30, but all are expected to write at SCQF level 9.

What prompted you to develop this innovation?

The programme leader was keen to review the learning development input and the course as a whole. At this time, I was newly appointed at GCU and suggested a good way to introduce changes would be to consult members of the previous cohort, using their first hand experiences to collaboratively enhance the programme for future cohorts, ergo student as co-creator.

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

If improvement is desired, it’s necessary to consult previous cohort(s), in the same way that product evaluation should involve consulting customers regarding their experience – what they liked, what they think could be improved. Students are the best people to consult regarding the needs of students, and I felt this was particularly important for a course like Return to Practice.

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

It uses the existing approach of embedding learning development input into programmes. However, personally, I teach in a more relaxed and informal way, and treat it as a dialogue rather than a one-way transfer with lots of PowerPoint slides. For one session though, I introduced the use of Turning Point, so I could progressively assess the students’ knowledge of referencing, with made use of interactive diagnostic technology.

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

Since the students were consulted, feedback from the programme leader and the two cohorts that have completed the course since has been very positive. With the exception of one student who did not submit (both first and second diet), all students from the most recent cohort passed, some with very good grades.

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

Success rates.

Reactions from students in class.

Module evaluation forms

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

A presentation was given at Scot ELAs (a bi-annual meeting of Scottish Effective Learning Advisers / Learning Developers / Academic Developers) in January 2015, using Prezi.

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

For the cohort beginning September 2015, a Learning Development-specific evaluation form will be given to the students on their final study day, and a focus group will be arranged with students from that cohort to inform any necessary developments for the January 2016 cohort, to keep the Student as Co-creator idea rolling.