When did you first introduce the innovation?
Between 12 and 24 months ago
Please describe the innovation you have developed
This innovation used Adobe Connect video conferencing facility to create interactive ‘virtual classroom’ revision sessions that support the 3rd year student midwives to prepare for their OSCE as part of the Emergency midwifery practice module. These sessions took place twice a week whilst the students were in placement. Each session covered one topic, and additionally two free sessions at the end where students could log in and clarify any further points.
What prompted you to develop this innovation?
Our geographical area within BSc Midwifery is both extensive and very rural. This means that many of our students live a good distance from either the University or their placement area.
Offering more sessions was problematic as it meant we were asking many students to travel a long way for just a few hours at considerable financial cost in some cases.
This situation prompted the requirement to find a way whereby we could offer the students maximum opportunity to engage with minimal disruption to them and thus improve the student experience.
In your view, what is it about this innovation that makes it different/important?
This innovation maximises the use of technology that already exists to enhance the student experience.
The benefit of Adobe Connect is that the presenter can upload presentations and documents so it becomes a ‘virtual classroom’. Importantly, the sessions can be recorded and revisited by the students on multiple occasions.
The biggest plus for the students, and tutors, is that they can access Adobe Connect from home thus reducing travel time and maximise time for learning.
To what extent does your innovation make use of existing approaches, resources or technologies?
Adobe Connect already exists within the institution.
To what degree has this innovation led to changes in education or clinical practice?
On any given session between 30 and 50% of the cohort logged in ‘live’ demonstrating their willingness to engage.
For the next teaching cycle, this year’s delivery of the module will offer the sessions for both Chelmsford and Cambridge thus expanding capacity.
What evidence do you have of the impact of the innovation?
Following the pilot study, an evaluation was run. The overwhelming feedback was enormously positive with the ability to access from home and relook at the recordings being the most beneficial features.
The response to the question: ‘how many times did you access the recordings?’ – all students had accessed the recordings over ten times. Those who were unable to log in ‘live’ felt that this helped them greatly prepare for the OSCE assessment.
Students commented that it made them feel more connected to the University and their colleagues when they were in placement.
The member of staff was given an award from the Students’ Union for this innovation.
To what degree has the innovation been disseminated in your organisation or elsewhere?
The midwifery team have been very enthusiastic about this and have discussed with other colleagues from other faculties in how it could be used within their modules.
It was presented at this year’s ‘Engage’ (Teaching & Learning) conference.
Please provide details of any plans you have to disseminate the innovation in the future.
The midwifery team are keen to adopt this within the teaching curriculum as it offers a means of ‘touching base’ with personnel tutees on a weekly basis. This practice will be disseminated to the curriculum team to support this growth of practice.
Case study for the Faculty Learning & Teaching website.