Monday, November 3, 2008

Developmental ideas and implementation plan CCEL)

Hi there

I've come quite a long way with my thinking...Here is the final plan...

One of the exciting things I have learnt while doing this teaching certificate is about constructivism (learners constructing their knowledge) and applying this to my course. It is very easy for me as the ‘expert’ to think I have the knowledge to teach the students everything they need to know. But the more I’ve thought about this, the more I realize how limiting this is for the student. I admit my specialty is neurology and I could teach for ever around this topic. Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on cardiac wards with the students and have had to facilitate the students learning due to my limited knowledge in this area. This has helped me to grasp how in clinical settings there is so much contextual learning going on, and it is so much better to help the students make sense of this learning rather than me teach them what I think they should know.

As I’ve thought about this I’ve began to imagine how much more the students can learn by sharing experiences with each from their situational/contextual learning while on clinical placement. We do this already in our tutorials but this only reaches a limited number of students (about 8 in the tutorial). If the students were able to put this learning on line and also utilize reflection to expand on their learning then this could be accessible to all the 96 students enrolled in BN 233 throughout the year (96 students).

This is where the theory of connectivism, described as the learning theory of the new digital age (Siemens, 2004), has sparked my interest. Also an article Mereana talked about titled ‘using technology to foster reflection in higher education’ has been helpful. Connectivism is about learning as a process where people share a variety of opinions and viewpoints via connections that may include networking via technology.
Individuals feed information into the network, which then feeds information back to individuals as part of a cycle.
This is beneficial because information is always changing. This is very evident in healthcare. Connectivism allows people to connect with new information that is generated on an ongoing basis. Siemens (2004) is quoted as saying ‘while there is a right answer now, it may be wrong tomorrow due to alterations in the information climate affecting the decision”.
This theory has led me on to exploring the use of e portfolios. We already ask the students to construct a portfolio to evidence their learning as this is really the only way we have to assess them at present, i.e. looking at the portfolio they hand in, listen to what they tell us and to a small extent preceptor/ward feedback. The reason preceptor feedback is not given high priority is because the RN is often assessing different things from us (technical skills and relating well to patients and staff is what they often comment on). The RN may not understand what we as a nursing school are trying to assess in the way of knowledge and meeting nursing council competencies.
The development of e portfolio’s has been driven by the changing forms of learning such as; more student centred, greater emphasis on lifelong learning, flexible delivery and more emphasis on competency based assessment, (very evident in nursing). Our student population has also changed, many having been bought up with technology and a lot of students very use to social networking….New learning is also often described as been experiential, networked and facilitated by mentors. Another interesting fact I have learnt is that formal learning only accounts for about 15% whereas informal learning account for about 85%. Therefore it is important that we facilitate this informal learning to help students increase their knowledge in our course.
Issues of e portfolios…
Who owns the portfolio…i.e student not teacher..this means they decide what goes in it…closed or open system…in our course we would have it closed due to potential confidentiality issues with patients
Interestingly enough I asked my students the other day if they liked having to do a portfolio considering so much work was involved. They responded with a resounding YES it was essential for them to 'make' them learn the work.
June 2004 from Using technology to foster reflection in higher education

My Course (This is in smaller font to differentiate from the new course)

Following satisfactory completion of this course, students will be able to:

1 Safely demonstrate clinical practice in the medical surgical care settings. This includes social, physical, intellectual, cultural, emotional and spiritual safety, and making safe informed professional judgements within their scope of practice;

2 Demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of nursing practice. This will include participation in the inter-professional process and taking responsibility for the direction of their learning needs;

3 Recognise and articulate legal and ethical issues that impact on their practice;

4 Demonstrate the development and utilisation of therapeutic relationships with patients in the medical/surgical care settings. This will include the use of effective communication skills and respect for the boundaries of a professional relationship;

5 Recognise and utilise opportunities for patient teaching and learning incorporating the principles of rehabilitation and recovery;

6 Utilise an appropriate framework for the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of medical/surgical nursing care, including aspects of rehabilitation and recovery;

7 Demonstrate the use of reflection to uncover the meaning of illness/hospitalisation experience in the medical/surgical setting for patients and implications for the student’s practice. This will include the uncovering of theory embedded in practice.

The 33 theory and laboratory hours will be met in this course by the student attending 6 hours a week in each theory week (30 hours) plus 3 hours from the year two introductory week. The 17 self directed hours are allocated to allow the student to complete a portfolio, assessment and care plan while in the clinical setting. Students meet the 190 clinical hours by working in the acute care medical/ surgical setting with a Registered Nurse (RN) as a preceptor and with a lecturer from Otago Polytechnic providing supervision. Tutorials are included in the clinical hours.

Clinical assessment will be collaborative between the student, lecturer and registered nurse preceptor/s. Clinical assessment will be formative and summative, and result in an overall grade that reflects both the medical and surgical placement. A case study and care plan will be developed on either the student’s first or second placement and will include the assessment of a patient and the planning of nursing care. The case study and care plan will be assessed and graded by the lecturer and will contribute to the students overall clinical grade. The case study and care plan must be submitted to achieve outcomes of this course. A clinical portfolio will be developed by the student during their clinical placements that will support and evidence the meeting of outcomes of this course. The portfolio is also graded and contributes to the overall clinical grade of the course

My Revised Course

My Outcomes will not change because this is a curriculum issue; it is my learning strategies that I intend to change to meet outcome 2 and 7. Instead of compiling a hard copy portfolio, I intend to change this to compiling an e-portfolio. The reason I am changing this is because of the connectivism theory; this will allow students to connect with each others learning and construct new knowledge.


The purpose of this is for the students to construct their own knowledge from their clinical learning experiences. By commenting and reading other students work it will help them to increase their knowledge for the area they are working in.

A course wiki has been set up http:/ Each student needs to enrol themselves as a participant in BN 233. Each clinical placement has it own wiki set up. If a student is placed in ward 4A then they will need to access this wiki. In this site they will need to make at least two contributions (they are welcome to make more) with at least one link to an interesting related article. There contributions can be about anything they have learnt during the 3 weeks. The more thought and effort they put into this, the more it will show us they are critically thinking and will impact on their grade. There will also be another page set up titled reflections. They need to place at least one reflection (utilising a framework such as Gibbs or de Bono) for each placement on this site. They will also be required to comment on at least one other reflection they have read.

They will not need to put there name on any of the work they submit however it is essential that they let the lecturer know in some way which is there work.

The e-portfolio learning activity links with outcome 2 and 7.

Learner analysis

In my learner analysis I talked about older, male and international students sometimes struggling with compiling a portfolio, because of the writing involved. I’m hoping that these students will benefit from seeing other peoples work, as it may help them to see how to write or how to lay things out. I also think that for the students who are struggling, the information that other students provide may be more at their level and will help them. Also the school leavers will probably enjoy been able to use technology because they are quite comfortable with it.
Our professional body, the Nursing Council of New Zealand (NCNZ) expects students and Registered Nurses to be able to articulate how they are meeting the NCNZ competencies in the form of a portfolio. This is one way of students learning from each other, how they can demonstrate these competencies.


I have already spent some time with Terry Marler and have the site set up. I also have a book titled “Using Moodle’ (Cole & Foster, 2008) borrowed from the university library which I’m finding very helpful. I will need more time with Terry when I am ready to put more things online. Ruth Wilson-Salt one of the lecturers is very experienced in blackboard and is keen to help me set up this site.

I will allow one of my early lectures to teach the students the basics of navigating the BN 233 course sites and explain things such as how to hyperlink. Before lectures start the lecturers will get together to make sure they can understand how to use the site.


September 2008 Contact Terry and get a site set up on blackboard and attach
videos of OSCES and links to helpful sites for students.

October 2008 Finish my plan and assignments completed for course

November 2008 Begin to set up site with clinical wiki’s, titles and links

December 2008 Reflect changes in new course outline and present to year two
team to go over and make suggestions

February 2009 Get together with lecturers to learn about moodle site, seek help
with any difficulties

March 2009 Be ready to go

May 2009 Meeting with lecturers to evaluate if things are going okay

July 2009 Evaluate semester one course and determine if changes need to
be made for semester 2.

November 2009 Evaluate semester 2 and present to nursing school a summary of
how the changes went

Cole, J. & Foster, H. (2nd ed.) (2008) Using Moodle Teaching with the Popular Open Source Course Management System. OReilly Community Press: California

Friday, September 19, 2008

Constructing courses to enhance learning

Grading clinical is a question I stuggle with. When our students are on clinical for 6 weeks in the medical/surgical setting they receive a grade at the end of this. How to allocate a grade is difficult because often it is reliant on the students abilitiy to articulate verbally or written, what they have learnt. Many of you like me have been learning about learner styles during this certificate. People who learn auditory or through reading are usually people who can also express themselves well this way. However for many learners kinsethetic is the way they learn which is why they are so good on practical placements. But the only way we have to assess them at present is to look at the portfolio they hand in, listen to what they tell us and to a small extent preceptor/ward feedback. The reason preceptor feedback is not given high priority is because the RN is often assessing different things from us (technical skills and relating well to patients and staff is what they often comment on). This is particurly so if the RN wasn't edcuated in the degree system and received an apprentciship style of training. The RN may not understand what we as a nursing school are trying to assess in the way of knowledge and meeting nursing council competencies.

So using portfolios and judging on how the student answers our questions is given the most emphasis. This disadvantages students who cannot express themselves well. It also means consistancy amongst lecturers in the course can be difficult because we often have different things we favour that we want to assess. This is why going pass/fail would make it easy. However my concern is that if we did this the students may not attempt to make links with theory courses and focus on completing ward tasks. Interestingly enough I asked my students the other day if they liked having to do a portfolio considering so much work was involved. They responded with a resounding YES it was essential for them to 'make' them learn the work..If we went pass/fail this would not encourage the students who do put the extra effort in. latest thoughts is to seperate out health assessment as a new course (we can do this soon, as we are having curriculum review). Run this alongside clinical and this course will receive a grade but will be linked in to their clinical experience..i.e refelection, case study and pathophysiology will be the assessment outcome for the health assessment course. This means they would still have to try and link clinical but the lecturers on clinical can assess pass/fail. What do other people think about pass/fail in comparison to grading???.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Constructing Courses to Enhance Learning

I thought I would start today while my ideas are fresh thinking about the design of my course and my developing ideas.

I have talked about my theoretical perspective on the wiki as been the social and situational orientation. I believe it is important that the students are given chance to reflect on their practical experiences to allow deep learning to occur and to make sense of their practical by linking it with theory. One of the ways we do this at present is by asking the students to construct a portfolio. However this has difficulties in that not everyone is able ot articulate their learning in writing. The other problem is consistency, as the students will usually work with 2 different lecturers in the course who have different ideas as ot what they like in the portfolio.

An idea is forming in my mind to look at the use of e-portfolios so I'll do some research on this. I'm also very interested in setting up a journal for each student in a course wiki in moodle. This course wiki will also have a wiki for each different ward in the hospital that the students work in. The students will be asked to contribute at least 2 times to the ward wiki. This means throughout the year each ward will have a resource which has been set up by the students and will help all students who end up on that ward.

If I was to introduce this I would need a to give a lecture on how to use wikis and e portfolio's and I'm thinking camtasia might be a good resource for this..... Any way this is just a quick note on my developing thoughts and I will be adding more as the ideas evolve...Cheers! have ot go and deal with kids!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feedback from DFLIP Assignments

Hi there to all my colleagues in DLIP. Bronwyn suggested I paste the link to feedback on assignment 3 in case it helps you in any way.

I also have feedback on assignment 1 and initial feedback on original plan

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

DFLIP Final Summary of Blog Comments

Topic Range Evidence ratings from 1-5

Orientation and introductions
Brief but did introduce myself, was busy about to go to California

What is flexible learning?
3 3 1 Just learning how to manage blogs so hyperlinking not yet apart of it. Referenced some reading I had done

Why we need flexible learning
3 4 1 Yes a lot of my own thoughts in here, beginning to hyperlink

Examples of Flexible Learning - distance, correspondence, online
4 4 4 I think I am now really getting into this topic and exploring my ideas and also other ideas and readings

Examples of Flexible Learning - part time, block, blended
4 5 5 Again I think this was done well

Examples of Flexible Learning - open, networked, RPL
3 3 5 Quite in-depth this one a lot of reflecting on my practice is beginning

Planning for flexible teaching and learning
3 3 3 Final plan ended up been very different to what I proposed in the end. All part of my journey. Beginning to see an increase in my digital literacy as I have begun a research project to increase this

Issues with flexible learning - The modern Internet
4 4 4 Good summary this week relating to my experience as a Mum trying to work at home

Issues with flexible learning - Sustainability
3 3 3 Brief comments on sustainability…a new issue for me to think about

Issues with flexible learning - access and equity
5 5 5 I think this was a good piece of work from me looking at these issues!

Issues with flexible learning - Cultural diversity
3 3 3 Okay piece but pretty brief

Flexible learning in educational organisations
3 3 3

National and International support for flexible learning development
2 2 1 Didn’t spend a lot of time on this topic

Monday, July 14, 2008

Final Plan for Flexible Learning

I've appreciated peoples feedback re my plan.
Further Comments

The changes I am making to the original plan is to definitely continue down the road of finding a lockable room for Annie the simulater and a computer with preloaded scenario's, then allow students open access via a booking system. I will ask our lab technician to be involved in the booking system.

Another sugestion was to video our scenarios and load them onto the computer so students can access these as well, to see the correct procedure. I plan to do this and also load on to the computer the online resources that demonstrate assessment skills. They can review these skills while also practising. All this will be avialable on the computer next to Annie. This plan will allow flexibility for students to continue to practise the essential skills in a practical way. Following is my plan....

Project Name: Development of scenario based simulation learning

Date: 30th July 2008

Organisation: Nursing School Otago Polytechnic

Auther: Raewyn Lesa lecturer in School of Nursing.

Executive Summary:By March 2009 I intend to have our manikin (a simulator) available for access, to students enrolled in year 2 medical/surgical nursing. Scenarios will be downloaded into the vitalsim in 'Annie' (the simulator) to develop scenario based learning. This is to support our current teaching strategies for teaching nursing assessment skills and critical thinking. Scenarios are available from Leardal.I also plan to develop some of our own. These scenarios will be downloaded onto the computer next to 'Annie' the simulator so students can access them to see the results of their actions. Annie will be on a locked room with swipe card access and a booking system for students to use. To supplement this I will also provide videos of correct procedures and links to online resoures on assessment, on the computer.

Project background:
For the last few years we have had a very expensive manikin in our nursing laboratory (worth around $15000) which has hardly been used. This manikin has a vitalsim unit and remote control allowing us to program ‘Annie’ to make realistic noises, take BP’s, pulse, respiration rate, listen to different heart, lung and abdominal sounds and perform many procedures such as catherisation, nasogastric insertion etc. We have only used Annie so far to let students listen to sounds if they want. This is a huge waste of an expensive resource.

Over the last few years nurses have been encouraged to develop their assessment skills, particularly in the area of physical assessment. We have responded to this in our undergraduate nursing program and started teaching students a wide repertoire of assessment skills. However we have many RN’s in the clinical setting who do not know these assessment skills. As a result our students are finding it very difficult to access opportunity on clinical to practice listening to lung, breath, abdominal sounds and to distinguish between normal and abnormal. We want our nurses to be able to take their assessment findings, develop a picture of what is happening and then know what to do with their findings (critical thinking)

Using simulation to aid student learning has developed greatly over the last few decades. Laerdal is an international company in New Zealand that specialises in simulation and training for staff. They talk about the many benefits simulation can provide such as realistic preparation for rare and difficult cases, you can make errors without causing harm to patients and you can keep repeating certain scenario’s until the students has learnt it. An example is you can program through your computer and then load it into the vitalsim a scenario related to a patient going into ventricular fibrillation (VF). You program the event and interventions you want the students to do. If they don’t do these interventions in certain times you can program the manikin to go into cardiac arrest or if they do correct interventions, patient goes back into sinus rhythm.

Recently I've become more aware of the limitations of lectures...I've noticed more and more they do not retain a lot of the information I have given them. To stimulate their learning I believe it helps if they can relate the theory to something they are experiencing. This is where simulation can be a huge advantage, they can see the results of the actions they take or hear what different sounds are like without having to subject patients to too much while they are learning.

To provide realistic clinical situations in our skill labs, using simulation with our manikin ‘Annie”.


1) To continue my training in the use of simulation. I have already attended one and a half training days this year
2) To familiarise myself with the online website so I can access more scenarios and participate in forums.
3) Begin to programme simple scenarios into the vitalsim
4) Practice these scenario’s with colleagues before using them in the laboratory.
5) Video the correct procedures and load them onto computer
6) Next year introduce this onto my BN 233 course with the potential to extend this into third if the trial is successful

List of performance indicators (outcomes):

Outcome 1 A selection of programmed scenarios available in the vitalsim manikin.
Performance Indicators a) Have the scenarios ready for review by colleagues in September 2008. b) Make any necessary adjustments to scenarios c) continue to practice them with colleagues in my course. d) Have them ready to go to trial in labs March 2009.

Outcome 2 Videos of assessment skills available for students on the computer
Performance Indicator: a)Check out readily available resources of videos and make them available on course on student as a start b) Make a video of any skills that there isn't already available and copy this into course on students c) Continue to search for online resources that will benefit our students and add these sites to course on students as well d) November 2008 develop a shell on blackboard or noodle to add these resources to

Outcome 3 Consider extending this resource by making it available ot third years
Performance indicators a) Evaluate sessions throughout 2009 next year by getting student feedback after lab sessions and course feedback at the end of each semester.

Outcome 4 Provide flexibility by allowing students access to a locked room via a booking system to practice their course related scenarios and skills using the simulator 'Annie'
Performance indicators a) Explore the possibly of setting up a space in our clincal skill labs b) discuss with lab technician possibilities and best way to set up a booking system, ongoing support and swipe card access c) if required explore other options including funding availability

Flexible learning analysis:Perceived flexible learning needs of the students:

My students are mostly full time. The biggest difficulty they face in getting learning opportunities, is access to patients who may require certain skills. Also they are also often working with RN's in practice who are not skilled in advanced physical assessment skills. The use of simulation exercises with Annie in the lab times and by having the simulator available during daytime hours, they will get more opportunity to practice these skills and this will help deepen their learning.

Another perceived learning need is students have different styles of learning and for some students lectures are not the easiest way to learn. For students who learn best by visual or kinaesthetic styles, simulation will be of great value because they can both see the results and also get hands on experience. See the VARK categories for more information.

This type of service we already use but to a very limited extent, that is in labs they are givenn the oportunity to listen to heart and breath sounds but this is not linked to a specific scenario. We already use scenarios in labs however adding simulation exercises related to these scenarios there is the potential to enhance learning opportunities. See information about simulation to read about advantages of simulation to support learning. I am targeting this resource as it is a way of linking theory in lectures, to more practical real life situations. It is not intended to replace clinical experience. 'Annie' can be made more realistic by using clothing and setting up the environment. We will only do this to a small extent as it can be costly and also we are only using this as a supplement to clinical. However I will ask students if they want to donate clothes or wigs for 'Annie'

A major goal of this plan is to set the manikin up so students can access it out of lab times and practice their scenarios, therefore offering flexibility in regards to time and learning style. However it will only be available during nursing school hours by seeing recption to make a booking and obtain swipe card. At the moment I am planning to explore making some room in H202/H205 for 'Annie'. I also want to talk with our lab technician to see if she is willing to be the support person during her working hours. There will be no access after hours at this stage although this option could be explored later.

The flexible learning services I'm providing is mostly learning support strategies to compliment our use of lectures, labs and tutorials which we already offer. The students will be shown how to use and access the scenarios during our scheduled lab times

Sustainability: Lecturer release time will be the biggest sustainability issue. This is because there is 3 lecturers involved in our course and learning how to use the vitalsim can be time consuming because it is technology based. It can be easy to forget unless it is used frequently. It also requires time to load, make up new scenarios related to our course and learn the scenarios. 2 of our lecturers have not had any training in the use of simulation. ‘Time’ is a precious resource and presently all 3 of the lecturers have full workloads and are still studying to obtain their teaching qualification. We will need to have more than one lecturer plus our lab technician on board and trained in how to use vital sim.

Time to develop flexible learning is known to increase workloads and this is one of the reasons why teachers, schools and universities are resistant to change. However if there is the ability to decrease the workload of teachers this can make more time available for more and higher quality support activities.(teacher and learner workloads)e

To address this I will look at options such as applying for funding from the teaching and leaning innovation fund to provide lecturer release time. I will also develop this resource at a slow pace, starting with just a few scenarios and evaluate this by seeking student feedback. Once lecturers are pretty keyed up with the use of simulation then it should be pretty straight forward to update scenarios and the laerdal website and also the rep provide continued support. The Leardal website also keeps abreast of the many changes in healthcare and this site will be very useful to help us maintain currency with our scenarios

Access and equity will be a problem because at this stage we only have one manikin. If the students want to practice scenarios at flexible times then there will need to be a booking system and a locked room where it can be set up. Also it will be very difficult to allow access after hours due to giving the students access via a swipe card only obtainable from reception. I am going to continue to explore and advocate for his option.

However for students who have missed out some opportunity in clinical to practice skills, then having simulation available if students are keen to practice, increases access and equity for students learning clinical skills.

Cultural diversity is addressed very well by using simulation because it caters for various learning needs. In nursing we teach our students to be culturally sensitive and consider assumptions we may bring with race, age, gender, socioeconomic groups etc. The learning needs can be very different for people in any of these groups. For example an older student may have difficulty with technology because they haven't been brought up with it...Also some people haven't been able to afford computers so may not be as IT literate. By using simulation students can choose who they work with in groups who have learning needs similar to their own. The students can also choose the scenarios which they need to practice, to meet their particular learning need.

Once the sceanrios are loaded you don't need a high degree of IT literacy to be able to practice on the manikin.

As far as I'm aware students from differnt cultures will not object to using a simulator, it may instead help them be meore at ease as it is not a real person exposing themselves. However when I first address how to use 'Annie' I will ask students to let me know if they feel uncomfortable in any way using a manikin.

This plan aligns with OP's strategic direction of becoming excellent teachers and using and managing our resources effectively. Lecturer contact with students has been decreasing over the last few years as we try to manage within budgets. Simulation hopefully will enhance the students learning opportunity. By using simulation to supplement learning it aligns with the vision of Otago Polytechnic's charter to produce "Graduates who are work ready and prepared to work in a global market place"; provide a "curricula which engages challenges and fosters creativity and learner indpependence" and has "creative use of innovative technology"

I do not see simulation as a way of saving lecturer or preceptor time because these are still absolutely critical to help the student in clinical practice make links and also 'make sense' of the 'meaning of the experience' for the patient. A simulator can never do this.

Laptop computer to stay with Annie style (hopefully one can be sourced for free from within the polytechnic. (free)
2 weeks leave for 2 lecturers and the lab technician to focus on learning and developing these scenarios; may need to pay for a casual lecturer to provide cover.($3500)
Possibility of employing some students on a HRC summer scholarship and it could be developed as an action research project.

September 2008 Begin to load preprogrammed scenarios into vitalsim
October through to March 2009. Practice and make asjustments of scenarios with lecturers
September through to November 2008. Continue to search for online resources, make videos of skills and load onto a blackboard/moodle shell
March 2009 Have at least 4 scenario’s ready to go for our skills labs
March 2009 have ‘Annie’ set up to be used by students at flexible times
March 2010 If successful begin to implement this with third year students

Otago Polytechnic Charter
Leardal Website
Teacher and Learner Workloads


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DIL Project 1st July

The last few weeks have been busy as I've been working on a course called DFLIP. I challenged myself by making a video and a slideshow and then posted them onto my blog. I also used my blog site for the presentation. However the video took too long too load so I talked to my power point. I used slideshare to embed it onto my blog. It wasn't actually too difficult.

I also started playing around with google reader and setting up RSS feeds. The frustrating thing was I forgot what to do again. I was also trying to set up an I google homepage...I spent quite a bit of time fiddling with these. I needed to reread and look at the video on RSS feeds which I found by going back over people blogs who are also in this project.

I was pleased to be able to get to the workshop today as exams had made me unavailable. In the workshop I was keen to get back to my original goals because I had been getting sidetracked with all these other things that people were learning.

My original goal was to set up a library base of resources for my students to be able to access. I had got as far as setting up de.lic.ous ( a bookmarking system, an online page in wikieducator (which I had forgotten how to access and couldn't now find) I had also put some sites onto my de.lic.ous bookmarking site. Therfore my goal of this session was to continue this.

The start of the session we shared about where we were up to. I felt quite pleased when I actually reviewed all the things i had learnt. However I was feeling a little discourged because I had wandered off my original goal but I think this has been beneficial when I consider everything I have learnt. ( I wasn't even able to set up a blog at beginning of year). I think the more you do and just give it a go the more ocnfident you become. I also think the support of others around you is really beneficial when you meet in groups.

This seesion went really well. I felt discourgad at first becasue I really needed help from one of the facilitators but so did the others in the workshop! However I got the help I needed and it only took me a few moments and I was away...back into wikieducator, found my page and I started to insert some of the sites from my felt really good and I regained my motivation of my original goals. I'm looking forward to developing and spending time on this site...I'm on holiday at present so hopefully will get some time to continue working on this...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DFLIP Week 13 Funding opportunities

I have thought quite a bit about this issue of funding as I find it is not always that easy to access funds. If the funds do become available then there is the difficulty of finding the time in an already full workload. We are not always able to be released to develop these new ideas and programmes.

The 2 avenues I am interested in exploring is the Polytechnic Teaching and Learning Inovation fund and secondly consider developing simulation as an action research project. This second option means there may be research funding available and I wandered about seeing if some nursing students could apply for a HRC summer scholaship. This would answer the problem of time release for lecturers.

Both of these options need to be explored at the beginning of next semester. The teaching and leanring inovation is hotly contested and may only have limited funds left. This would mean I would have to wait unitl another funding round.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Week 12 DFLIP Flexible Learning in education

I've just finished listening to Otago Polytechnic CEO talk on flexible learning in our institution

I quite enjoyed his way of explaining the continum of flexible learning, how it can vary from 'our way' of learning,structured to time, place ,learning objectives right through to the other end of the spectrum where it is 'the learners' time, place, objectives etc. This helped me understand it more as I admit I am still quite adverse to the far end of the spectrum....I still prefer as the teacher to have at least some control of the drivers seat. Perhaps this is because in the course I teach, the student nurses have very clear competencies they must meet set by the Nursing Council. However I am not adverse to moving along the continum to allow some flexibility although it is quite difficult in the course I teach because students have set times and places they need to be at to gain the clinical experience. It is up to me to get these organised for them and having 95 students doesn't allow for too much choice!

However in my plan I think by using simulation based sceanrio's, this is moving along the continum because the learner will get more choice to decide what assessment techniques and skills they need to focus on and practice. I agree with Leighs comment that Annie will need to be set up and booked by students if I want to offer this flexibility..

The other comments I liked in the presntation was about flexible learning having the ability to develop learner autonomy which I think is essential, if we want students to learn according to their learner style.

A couple of statements from the OP organationsal document in regards to flexible learning that I believe our course already aligns to are:

1) To provide relevant, flexible & accessible learning opportunities which build capability, are stimulating & challenging & foster life long learning.

2)To provide equal opportunities to participate & succeed in relevant learning for all people whatever their age, ethnicity or abilities & with regard for their needs.

I think by building up the repitoires of sceanrio's and loading them into Annie for simulation and making this accessible for students will align our course even more with these 2 statements

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Video of our nursing 'Annie'

Hi there this is my colleagues and I trying to learn simulation.

ere is the link to the Leardal site which is where I can get scensrio's etc from


Please could you give me feeback about this idea by making any comments in reply to this post. The previous post gives more indepth explanations.

flexible learning paln

Flexible Learning Plan Presentation

From: ziggyl, 12 minutes ago

plan to use simulation

SlideShare Link

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Digital Inforamtion Literacy Project Week 5 11th June

I wasn't able to attend the optional workshop this week do to a heavy workload with students. However i have continued during the week to work on my goals. I bought a new camera and did some videoing which I then tried to use movie mkaer and edit it. Well after a few frustrating hours it didn't seem to work. I had difficulty downloading the file into movie maker. I'm wandering if it has anything to do with the type of file it is? Unfortunately I accidently deleted the videing in the process (lucky it waasn't important).

i felt rather frustrated because last week i thought i was doing really well at increasing my digital literacy but again I felt that disappointment that it is never as easy as you think! Anyway I haven't given up on this I've just put that on hold..

I spent a little bit of time setting up some RSS feeds into my google reader site... This went okay fortunately but I was chucked off the computer (by a teenage son) and didn't do as much as I would have be continued..

I then later in the week(thanks to Leighs suggestion following my last weeks reflection) followed through on social bookmarking. This was much more successful and I now have del.ici.ous set up on my desktop and have already found it advantageous already. I have moved sites I was saving into del.ici.ous that I want to use when I make a resource library for my students...I already was able to tell some students during the week about operating theatre site I had found.

I plan to continue on trying to learn how to edit video this next week and may put my flexible learning plan on video jsut so i can increase my digital literacy.

To summarise I continue to emphasis becoming digital literate is very helpful and for me very interesting to do. however time to do all the thinks i want continues to be a struggle. I also feel i would like someone looking over my shoulder when thinks get difficult for a leaning hand...Meeting in groups and receiving other peoples email is very hepful...Until next week...C U...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Digital Information Learning Project Week 4 (June 4th))

Reflective Framework Workshop 4 June 4th

Step 1

In todays session we spent time talking about what people have been doing over the last few weeks. The conversation ended up focusing in on podcasting (a lot of confusion here) and also RSS feeds.I found the video we watched on RSS feeds great and very helpful. Then both Sarah and Sunshine both showed us how they used google reader and blogline. It was helpful to be logged on when Sarah went thorugh google reader so I could follow what she was doing. I actually played around quite a bit with google reader and the igoogle webpage. I found this session very helpful (apart from the confusion about podcasting still leaving me confused). Although todays session didn't help me with my original goals of setting up a library of internet resources for my students it was greatly beneficial in improving my digital literacy skills

Step 3

As I result of this workshop agian it reinforced to me that digital literacy is like opening a can of big (good) worms that is never ending it keeps expanding. Again it reinforced to me I need time to put these things into practice. Also I really enjoyed been with other people who were also learning similar things and others who could offer there advice and help...(although I understand Sarahs response that in the next workshop she needs to focus on her goals). This I think can happen when too many people get together, there is such a variety of needs that your original goals can get lost in the process....because of this rather large can of (good) worms. I think over the next 2 weeks I will try to set up igoogle as my home webpage and sort out some good relevant RSS feeds that will help me organise my everyday life and work. I also want to continue learning how to edit video perhaps using moviemaker so I can do my assignment for DLIP. This hopefully will enhance my skills in mulitmedia for use with my students. My goal of setting up library resources is also there in the background....Wow it will continue to be busy.

Thanks Bronwyn your blog was helpful with the links about podcasting...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cultural Diversity DFLP week 11

In nursing cultural safety is paramount. It is included in our competencies to be a Registered Nurse. Generally I think as a profession we are very aware of these issues and to the best of our ability try and treat our patients as individuals and respects any differences. Sometimes our students think at first it is about nursing Maori clients. However it doesn't take them long to learn culutral safety is a lot broader. It also incorporates such things as gender, disability, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status,age...We quickly teach them to try and unpick the assumptions that we have about these different groups. I.e older people are all deaf so we speak louder and slowly...

It is very difficult in a classroom situation to address cultural sensitivity. This is because we are restriced to room size, multi-media vices available to us certain times that the institution, lecturer or classroom is available. Being culturally senstive may mean we need to give students extra times for assessment because of disabilities or even family committments. What comes to mind here is that I have observed often that in some cultures they place a much higher value on things such as extended family, roles and traditions and this is there priority.Sometimes these priorities can clash with us in education because we want assessments in on time and we think that the students should put a higher priority on there education. Our rigid structures and course outlines sometimes don't bend as easily to address specific needs. It also doesn't always bend to accomadate different learning styles which can be very different for people of different gender, culture, with disability etc. I also think we sometimes are culturally insensitive to people of lower socioeconomic status simply becasue of the cost involved in getting a education. I know scholarships is one way that we have tried to address this issue. I also beleive the learning centre is another excellent way of addressing some of these issues.

Hopefully I try as much as possible to be culturally sensitive to my students to help them meet there learning needs. Allowing students flexibility with head dress (because of religious reasons) when in uniform and helping them when going to theatre with this head dress is just one example. I also try to be considerate when considering requests for extensions because of family committments. However I beleive it will always be difficult as ALI said in her blog to be able to meet everyones different needs although I can certainly try when in one on one sessions with them to ascertain if they have any particular learning needs realted to culture

I think flexible leanring does have the ability to be more able to allow for cultural differences simply because of the 'flexibility' of it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Access and Equity DFLP Week 10

This weeks question was about access and equity in educaton? I read the article by Zondiros and Dimitris (2008).

"distance teaching" + "distance learning" = "distance education".

This article talked about globalisation and its impact on developing countries accessing education. Because of new information and communication technologies and the progression of online education,there is now more opportunity for people to access education because of the ability to network and create educational communities wherever they may be, through networks appropriate to their circumstances.

Although this technology is meant to improve access by bypassing some barriers to learning such as location it has also created an issue of inequality and exclusion. This is because not all people are aware of these developments, many people do not have the digital literacy needed and poorer socioeconomic status means many people do not have the computers, programs and internet access that is required. This has in fact widened the gap in education that IT technologies is hoping to close. Apparently 80% of the earth's population has never heard a dial tone....(Dimitris Zondiros, 2008).

This leads to social exclusion due to a lack of resources, rights and the inability to participate in education which is freely available to the majority of people in a western society... Broadband access is an example of this. In New Zealand, many lower socioeconomic groups do not have this access (also in some rural communities this is not available)

Another problem is people need to demonstrate a wide range of academic literacies and many don't have this..therefore online education tends to be restricted to learners that have certain characteristics... only a small amount of the population.
Changing socioeconomic conditions and technology has created a demand for education but online education may not provide for people who are socially and economically disadvantaged with educational opportunities....rather it tends to provide more for those who are well placed socially and economically with the educational opportunities to develop their professional, technical knowledge and skills.....Inequality...

The article concludes by suggesting some of these issues of inequality need to be addressed when developing online learning which is hoping to improve educational access to more people


Zondiros, Dimitris (2008). Online, distance education and globalisation: Its impact on educational access, inequality and exclusion. The European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURODL).

My Observations

I'm going to start first with some concerns...

In our course it sometimes appears we enrol anyone who applies to do nursing. This is very different from when I applied to be a nurse over 20 years ago. We had to have interviews, and a minimum qualification of University Entrance. (You could also apply with mature entry). I've wandered if open access is encouraged as it helps fill numbers to keep our courses economically viable. Nursing is still predominantly a female dominated profession. Once upon a time women didn't have very much career choice with the majority choosing nursing or teaching as a career. Because females have such a wider choice of careers available to them, not as many choose nursing. If they are very academically able, then they are more likely to choose a higher paid career such as medicine, law etc.

However to be a nurse their is certainly a reasonable high level of literacy required. Also you need to be physically able as it is a physically demanding profession as well. The interview process helped selection committees assess the applicants suitability for nursing. Unforunately we have seen students begin nursing who cannot cope with the academic rigour required or even the physical requirements. This means sometimes it has come at a great cost finacially before they realise they are not suited to a nursing career. In the 'old' days there was the option of a shorter course and students were encouraged to take this angle if they thought academically it would be difficult. Pam talked about this as a problem she is addressing in the learning centre. They do have poeple who come to the learning centre with very low literacy levels and this can be quite challenging. I have discovered it certainly can be challenging for teachers as well as it is more time consuming for these students. I totally agree with Pam that we should not discriminate as everyone is entitled to education and many people with disabilitites do succeed...but is it fair to students who come into a course and then find out at personal cost to themselves they aren't going to meet course outcomes?

I know we can sometimes discriminate when we look at photo's or parents professions, diability...we make culturally insensitve judgements about students which is so unfair...we do need to give everyone the opportunity fairly for education which is why I believe what the diability centre is doing is incredibly important, of great benefit and really needed to imporve access...but I also believe we need to be honest with potential students if we don't beleive they have what is required for a particular course...afterall what matters in nursing is that a nurse can provide safe competent care for patients. If a person has a physical or learning disability that impacts on this, or if they struggle to meet the academic requirements, then possibly they should be discouraged from entering nursing...

What is the solution? That I am not sure about..I do believe education should be available to everyone and we should give all students a fair go. Using the learning centre is encouraged by us as lecturers if students are found to be struggling. However I think the issue goes further back to earlier schooling. The government needs to address some of these inequality issues as a result of socioeconomic status so school students have more access and advantages and literacy levels are improved...they will then be able to consider tertiary education and meet with great success..

Sustainability DFLP Week 9

The pictures of computer wastes piled up left quite an impact on me. I'm sometimes like that rather big percentage of people Mann showed on his power point that are aware of the term been used and want to do something about but don't always know where to start!

I did manage to tune into the illumuniate conference
I'm actually a little ashamed to say I wasn't even aware of the core competency that Polytech has of having every graduate thinking as a sustainable practitioner by semester 2 2009. I then had a look at what we are doing in our department as I wasn't even aware there was a strategy in place! I found this document and even saw a photo of me graduating!

It was good to see this document and realise our school and our Head of Department has been thinking through what is a sustainable nursing practitioner?

I think flexible learning certainly helps in the area of sustainability. If students can study at home they can reduce the impact on the environment through travelling. Using computers to send in assignments and have them marked can also reduce paper...OER also has the ability to allow more sharing of resources and knowledge rather than recreating what is already available...If I think about my plan to put resources on the computer I think it does have the ability to enable social networking and use resources already online for others to share...

I've also been considering another possible plan and that is to use our 'Annie' (Manequin) more efficiently to enable sceanrio based learning...More on this later...

Overall I think the Nursing Council who set and review our competencies will want to consider what they see as a sustainable practitioner in nursing so it can have a downward flow to us who are teaching nursing students to meet these competencies.

For me however just starting by thinking about my ecological footprint and how I can reduce its impact both at home and work is a good and important start...

Friday, May 30, 2008

DFLP Wk 8 Issues with flexible learning

I'm back again on this course after having spent quite a bit ot time working on the "creating learning centred environments" course. I have also been busy trying to increase my digital literacy skills which is why videos are now on my blog.

Interesting question posted this week "What are some of the issues that you think are significant in terms of what the modern internet has to offer to flexible learning?"

I have been already considering this question because I've been trying to develop my flexible learning plan and this started some debate as to why I would put it on blackboard and why not on something like Wiki Edcactor which is more open. I responded see my post titled "Digital information learning project" posted about 2 weeks ago. My biggest concern was about cofidentiality and accessing resources such as our course text book and data bases such as Cinahl etc which contains peer reviewed articles which the students need to be able to access.

I am quite interested in this debate. One of the issues health professionals have is that because of the web, patients seeking medical help sometimes arrive after they have practically diagnosed themselves and decided what treatment they need, because of the information they have found on the web. We know that not all information is accurate and this can be a concern. This concern also applies when we ask our students to access information related to patients they have been caring for. This is why we encourage the use of peer reviewed data bases for their searching.

Downes on his video talked a lot aobut the good things web 2 offers. He talked about three principles f online learning...Interaction, Usabilty and relevance. I have just finished reading Alisons blog to do this with week and found it quite interesting as she also talked about these 3 principles.

1)Interaction....yes this is possible on line but face to face still has a lot of advantages...It can be quite lonely at home when you have little kids...the chance to get out of the door for a break is often really needed. however when you don't have a babysitter organised to be able to interact on line is a Godsend. Downes also talked about the advantage is that you can pull out the information you need rather than having all this stuff pushed at you that you may not want as it won't fit your learning need or possibly your learning style. This definitely has to be an advantage of online learning...Just access what you need for your learning..Yeah! There is that challenge of time though. If you go to a class you get it done...With online you need to be self directed and self managed (Downes). However he suggest you just prioritise the time..(This is why I'm spending my Ssaturday of Queens Birthday in the office doing this course)...

2) Usability...2nd point Downes talked about. He talked about creating your own distribution knowledge learning system to simplify the message...The leaner can approach and organise the web to meet there needs...simplistic

3) The third point was about relevence. I found this interesting because I do see the advantages here. Our students often want the knowledge when they are in the clinical setting not weeks before in a classroom. This is the distinct advantage of e learning, they can access the knowledge when and where they want. This has to be better to help them link theory and practical. This is my rationale for developing resources online for my students to access...

But then again the debate Keen vs. Weinberger highlited to me the concerns I already wander about...'the big brother syndrome' Anything you put out there has the potential to create a database about you. Is this always beneficial...How much information about people is good...What about confidentiality? What about information that is not helpful or causing ethical delemnas for our health professionals...For me the debate is not yet settled in my own mind and I am still debating whether to put my resources on blackboard or Wiki Edcuator.

However networking is always good and can be very helpful. This can also help you check out if the stuff you have found on the internet is actually credible...

I found an excellent open website today that would be great for my course. Licensed also under creative commons..Clincal Skills online and also another site
Both of these two sites have excellent resources and videos on you tube showing particular skills...Great...Might use them in my plan

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Digital Information Learning Project Week 3 (May 29)

Well as you probably noted I did get to learn Animoto and like Sarah said it was great. I then becme inspired to see if I could figure out movie maker. That is what I have been doing this week. Thankfully my 11 year old daughter came to the rescue. So I have now attached a video I made using movie maker to see if it comes out okay


My original aims of this project was to create a site where I could put a library of resources together for students when they are working in clinical.However I find I am doing different things then what I originally planned. I think this has happened because as you listen to others you realise there is soooo much to learn. I think what I have chosen to do is incredibly beneficial as I am learning about so many tools out there. Only a few months ago I was really worried about setting up a blog. However I am still wanting to be able to use digital literacy to improve my teaching and courses. I'm hoping as I continue to explore digital resources this will be the case. I attended a workshop on Thursday and learnt the basics of how to set up a course in wikieducator....I think I will continue to explore this avenue...but in the large digital world who knows where I will go next in this project?

I hope these thoughts are not wrong..(I'm waiting for the video to be uploaded so fingers cross it will work and you can look at it if you want)I'm also considering buying a video so I can learn more about video editing


Digital Information Learning Project Week 2 (May 21)

Reflective Framework

Step 1

In todays session Sarah showed us her blog site and talked about how this has opened up her networking. A few people commented that they felt concerned about putting all this information 'out there' for anyone to see. She said she wasn't worried as she screened what went onto her site. She also talked about animoto and her excitement at using this great tool. I really enjoyed her enthusiasim adn thought she is lucky to have time to do this...I wandered if I would find the time to put into digital learning as I am already stretched and my family already aruges over whose turn is it to be on the ocmputer. I was thinking 'how difficult would it be to use Animoto?"

Following this we spent some time in the computer lab starting to work on our aims for our project. I felt a bit lost as I was now unsure where to head or what to do. Bronwyn suggested I look at a bookmarking site called delicious so I could start making a library of resources to use in my project. I did this and had a quick look at how the programme works. I also looked at and registered for slideshare.

Step 2

I felt my reactions were good and bad. It was good to feel enthusied but I also started to feel worried as I may not have the time to do all the things I want....I feel like my original idea for coming into this project of setting up blackboard was defunct...there is too many other things I could learn... I also felt a little nervous wandering if I would be able to master something even as simple as bookmarking

Step 3

As I result of this workshop I learnt that it is very helpful to meet with other poeple with similar frustrations with digital literacy. We can learn and get enthused by sharing with the others in gorup. to overcome my time worry I think I just need to really make the most of the times we meet. I plan to see if I can use animoto this weekend

Sunday, May 25, 2008

creating learning centred environments

Lifelong learning

My teaching philosophy

My Teaching Philosophy


My teaching philosophy centres on the importance of helping students to transfer their surface learning into deep learning. For this to happen, I believe creating a learner centred environment is essential. This environment shifts the balance of power from me as the teacher and changes my role to one more of facilitation. It also puts more responsibility for learning, on to the students (adapted from Weimer 2002). I could partly sum it up by saying my philosophy is ‘knowing the how and why of the that’.
I have identified three main learning concepts that I believe are central to this process of deep learning within my role as a lecturer in the nursing school; task-conscious or acquisition learning; social and situational learning and reflection.

Task-conscious/ acquisition learning

Entwistle (1996) cited in Moon (1999) describes deep learning as a process where the learner aims to gain an understanding of the ideas that have been presented to them. If the learner only does the work to get the task out of the way, then this will only enable surface learning. Another way of looking at this is described by Smith (1999) as the difference between ‘knowing that and knowing how’. Smith describe Ryle’s (1949) example of a Surgeon. Although the Surgeon would have learned by instruction and observations he/her would also need to learn by practice.
I teach in the nursing profession at undergraduate level. We have theory weeks where I impart the knowledge and skills and then clinical weeks where they take their skills and knowledge and practice them in the ‘real world’. Saljo (1979) reported five main categories of learning; the first three involved acquiring information, memorising and acquiring facts and skills. The last two categories were about making sense of the subject matter and understanding reality in a different way (cited in Smith, 1999). What I have discovered is that students quickly learn what they need to know to pass the quizzes or exams but frequently when they are in clinical practice, this knowledge eludes them. The knowledge acquired in theory weeks at Polytechnic in labs and lectures, relates to the first three categories. Clinical visits and tutorials are absolutely essential to help my learners make sense of and understand the knowledge in order for deep learning to occur (the last two categories).

Social and situational learning

When the students work with Registered Nurses (RN) preceptors in clinical practice, task-conscious or acquisition learning described by Smith (1999) is unconsciously occurring. In addition, social and situational learning, one of the four learning theories described by Merriam and Cafella (1991), also occurs. This learning orientation is based on the belief that learners learn by observing and interacting with others. The students observe many different styles of nursing, practiced by different RN preceptors, and they also practice the new nursing skills and tasks they have learnt during theory weeks. This can be both positive and negative as they can also be quickly socialised into the ward ‘norm’ which is not always positive due to many different stresses.
To enable this acquisition, task conscious and situational learning to facilitate deep learning, another concept central to my teaching philosophy is utilised; reflection.


I use refection in both my one on one visit with the student and in my tutorials. In tutorial the first hour is spent allowing a small group of students to share the experiences they have had that week on the ward. As a group and with my facilitation, the students are encouraged to make ‘sense’ of the situations and make connections to their theory. This makes the difference from knowing the theory to knowing the ‘how’ or even more importantly the ‘why’ of what they are doing as a nurse in clinical. I also use this tool in portfolio development. The students are asked to utilise either the DeBono’s six hats model of reflection (Kenny, 2003) or Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) cited in Bulman (1994) to describe an experience they had while in clinical. This reflection helps the student to understand what they already know, identify what they need to know, make sense of the information and helps to guide them when making choices about further development (accessed from


I want my students to know not only how to do nursing cares but also to understand the ‘why’ of what they are doing. This will enable them to give a much higher standard of care and will make them safer nurses as they will know when to report the abnormal. By creating a learner centred environment with me been a facilitator not just a teacher and encouraging the students to engage in reflection, I believe this will help the students to transfer their surface learning into deep learning.


Bulman, C. (1994) Exemplars of reflection: Other people can do it, why not you too? Reflective practice in Nursing. Blackwell Science: Oxford
Introduction to Reflective Practice
Retrieved from:
Kenny, L. (2003). Using Edward de Bono’s six hats games to aid critical thinking and reflection in palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 9 (3) 105-112
Merriam, S.B. & Caffarella, R.S. (1991). Learning in adulthood. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in Learning and Professional Development. London: Kogan Page Limited.
Smith, M.K. (1999). Learning theory. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved on 26 June 2004 from

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

DIL Learning project

To hlep me meet some of the outcomes for the DFLP course I have also embarked on the action research project to increase my digital literacy skills. I attended to first workshop last week and have included here a brief outline of what happened and my goals. I will use my blog to also reflect on my prgress etc thorughout the 10 weeks.

First Week 14th May 08

The self-directed activity for this week was to:

* Write down the digital information literacy issues I wish to address in the project and the things I would like to work on.

* Write an outline of what happened in the first workshop - what I was shown, what I did, things I knew already, things I learned etc.

* List one or two goals of what I would like to do in the next workshop and in the project overall.

1) I want to set up a blackboard site for students to access that will provide useful links to resources that will be of value to there learning when in a set ward.

2) The first workshop was really interesting because I was in a group of people with diverse learning needs. The introductions were very helpful. This was quite important for me to see because I was unsure if I had enough knowledge to take part in this project. I felt excited about the possibilities to enhance my digital literacy. I also enjoyed the video as it made me think about some of the advantages and disadvantages of the electronic age. I also completed the online survey which will be interesting to see at the end of the project to see the results

3) Next workshop I would like to begin setting up a site on blackboard for my BN 233 course

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My plan!

Hi to everyone who may be interested in commenting. This week i have spent time thinking about my plan so I have included it...Any comments please would be most appreciated
Cheers Raewyn

Project Name: Development of online clinical resources to help nursing students link their theory with practical

Date: 3rd May 2008

Organisation: Nursing School Otago Polytechnic

Auther: Raewyn Lesa lecturer in School of Nursing.

Executive Summary:

While students are in the hospital on clinical placement they are beginning to make a lot of links from their practical experience to the theory they have learnt at Polytechnic. I plan to develop an online resource for each ward that they can access. This resource will have animations, scenario's, quizzes, critical thinking exercises, links to journals and perhaps a discussion page where students can leave examples of what they have learnt while placed on that particular ward.

Project background:I became interested in developing this because of discussions with students when they were in clinical. They often said comments like... I wish I could have that information you gave earlier now, it would make more sense...Also recently I've become more aware of the limitations of lectures...I've noticed more and more they do not retain a lot of the information I have given them. To stimulate their learning I believe it helps if they can relate the theory to something they are experiencing. Having one site they can quickly access good quality resources that relate to the ward they are practising on, will offer supplemental learning for those students who choose to access it. It may suit different styles of learners.

To provide an online supplemental resource for students who choose to access it when they are on clinical.

Objectives: Will use the online resources provided by LWW com, provided for the instructers using their text books (which we do). I have already been provided access and the representive will contact me on Friday to offer some advice on using it. Another lecturer working in the course has had some experience in this and has also offered assistance.

List of performance indicators (outcomes): As this will be a supplemental resource the mian outcome I will be measuring is student feedback about our course which will ask the question, "did they access the site and was it beneficial?"

Flexible learning analysis:
The perceived needs of the students I am targeting relate to a resource that is flexible to access time wise and location wise and meets a need of linking theory to clinical.

The type of flexible learning services I'm providing are mostly learning support strategies to compliment our use of lectures, labs and tutorials which we already offer.

Sustainability at this stage shouldn't be to much of an issue, however lecturer time will be the biggest issue. To address this I am going to develop this resource at a slow pace, starting with just one ward resource and evaluate this by seeking student feedback. Access and equity can be helped by encouraging the students to access the site at Polytechnic on Fridays or if they get some quiet time on the wards they can access online via the library or cafeteria.

This plan aligns with OP's stragtic direction of becoming excellent teachers and using flexible delivery to support this

My time line is to complete one ward resource by beginning of semester 2, so it is ready for my next lot of students. At this stage I shouldn't need to much of a budget but if I want to develop this fully, then next year I will need staff release time. I am unsure if there is any cost involved in using LWW Com but will be talking to the Rep on Friday and I may have more of an idea then. I am aware I may need more training but again until I embark on this journey, I am unsure what I may need

Friday, May 2, 2008


This has been a very interesting few weeks for me as I have become more motivated into thinking about my traditional style of teaching...I tried to access the online resources for our textbooks we use because it said it gives us a lot of resources...Well after a few hassles I now have all this stuff to access and a representive who is contacting me next week to talk me through how to use it...I am feeling quite excited about the possibilities.

It has been interesting in my interactions with my students on clinical this week. They were talking about how they find now they are on clinical they would like the lectures and labs that relate to the clinical setting. However this is impossible to do in the current style of theory weeks and clinical weeks. This led me to thinking...what if I set up a site for each clinical area they may work in, and put all the resources and links into that site that will link there clinical to theory...i.e if they were placed in 5b I could put readings, animations, video's, quizes scenario's, case studies etc on the 5B site about ENT, neuro surgery etc. This is where I think the online resources for textbooks I'm now learning about will be very helpful...(plus helpful in lectures) It oculd be used for students in 3rd year as well!

I would appreciate anyones thoughts on this as it may be what I wish to develop from this course..(would probably only have time to do one ward as a start).

Anyway to answer this weeks questions...Do I think open and networked education threatens or enhances formal education?

My first thought would be it has to be a threat...This is because if people can get things for free or a lot cheaper then they will take it! This may mean people will not enrol in formal education as much which would be very detrimental to the institutions.

I did quite a bit of the extra reading this week and was actually quite stunned about how little I knew...I got quite a buzz learning for free! For example I looked at both Cyber one and MIT and was surprised at the resources available. I actually got quite a lot of information about gender and women studies..(might change my course). However I found this information was purely for interest if I was serious about studying this then I would enrol...Why? because I would want a decent qualification at the end of it and would want the support of onsite lecturers. This could actually be an advantage of open education it stirs peoples interest and may lead to more enrolments.

After reading "Can OER really impact higher education?" I had a little more understanding about possible advantages and disadvantages. One distinct advantage of OER is the potential to open up access and improve the quality of higher education around the world for people who would have difficulty accessing higher education. This may impact equity and quality because OER uses a a network of people and organizations. This is because if you provide more options for learning and cheaper education, more people can access learning and resources. The cost for learning will be cheaper because OER means distribution and creatiion of resources will be cheaper.

However the article also raised concerns that OER might mainly be used by faculty and institutions to increase the quality of what they offer rather than actually help solve the worlds higher education gap. They suggest creative ways are needed to bridge informal and formal learning. This is where I see RPL as absolutey essential and can help bridge this gap. Willie Campbells talk was a good example of how OP is embracing this.

The whole issue of licensing, copyrighting etc is still very confusing to me and I actually got a little lost trying to understand some of the terms on EDC development at OP However I was a little ashamed of how little I knew about what has been happening on this whole front at OP about open learning and licensing and our protection and rights. Thanks for writing that Leigh. I now have a little more understanding and also interest in what we at OP, are doing on this front. I liked the way you presented it to management to get there support.

So to conclude yes there are advantages to open, networked and RPL but we also have to consider how this is been used. Overall I don't OER is a big threat to the institutions, especially if they do as OP has done and consider and develop their IP policies.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Flexible learning today and in the future?

Poolburn dam one of my favourite places to reflect and hang. Big argument going on at present as some Auckland person wants to sudivide and put 2 huge houses on the land. This means quite a few kms of lakefront will be lost...I ask the question...should this be done and change poolburn forever!! Life changes and moves on you may argue...I guess when I think about flexible learning I feel a bit like this...Sommtimes I like to do things exactly the way I always have. It is comfortable, doesn't take a lot of time to prepare when I'm busy...I liked Bronwyns reponse to Susans excellent comments about this weeks reading in relation to DFLP (week5). How easy to just put on a 50 min video and go catch up on admin! For whose benefit? I have just finished reviewing a video on chest drains I was thinking of using in a upcoming lecture...I have been challenged to think how can I incoportate this more into the orveall lecture. (I'll keep you posted on the lecture as it evovles). I feel like Susan that this course been all on line has its challenges but I think it suits the purpose of the course. As Leigh said we must be up on digital technology in education. Some of the things i've been doing I've been thinking about doing for a while but because of time have avoided learning it. Easier to do as I always have. I see tutorials offerred such as Leigh offered last year on e learning but I always say not now later when I have time!

Having just completed my Masters and then having a baby I must admit I kept things pretty much the same in my course. However this year i have had a renewed energy and have been reviewing my lectures and tutorials with great gusto. Partly this evolved because when on clinical with students often i noted they didn't know stuff that I though I had covered so well in the lectures. In my mind I had taught it clearly and it was clear to me..obviously the message is not getting acroos as clearly as I thought in the lecture format! Teacher as teacher!

I had a quick look at the history of Otago Polytechnic. It developed because of the need for vocational training which I imagine had to be quite flexible because it was meeting the needs of the community leaders. Parttime courses were offered in the evening so people could still work , such as in apprenticships. Nursing was orginally an apprenticeship style training model and the education was offerred in blocked courses. The training moved to Polytechnics in the early 1980's to provide an increased quality of nursing education, first as a diploma and then since the 1990's a degree program. We have fought as a profession for the professional of nursing and our education of nurses to move away from the 'Drs handmaiden role'. We need to ask the question if we add more e -leaning and less lecturer contact in our curriculum will this be of benefit to our future nurses. Some nurses who trained in the older apprenticeship model still say this was a better model because they got paid and learnt on the job. With the current nursing shortage, as tertiary nursing edcuators we have to be sure the pitfalls of this style of training are remembered so this style of training doesn't get reintroduced as an answer to the nursing shortage!

I think in the future other professions will also have to think about these issues. As flexible learning is tossed about as an answer to spiralling costs of education and worker shortage we need to be sure of what will actually benefit our professions.

The article by Ellis, Steed, and Applebee(2006). I found quite interesting. Lecturers who see technological media as one way of helping students to achieve the intended learning outcomes of course design can help student develop new ideas and understanding. However they warned that some teachers may use media to deliver information and replace some responsibilities of being a teacher. The example of putting on a video is a good example of this.

Blended learning can be of the most benefit when we use technology to help students explore and make sense of the reality. This is what happens when we are on clinical and have tutorials with our students. This has always occurred as verbal discussions but this is where I am thinking scenarios online for students to work through, could add to this learning. I guess one of the barriers will always be time but I think I need to jump on the bandwagon and move into the technology era as many of my students are used to this! Maybe this is why I found the lecture format is not the most ideal teaching tool.

Thinking back on the history of Otago Polytechnic, nursing edcuation and also reading the case study practical skills for veterinary nurses I think many courses started off flexible in the way they were offerred to meet the demands of the consumer. In Polytechnics in particular this has had to continue as a lot of our educaton is in vocational skills. With the continuing changes today I think the demand for this will continue and probably increase. Otago Polytechnic recognise this need and are encouraging us all to consider how we are organising our courses to be more flexible to meet consumer demands. Technology is not going to go away and will just continue to advance. The younger generation will demand we have the skills to keep up....


R. A., Steed, A. F. and Applebee, A. C. (2006). Teacher conceptions of blended learning, blended teaching and associations with approaches to design. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 22(3), 312-335.

practising inserting hyperlinks

In my blog this week I am practicing to see if I can make hyperlinks or pictures so firt I will reference to Bronwyns blog and see if it works. I'm also going to see if i can insert a picture from flickr

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How can distance, correspondence and/or online learning create flexible learning opportunities in your context?

I've been doing quite a bit of reading over the last few days and catching up on my class mates blogs. It has helped me to get an idea of what people are thinking but it is not the same as been in class together. I think the advantage of been in class is the ability to dialogue then and there and have a conversation. Blogging appears to be limited in this aspect as I am often commenting after the thoughts or ideas have been presented not during the thinking process. This may be a diasdvantage of online learning, however this could also be the result of me still learning about blogging and also staying on top of the work. Student to student interaction is still occuring but in a different way (not face to face). Anderson (2003) believes as long as one of the 3 forms of interaction (student–teacher; student-student; student-content) is at a high level, deep and meaningful formal learning can still occur. Is this quality of interaction the same online compared to face to face? I am interested in my own learning as this course progresses to see if I do become more enthusiasic about online learning.

I have been reflecting on the course I coordinate in nursing which is medical/surgical nursing practice so see if we are incoporating flexible learning. We have undergone significant changes over the last 6 years in our clinical supervision model for students. Student- teacher contact was a lot higher as we spent a lot of time in clinical with them. As modern day financial constraints have become a part of our reality in nursing, the time spent in one on one contact with the students as been cut right down in an attempt to deliver our nursing programme within these constraints.

I was devastated when this first happened. I guess this was because I strongly believed in the teacher as 'the teacher'. I had less control and had to rely on Registered Nurses preceptoring our students. I wasn't too sure if this was always going to demonstrate best practice! However my belief in the 'teacher been the teacher' has been challenged as I have watched our new model of less clinical supervision evolve. I thought the students learning would suffer but I now don't believe it has. Students are producing excellent portfolio's showing they are engaging in their learning, making the links and reflecting. They reflect on the practice they see from various Registered Nurses and take a huge amount of learning from this. I'm convinced that as they go and find the information themselves, they choose what they want to learn in relation to the nursing care they have been giving. This differs from myself as the teacher giving them the information; this means they have a lot more interest in their learning.

Our tutorials which are a time of high student to student interaction, have also become a major learning opportunity for the students. As they reflect and share on their learning experiences in the clinical setting they have been learning off each other and asking questions related to what they want to know. As the facilitator, I too have increased my knowledge. I have always regarded these times as essential to help our students intergrate the theory with the practical.

Annand, D. (2007) wrote that many academics fear a sense of a loss of their craft, a dislocation for students and faculty, and a loss of control over the educative process. This causes opposition to technological change within the academy. Reading this I was challenged about me own thinking. The last couple of decades have seen huge changes in the world of work and the knowledge, skills and competencies people require in the workplace (Moran & Rumble, 1998). Edcuation facilities have been slow to change but to acommadate the growing need in the workplace for skilled, competent workers we need to change. Flexibilty for many workers is required so they can get the qualification and skills needed (often as quick as possible). This is also why assessment of prior learning as become so important. Listening to Terry Marlers talk was very helpful

Thankyou Carolyn your comments on your blog. I see many similarites between our courses and the challenges.

As my clinical time with the students is reduced I have to consider if I can still meet their needs, particurlary when they are placed out of town, which often they are now due to placement availability. Sometimes phone contact is all we have. Blogging could be immensely helpful as they could make electronic links to their articles and we could follow there progress more closely. The main constraint to this would be availabily of computers.

I am seriously thinking about setting up a course blog so students can continue to reflect and share there learning online. This would be an extension of the turorials (which work well) to include more students. I think our students who are placed in Timaru would appreciate this.

E portfolios are also something I could consider

As portfolio's are an integral part of our course putting them on line could mean less paper and another form of creatively. However I wander if this would make a lot more work for the lecturer (particulary if they are not use to e learning) and they would need to be near a computer when completing assessments. This could be a very good option though again for our out of town students if teacher and student are both sitting by a computer when assessment occurs. Finally I am also considering using a lot more sceanrio based assessments and this is probably where my flexible learning teaching plan will head. However I will investigate this further later as I see Bronwyn has suggested some readings and I've done more than enough this family beckons! (and are pushing me off the computer once again)

Annand, D. (2007). Reorganising Universities for the Information Age
Moran and Rumble (1998) Vocational Education across National Bborders

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I have just finished reading some of Leighs writings on flexible learning and the ideas of decentralisation of education. The idea sounds good in theory but would take a lot of motivation on the part of the teacher. I sometimes try to take work home as I can get sidetracked at work by colleagues and other committments. However at home there are other distracting factors such as family committments and trying to get on the computer when I am fighting other members of the family for it. Working for the institution keeps me on task and ensures the work is done.

I am also having the same difficulty with this course. Is it too flexible for me amongst my busyness! There is nobody on my back each week! Now this can be good and bad...It meant I could go on holiday and try and catch up later...self pacing...however this is much more difficult than I thought...I guess if I get flexibility in the handing in of assessments it may help.

So do we need more flexible learning, or is all this choice a bad idea?

I can certainly see the advantages in it mainly for those who can't afford to relocate to an institution or afford to stop work and lose money while they get a qualification. Student debt is becoming horrendous and is off putting for some people. An example in my profession of nursing is Enrolled Nurses (EN's) who cannot afford to stop work and do a three year degree. They are given very little recognition of their learning (RPL) when they upgrade their qualification. Surely with the desperate shortage of nurses an important priority should be upgrading their qualification. Flexible learning is a must for this occupational group but not easily available. I would agree that RPL is a very important aspect of edcuaiton today. I enjoyed hearing Willie Campbell talking about his journey of learning about assessing prior learning.

Our institution is asking us to consider more flexible options so we can compete in the market place and attract people who may not otherwise have enrolled. However I have concerns that more flexibility could result in less completion of courses and costing poeple more in the long run. I also am concerned about the demand its places on teachers. Do they want to be more flexible i.e work from home, evenings or weekends. This may not suit everyone. Work/Life balance is something we all strive for however flexible learning could possibly blur these boundaries for both teachers and learners...