Welcome to the first discusion

Hi Everyone

Lets get the ball rolling, start sharing your ideas and learning about how best to implement the NMC TR process.

What works, what are the challenges, how can we share our knowledge and experience.

Over to you now, do not be nervous jump in and join the debate.

Kind regards




Supporting Learners in Practice Conference 13th June 2013

The confernce is hosted by Leeds Metropolitan University at The Rose Bowl Leeds.

The event is open to all mentors and practice educators who support and assess health care students in practice settings. Registrations are welcome from both the NHS and Independent sector mentors and practice teachers. Come along and share your expertise and experiences with other practioners. An excellent opportunity for networking and attendence alos counts as an NMC mentor update.

To book contact s.rooke@leedsmet.ac.uk

Quick notes from last Saturdays Day School

First session of Action Research Module 29/01/2013 18:01
Notes from 19/01/13 Bob Bothroyd
Make sure you use the module
https://unilearn.hud.ac.uk/webapps/blackboard/execute/announcement? method=search&context=course_entry&course_id=_11672_1&handle=an nouncements_entry&mode=view
Most of the module information and announcements will be found under ‘Assignments’
Use the tools to keep a research diary, all reading, plans, meetings with stakeholders and references
4 stages to AR
you may not achieve all 4 stages by the time of hand in
Understanding AR methodology is the primary objective of the module. Research findings form the secondary objective.
NB The knowledge and skills developed during the module will be applied during 3rd year dissertation.
Assignment is 5-6000 words on your research proposal on a proposal for an investigation into and improvement of an aspect of your professional practice. The research should concentrate on teaching and learning.
Key authors from reading list
Somekh, Bridget (2010)
Zuber-Skerritt, Ortun (1996)
Elliott, John (1991)
Denscombe, Martyn (2010)
McNiff, Jean and Whitehead, Jack (2011)
Research paradigms
Positivist, logical positivism, quantative scientific method Interpretist, qualative, text is open to interpretation

Write a paragraph about your values in relation to the following concepts; Profession
Inequalities Political
Apply the concept of the reflective practitioner to your research. What impact does reflection have on yourself and your planned intervention.
AR starts with an idea which then needs refining until it is focused.
Once a professional focus is identified from data collection then data analysis will lead to further refinement of the research question
Context, for instance assessment in practice
Rationale, Why this particular research is underpinned by literature not policy documents.
Definition, what is AR ?
‘The study of a social situation with a view to improving action within it’ (Elliot, 1991)

Late reflections on blogging

Blogging makes an important contribution to forming and maintaining an on-line community.My previous experiences have shown how learners can share knowlege, experinces and ideas including web links, video clips and information. It replaces the role of small group seminars and tutorials and actively contributes to the concept of the flipped classroom. Engaging with on-line discussions has thepower to generate new knowlege and learning and apply it in practice. Student moderation prevents on-line abuse and negative arguments which I have experienced in previous forum debates. Students can support each other and blogging prevents the sense of isolation which part time study students can experience.


My Design Project, Part 2

Design Project Part 2




  • Introduction
  • Laurillard’s conversational framework
  • The role of simulated practice
  • The technology employed and future technology




Nurses and Midwifes who take on the extra responsibilities of the Sign off Mentor (SoM) can be defined as ‘a Community of Practice’ (Wenger, 1998). The role began in October 2009 for Nursing and the knowledge and skill base has become a new pedagogy demanding new and innovative methods of assessment in practice. By joining an on-line community via blogging or a Twitter ® feed they can share reflections, experiences of managing failing students (Duffy, 2003), web links and examples of innovative practice. The future design and production of the SoM simulated practice DVD must include these on-line interactive tools to enable a UK wide learning community to flourish.


Laurillard’s conversational framework

This model (Laurillard, 2002) describes the pedagogy underlying the relationship between the SoM supervisor and the aspirant SoM. The learner brings their own experiences of mentoring students to the conversation and the supervisor shares their experience of being a SoM. This relationship will continue past the completion of the simulated practice video package because the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards  (2008) require the aspirant SoM to mentor a final placement student under the supervision of a SoM to complete the process to become a SoM.

The learner and supervisor will view the video scenarios together and discuss the learner’s reflections, which are written, on a PDF notepad at the top of the screen. By discussing the learner’s reflections they will be able to build a new joint understanding of the assessment process and key learning point such as how to manage giving regular constructive feedback to the final placement student. The discussion points also include how to give bad news such as possible failure in practice and managing the impact this will have and how to organise additional support for the failing student with their Tutor.




The role of simulated practice


The pedagogic purpose of the simulated practice video is to allow the learner to immerse him or herself in the on-screen world. The dramatic constructions are based on real world events and include deliberately inserted but hidden errors for the viewing learner to think about and stimulate thought and debates with their supervisor. The NMC (2008) states that the aspirant SoM is not learning anything but instead is bring their previous experience and knowledge and applying it in a new context. The pedagogy, which applies to this situation, is constructivism (Delgarmo, 2001) the aspirant is building a new understanding of the role they are preparing for on the foundation platform of their previous knowledge and experience. The role of the supervisor is principally as a knowledgeable guide.

A major purpose of simulation is to practice difficult skills safely without risk to self or others by providing a life like approximation of real world events. QA, an educational technology company recently demonstrated a good example of this in practice (QA, 2012) The American Army developed with them a simulated practice package using SIMs to prepare combat Medical Teams for deployment in Afghanistan.  The users adopt key team roles and manipulate the on screen characters in real time saving the life of a wounded soldier. In use they have to meet a very prescriptive standard before they then practice with real life participants.





The technology employed and future technology


The video scenarios when editing was completed where handed over to a leaning technologist empathising the joint working of the facilitator and the technologist. The learning and assessment material was originally designed and created using Microsoft PowerPoint ® for Mac 2011. This included suggested elements for reflections and basically constructed quizzes. The technologist then exported the Power Point work into Adobe Captivate ®, soft ware that converts Power Point into e learning. The design brief also included the need to ensure that the DVD would be multi platform and would play without difficulty. The technology must not get in the way of learning and should require no more technical ability than loading a DVD into the drive.

To increase user ability and interactivity and communication with other aspirant SoMs and expert currently practicing SoMs a Blog and

Twitter Feed ® will be added to the DVD.

To increase portability and to enable use as a truly mobile learning technology the product will be adapted to use as a mobile application for both iPhone and Android phones. With the imminent role out of the 4G mobile network and the anticipated reduction and increased availability of

Smart phones (Garside, 2013) the possibility is presented of a greater take up. These developments along with the commercial availability of the DVD will allow its use as any time, any where product which meets the needs of busy working Nurses and Midwifes juggling home, work, study and leisure (Hinsliff, 2013)












Assessment strategy

Koller (2012) recommends that on line learning should include an assessment of learning every four minutes to ensure that learning has taken place. The DVD includes a knowledge quiz at the beginning to test the learners current level of knowledge and only the correct answer will be accepted. This ensures that random answers until the right button is clicked will not be permitted. If the user does not know the correct answer the system redirects them the NMC Standards (2008) compelling them to read them to find the correct information otherwise they cannot proceed with the activities. The user writing reflections in a PDF notepad, which is tagged to direct and collate the reflections, provides the other form of assessment.



To meet local Higher Education approval the DVD needs additional work including the insertion of a key-missing scene. Due to the high cost of filming the scene will be created using static SIMs and speech bubbles. The proximity of text to images is an important element of e learning design (Colvin and Lyons, 2004). An example of this approach to design is provided by a SIM produced by a Company called QA. They developed a SIM to demonstrate good and bad practice in equality and diversity training (QA, 2012).

When local approval has been granted a local company will produce the DVD and Medipex will sell it. The marketing will be done using word of mouth recommendation and promotion at forums and conferences.











Delgarmo, B (2001) Interpretations of constructivism and consequences for computer assisted learning BJET, Vol 32 No 2 pp 183-194


Laurillard, D. (2002) Rethinking University Teaching London: Routledge


Garside, J (2013); ‘Ofcom to name mobile bidders in 4G auction’ Guardian p23


Garside, J (2013); ‘2013 predicted to be year of cheap smartphone’ Guardian p23


Hinsliff, G (2013) ‘The Merge’ The Guardian, G2, 01 January, p.5.


Nursing and Midwifery Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) ‘Standards to support learning and assessment in practice’ London, Nursing and Midwifery Council

Council Circular (2010) ‘Sign-off mentor criteria


[Accessed 25th November 2012]


Koller, D, (2012) The Online Revolution: education for everyone


[Accessed 7th January 2013]



[Accessed 6th January 2013]


Wenger, E. (1998) ‘A social theory of learning’: In Communities of practice: meaning and Identity. Cambridge University Press

My Design Project, Part 1


The aim of the design project is to further development of the ‘Sign off Mentor’ interactive DVD product. The DVD was initially designed without reference to pedagogical theory therefore it will be necessary to analyse the learning and assessment content using Collins and Moonen’s collaborating student model (Colllins and Moonen, 2006). The product is designed exclusively for the use of adult learners who are already proficient nursing and Midwifery practice mentors. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) are the governing body for both professions and they set and monitor the standards for undergraduate professional education and assessment.


Product drivers and background and background information

A sign off mentor, which came into force in October 2009, must mentor all final placement-nursing students. It is a relatively new role and came about in response to concerns expressed by the profession and the public and Parliament about the proficiency of some newly qualified nurses. At that time (2000) the then governing body was the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing and Midwifery (UKCC) who commissioned a qualitative research study (Duffy, 2003(Accessed 25th November 2012)

 to examine reasons why mentors fail to fail student nurses. Although the study population was small (n=8) the results were interesting. Mentors reported feeling guilty and unsupported when making decisions that they viewed as critical to student’s future. They also reported passing on decision making to others and not taking responsibility for the decision to fail a student in practice.












The NMC (NMC, 2010) has acknowledged the challenges mentors face when trying to achieve competency as a sign off mentor. The prescribed route of mentoring under supervision three separate final placement students on three separate occasions is difficult to achieve as final placement students only go out to practice once a year. At that rate the system will not be able to replace sign off mentors leaving or retiring or meet the demand for mentoring final placement students in a variety of practice settings. In addition to local Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has set a standard that a minimum of 60% of all nurse mentors must be sign off mentors. Presently in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Acute Trust the percentage is 33%, challenging the organisation to develop innovative methods of achieving 60% compliance.


The role of simulation


In 2010 the NMC (NMC, 2010) recognised the potential of simulated learning including video in assisting mentors to become sign off mentors. The first and second sign off mentor events can be achieved though a variety of simulated practices. A literature review conducted in 2011 as evidence for the initial DVD undergraduate project demonstrated that there were only two Universities who had developed simulated learning for signoff mentors. This change has proved that there is a need to develop an innovative multi media technological product to meet the needs of mentors wanting to progress to sign off mentor status.


 Due to economic pressure it is increasing difficult for nurses and midwifes to be given paid study leave or time away from practice. Mobile technology has the potential to take learning to the learner at a time and place of their own choosing. Nursing is a predominately female profession (90%) and there is increasing evidence that workingwomen are blurring the traditional boundaries of work, home, family and leisure (Hinsliff, 2013). People who enjoy their work are more likely to accept and embrace these changes and see them as a positive development

Digital Divide


An important factor to be taken into consideration when designing digital educational products is the socio economic and political issue of the digital divide (Wikipaedia, 2011). Access to broadband Internet is not universal and rural areas for instance the Highlands and Islands of Scotland have limited access to broadband providers. Therefore to provide equality of access the product will be available as a physical DVD, not a streaming download or other form of Internet based video viewing. A DVD is also transportable so it can be taken to the practice location by the facilitator/supervisor to enable mentors in rural and remote locations to benefit from using the product. Higher Education Institutions, which run mentoring modules, can purchase the DVD as an institution and upload it to their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for use in blended learning in the classroom. The video scenarios can be utilised for group teaching providing a means of generating group discussion and reflection facilitated by a Lecturer. 


Digital Natives Vs. Digital Immigrants


One potential problem is the posed by the argument concerning generational distinctions with familiarity with technology. This issue was originally described by Prensky (2001) as  ‘Digital natives versus Digital immigrants’; it has been argued that people born after 1984 have an advantage over pervious generations because they have grown up with digital technology as an integral part of their lives. If we accept the premise of this argument the DVD could potentially only be used by nurses and midwifes under thirty years of age. A counter argument can be made stating that technology is a factor in all our lives and is not limited to one generation and technology is now an integral part of healthcare. The challenge therefore to the designer is to make the product staring from the needs of the end user and making no assumptions about technical ability.






The concept of the DVD was entered in to the Medipex (The commercial arm of the SHA) Innovations competition in 2011 and was awarded a runner up prize in the Medical Software and Telehealth category. Medipex granted £1800.00 towards filming and editing costs and are providing a further £300.00 for production of 250 DVDs. The company will market the DVD on their Ennovations online store and handle sales and income.


It is important to market innovative educational products to enable them to be used by the widest possible number of users to increase the number of sign of mentors in the UK. Due to the high cost of filming and editing (£180.00 per hour) it is vital to cover costs and if possible to generate a profit to finace future technological educational products. Ideas also need to be protected by intellectual property rights and Medipex will own the rights to the DVD.





















Collis, B.A. and Moonen, J.C. (2006) ‘The contributing student: Learners as co-developers of learning resources for reuse in Web environments’

In: (D.Hung and M.S. Khine),’ Engaged learning with emerging technologies’. Dordrecht, Nederland, Springer , pp. 20-23, 87-89.


Duffy, K (2003) ‘Failing students: a qualitative study of factors that influence the decisions regarding assessment of students’ competence in practice’


(Accessed 25th November 2012)


Hinsliff, G (2013) ‘The Merge’ The Guardian, G2, 01 January, p.5.


Nursing and Midwifery Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) ‘Standards to support learning and assessment in practice’ London, Nursing and Midwifery Council

Council Circular (2010) ‘Sign-off mentor criteria


(Accessed 25th November 2012)



(Accessed 6th January 2013)


Prensky, M (2001) ‘Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants’


(Accessed 5th January 2013)


Wikipedia (2011) ‘Digital Divide’


(Accessed 5th January 2013)





Observer Business pages


A very useful look at Web 2.0 tech in education, health and agriculture. African farmers have an app for weather, crop diagnostics and other vital information. Women in Tanzania can access transport to surgery for obstetric fistular, conecting rural women with essetial surgical procedures and paying for transport by mobile. And the impact of iPads in the classroom.