A number of drivers influenced the decision to adopt the use of mobile technology to support clinical placements:
- The need to develop placement experiences which put the student at the centre of their own learning in keeping with the theory of heutagogy (Bhoyrun et al, 2010; Nemec, 2011) or ‘self-determined learning’. This places responsibility and self-management of learning directly with the adult learner promoting empowerment and ownership of learning.
- Improved quality, timing and frequency of feedback to students, supporting a learning-centric approach, and encouraging students to develop their own action plans. With a focus on the seven principles of good feedback practice identified by Nicol and MacFarlane-Dick (2006).
- Changing the role of the Practice Educators to be focussed on support and the provision of feedback.
This presentation relates to several of the conference themes:
- Empowerment in Learning Technology – students were involved in a pilot to develop the use of the iPad app and use of the app has seen digital literacy developments among staff and students;
- Learning Spaces – the use of the app and associated web portal acts as a virtual space which supports student learning and allows the interaction been geographically separated campus-based staff and students on placement;
- At the forefront of innovation – the use of Liftupp allows data (performance scores, feedback and feedforward) to be collected and accessed in real-time by staff and students who are geographically separated.
The session will review how a paper-based assessment system has been modified and incorporated into a cloud-based app-service to improve student assessment and feedback. The session will explain why the programme team wanted to adopt a new approach, the work involved in working with the app developers, and the views and experiences of all stakeholders
The adoption of LiftUpp to support students on clinical placement has allowed the roles of Practice Educators and University staff to be modified and for students to take more responsibility and to self-manage their own learning. The use of the LiftUpp app supports weekly formative meetings between Practice Educators and students, and the development of weekly action plans. Practice Educators have a redefined role which is focussed on support and the provision of feedback, and the University programme team can continually monitor student performance and provide targeted support for those students who need it most.
Bhoyrub, J., Hurley, J., Neilson, G.R., Ramsey, M., Smith, M. (2010) Heutagogy: An alternative practice-based learning approach, Nurse Education in Practice; 10: 322- 326.
Nemec, P.B. (2011) The Self-Directed Learner, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 35:71-73.
Nicol, D.J., Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006) Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice, Studies in Higher Education, 31:2, 199-218.