Implementing an e-learning Masters programme for Practice Development

Price, A. M., Howatson-Jones, L. and Dewing, J. (2014) Implementing an e-learning Masters programme for Practice Development. In: Networking for Healthcare Education (NET), 2nd-4th September 2014, Cambridge UK.


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Introduction – The need for more effective person centred care has been propositioned for a number of years (Dewar and Nolan 2013; McCormack, Dewing and McCance, 2011; Dewing, 2004) and Practice Development (PD) has been viewed as one way to embed this into organisational culture (Manley, Sanders, Cardiff and Webster, 2011). More recently multiple policy reports echo this call (Age UK, 2012; Willis Commission on Nursing, 2012; Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman, 2011). Joint work between the Department of Nursing and England Centre for Practice Development at Canterbury Christ Church University has validated an innovative Masters level programme in Practice Development, utilising workplace and e-learning approaches to facilitate creativity in the work setting.

Aim: This paper will briefly describe the programme and then explore the experiences and challenges of implementing a work based and e-learning Masters Practice Development and Innovation programme.

Approach: Practice Development is built on the key principles of person-centredness, shared values and vision, transforming individuals and culture through active learning, facilitation and engagement (McCormack, Manley, Titchen 2013). Thus, the approach to the Masters programme reflects these principles and utilises facilitation methods to enable practice development to transform the learner and work setting. As part of this process we, as lecturers, have been developing our own values and beliefs and expanded our knowledge and skills so that we can positively impact on the learner experience and work as learning partners. The programme is, therefore, evolving to embody these principles and enable learners to incorporate them into practice.

The programme is built around ten core Practice Development/Innovation principles and the process of Active Learning, which will be expanded on in the presentation. Our vision is to make this programme accessible to regional, national and international learners. The work-based and e-learning approaches make this achievable but bring challenges to ensure that the programme reflects the principles of Practice Development from a distance. This is further complicated by facilitating a range of learners from diverse clinical areas, experiences and cultures who have often been exposed to traditional forms of learning. Thus, facilitating the learners to engage with the material, and incorporate it into their own practice setting, has led to careful consideration of materials for the learners to access. As the programme is progressing areas are emerging that need to be thoughtfully considered and addressed to ensure development of learning.

Considerations: Initial themes starting to emerge are: increasing lecturer knowledge and skills around both Practice Development and different tools for e-learning, learners previous experience of facilitation and willingness to take responsibility for their own learning, challenges of promoting active learning approaches online , enabling achievement of Masters level learning outcomes with a distance approach, new ways of working for individuals plus the organisational views around supporting learners in practice. These require both lecturers and learners to be motivated to learn and devote time to engage with material and processes. However, it also requires lecturers and learners to make choices and reflect on activities to assess the relevance and usefulness to their situation. The programme encourages learners to be creative and examine issues differently which takes time to engage with and progress.

Conclusion: Evaluation of this programme is in its infancy. A key learning point is that transforming practice through Practice Development and innovation in the workplace also involves transforming University views on learning, engagement and creativity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Practice Development, e-learning
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Health and Social Care > Nursing and Applied Clinical Studies
Depositing User: Ms Ann Price
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 16:43
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:12

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00