STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS FOR USING REUSABLE LEARNING OBJECTS IN EUROPEAN HEALTHCARE CURRICULA TO ENHANCE CULTURAL SENSITIVITY
Health care is becoming increasingly culturally diverse and there is a growing need for nurses to deliver culturally competent care patient centred care. Therefore, it is imperative that nurses are equipped with an awareness of what it means to possess cultural sensitivity. Internationally competent nurses need an awareness of cultural issues that challenge their attitudes and beliefs to reflect multicultural professionalism. Culturally competent professionals play a critical role in reducing health disparities and improving patient outcomes. Because of the expanded emphasis of globalised healthcare and international health concerns, there is a need to develop undergraduate opportunities to develop cultural awareness through reflection and self-directed learning.
TransCoCon, an ERASMUS+ co-funded strategic partnership of five European higher education institutions, focuses upon enhancing cultural awareness and promotion of transcultural competence in the professional context of nursing and healthcare. The project is working towards implementation of 5 interactive multimedia Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) providing an innovative method of teaching for lifelong learning, which can be used for initial nurse education and continuing professional development through an on the spot agile reliable assessment through reflection on and within practice. However, there is little evidence on identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for using reusable learning objects in European healthcare curricula and continuous professional development in order to enhance transcultural sensitivity.
In this paper we conducted a qualitative SWOT analysis, based on experts opinions from 5 different countries, revealing promising expectations for the use of the reusable learning objects in their healthcare curricula, but also identifying possible areas of attention.
The SWOT analysis conducted as a workshop within a TransCoCon training event. Participants were academics from five different institutions from Germany, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and UK. Participants were asked to collaborative decide for the most important items in each category. They produced a list of prioritised items for each SWOT category, when consensus in each category was reached.
The SWOT analysis revealed that the use of reusable learning objects considered as an innovative way of teaching, which can include interactive elements to depict real life scenarios. They can accommodate different learning styles, while motivation of the students to be engaged could be higher by their use. Each reusable learning object aims for the learners to achieve one learning objective through it. This might be identified as a weakness, if it is not used within the appropriate context, and might lead to superficial learning. Opportunities arises for a modern healthcare curriculum encompassing new teaching methods using the reusable learning objects and inclusion in courses preparing healthcare students for international mobility pointed out. On the other side, participants identified the use of technology as a potential threat, especially to academics that are not aware of the benefits of the use of reusable learning objects as blended learning into the curriculum.