R. Collins, O. Daly

University College Dublin (IRELAND)
This paper discusses a project intended to engage of final year undergraduate nursing students in their own learning following the introduction of blended learning. Previously, the students had undertaken a traditional face-to-face classroom delivery for a module on Teaching and Learning. Attendance at lecturers was poor and interaction between the lecturer and students was limited.

A constructivist approach was taken to develop a module that combined the theory of teaching and learning with its practice in the clinical area. Using Vygotsky’s concept of the ‘zone of Proximal learning’ which is the potential a student can achieve given the guidance of a teacher and the collaboration of others, the module focussed the learning sessions on scenarios where students worked in groups to achieve an answer to the problems within the scenarios. The core of the module is a e-learning package on preceptorship/ mentorship in clinical learning. Built around this, is a series of face-to-face group work sessions, short lectures, blogs and an online reflective journal.

Following these changes class attendance rose to almost 100%. Student evaluations show that students this method of teaching supported student learning and that students had a clear understanding of what was expected of them. They also reported that they felt supported by teaching staff while undertaking this module. Overall, the project is deemed to be successful and will continue to be offered for future students.