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R. Gurbutt

University of Bolton (UNITED KINGDOM)
Innovation and leadership education requires students to develop their creative approaches to thinking, especially in healthcare settings that are resource constrained, outcome focused and subject to continual change. Public healthcare settings are often complex, resource limited busy environments subject to workforce shortages that are challenging for front line healthcare leaders, especially when it comes to leading others through change. A leadership and innovation module undertaken by advanced practitioners included a segment on motivating others. A novel approach was designed to help students to move from surface learning through a lecture approach and towards gaining deeper learning through immersion in research activity to generate a model of motivation relevant to a healthcare setting.

The intervention was a day long activity in which 30 students were invited to participate in research study to develop a model of motivation. This had three key steps: generating a description of motivation, inductively generating a model of motivation and finally representing that as a conceptual model and critically discussing it. The tutor role was as facilitator and the students co-produced a model. An individual semi-structured qualitative questionnaire about motivation was completed before the session and also an evaluation questionnaire on completion. Ethical approval was granted by the University of Bolton Faculty research ethics chair.

The activity added value to the students' learning in several ways: research design, reflexivity and real world application. It introduced students to research enquiry, including identifying potential questions, devising a methodology and generating an answer to the question. This illustrated a process that they would encounter if they progressed to undertake an empirical dissertation. Students gained deeper insights into their standpoint and how they shaped data interpretation as well as triangulation to confirm meaning attributed to stages during data analysis. Deeper learning was developed through a critical discussion of the concepts, their interrelationships and application of the class generated model to the real world of healthcare practice. In this way students developed critical thinking skills about approaches to motivating others. Subsequent learning introduced existing motivation models and a focus for critical discussion of their merits in relation to the class generated version. Student evaluation demonstrated a range of benefits gained through the experience including peer learning, transferable skills and developing critical thinking.

Learning about innovation demands tutor modelling of innovative practice - in this case facilitating healthcare students to learn through a collaborative research process, so that value is added to classroom sessions and students can take forward both subject knowledge and critical thinking development as well as a learning approach that could be used by themselves to develop this within their own teams.