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S. Hourican1, D. Lehwaldt1, M. Kelly1, P. Doyle1, M. Glenn1, F. Wiedermann2

1Dublin City University (IRELAND)
2Hanse Institut Oldenburg (GERMANY)
eCoNNECT ‘enhanced Communication iN Nursing through Exchange of Clinical Teaching experiences’ is a project funded by Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships. This project comprises a team from DCU School of Nursing and Human Sciences and Teaching Enhancement Unit and five institutions from across three countries (Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands) to develop an online / blended learning module to enhance nurse-teachers' and students' communication skills used during practice placements.

Development of the module was a new experience for the partners in this project. The first stage was to write the curriculum, which formed a basis for the development of learning materials and teaching methods, in line with the curricular learning outcomes. A central feature was the use of virtual learning including online learning platform, webinars and interactive videos with teaching and assessing scenarios.

This presentation relates to one aspect of the evaluation of the pilot phase of the project, where we ran the module simultaneously across the three project countries. We conducted focus group interviews with a range of stakeholders including 10 members of the project team. Interviews were conducted and video-recorded by webinar. Data were analysed by means of thematic analysis. The findings point towards a number of challenges and obstacles along with positive outcomes during the pilot phase of the project. These are presented under the following themes: Recruitment of Participants; Webinars and Discussion Forums; Roles and Responsibilities; and Learning Materials.

Valuable knowledge was gained from the pilot project with relevance for further development of the online module and for anybody who is interested in running a similar transnational online / blended module across countries with different education systems.