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Durham 3-5 Sept 2002
A personal review by Rod Ward

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The Flexible Learning theme was in the Pennington room with a lovely view of Durham Cathedral. The theme convener was Liz Clark - Head of Lifelong Learning at the RCN Institute, who kept everyone to time & encouraged questions and discussion. Liz Clark
Nalini Jairath The keynote speaker for the flexible learning theme was Nalini Jairath, Associate Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore, USA who discussed On-line Nursing academic education : issues and strategies for development and implementation. Nalini covered many topical issues, from validation/accreditation to "cyber-cheating" It was interesting to see that many of the issues were the same worldwide whether they related to hardware and software or pedagogical considerations.

The ensuing discussion covered several topics raised and focused on a tension between the anytime, anyplace and at the students own pace view of web based education and the time and organisational constraints imposed by course regulation and support.
Liz Pascoe The first theme paper was by Chris Coakley and Liz Pascoe from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University, who described Flexible entry via APL into pre-registration nursing. This new development had been designed for HCA's working at BMI healthcare to receive credit for their NVQ level 3 work and undertake a shortened pre-registration course.
Some of the difficulties in contract negotiation and course organisation were addressed.
Chris Coakley
Janet Gillan The next paper by Janet Gillan and Chris Coakley, again from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University, considered The challenges of a flexible part-time pre-registration diploma of nursing course. The paper set out in a humorous & realistic way many of the issues and "challenges" which had been faced in the introduction of this course. Personal vignettes were used to show the background of the student cohort and some of the "rule bending" which has been necessary to achieve a family friendly approach for those with disadvantaged backgrounds.
After the theme papers there was an opportunity to hear core papers from other themes. The first one I managed to fit in around trying to sort wires for my presentation and checking my email etc. was Talking multiprofessional: Shared learning in a research and evidence-based practice awareness and development programme by Paula Ormandy, Karen Holland, Michelle Howarth and Joan Livesley from the school of Nursing at Salford University. Joan in her well delivered presentation discussed a short module they had delivered and evaluated which was designed to increase research awareness and capacity in a local trust. Joan Livesey
Brian Green The second core paper from another theme I managed to catch was by Brian Greenand Colleagues from the University of Central Lancashire and Burnley Healthcare NHS Trust describing The Partnership Project: Bringing together education and services to enhance the student experience. Brian described the improvement inn communication between the school and the local trusts. This along with the funding and appointment senior nurses as practice placement facilitators (PPF) improved the clinical learning experience for students.

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Page created: 3.9.02

Page last updated: 5.9.02