Student Led Clinical Skills Drop-In Sessions
Deb Rowberry Lecturer in Nursing
College of Human and Health Sciences
Cath Williams, Piers Meynell, Lauren Williams.
Until recently, the teaching and learning of clinical skills invariably occurred at the patients’ bedside or other clinical areas, augmented by small and large group teaching in the classroom and lecture theatre. The traditional approach to learning, in which educators continually provided students with information that had to be memorised, is out-dated and we need to offer students creation, innovation and an awareness to ensure learning continues to be stimulating and challenging. Clinical Skills Drop In sessions were started in response to student feedback that they wanted a flexible approach to learning as well as that timetabled (NSS 2016). It was initially tutor led which met the needs at that time; it has evolved since then to incorporate students on other programmes where they have shared knowledge and information with each other to the current picture, which sees it majority student led sessions that they have requested and have control over. The sessions are delivered in response to student requests; an appropriate student of experience and knowledge as well as an interest in this area is then approached to deliver. Likewise a student can put forward an idea for a session based on their interests and outside training/information they have had and pass this on to others that are interested. This is in an attempt to make learning personalised and student focussed not merely student led (Prain, Cox & Deed 2013).
Personalised learning is encouraged where possible and has documented links to student satisfaction, improved student engagement and academic attainment (Prain, Cox & Deed, 2013). The sessions receive positive feedback from those attending and those leading. We see students identifying their own knowledge gaps and practical skills confidence levels and actively seeking out ways to address these. The sessions allow low to mid fidelity skills to be practiced as well as a variety of other learning that students want to pass on to their peers. Students of all years, fields and programmes lead and attend the sessions and enjoy the integration this provides. Where students feel less confident to lead they have teamed up with a like-minded peers to deliver sessions together or as part of a team.
We are now at a new phase where we not only intend to continue to assess the students’ needs and take on board their requests and continue to offer the service, but hope to have designated space to perform the sessions as well as looking at how we can improve the experience digitally with the use of a QR coding system for those unable to attend or who would like the information and resources in a different format to support their learning.
I would ideally like presentation format as there will be 3 presenters, myself and 2 students. Although this piece talks of Skills Drop In Sessions for nursing students, the format can be tailored to any programme that has a practical element and therefore, may be beneficial to colleagues in other departments/colleges. I would very much like to be considered for any other format if presentation is not available -thank you.
Student-Led, Skills, Drop-In, Personalised, Confidence
Listen and respond to what your students need. Engage, involve and develop learners.