The Student as Researcher
Embedding a research culture into health professional education
Fiona MacVane, Fiona Meddings, Maria Evans
Literature Search
Apply to practice
Critically analyse
A lecture-based educational model
is an ineffectual way to prepare health care
practitioners required to be problem-solvers with the ability
to evaluate and utilise evidence to inform practice(Amakali 2012).
Andrews and Jones (1996) suggest that problem-solving
skills can be acquired through problem-based learning (PBL)
which is both an educational theory and methodology.
Students develop a co-operative, self-directed and constructivist
learning style rather than learning to be passive recipients of
Information (Creedy et al 1992). MacVane Phipps (2010) suggests
that these skills can be transferred to the clinical setting, creating
a natural alliance between PBL and the ability to use and understand
evidence based practice (EBP). Our PBL curriculum introduces research
skills on day 1 and builds on these throughout the 3 year degree
programme. This is enhanced by elements of team based learning (TBL)
which encourage deep reading, analysis and team negotiations to reach
A spiral curriculum is a concept described by
Harden and Stamper (1999) as an iterative revisiting of
topics, subjects or themes. The approach is much more
complex than mere repetition; instead it enables students
to achieve breadth and depth of knowledge with each turn
of the spiral (Porter and Meddings 2007). Using problem
based learning (PBL) as the driver ensures that curriculum
content is delivered in a way that inspires intellectual
curiosity, nurturing surprise and excitement (Jones and
Oswald 2001). At the same time students must become
proficient in self-assessment, identifying personal strengths
And areas for development.
Research aware
Research active
Amakali K (2012) Motivations for the use of problem based
learning (PBL) for preparation of undergraduate nursing students
for professional competences: A literature review International
Journal of Nursing Science 2(5): 53-57
Andrews M & Jones PR (1996) Problem based learning in an
undergraduate nursing programme: a case study. JAN 23: 357-365
Creedy D, Horsfall J, Hand B (1992) Problem-based learning in
nurse education: an Australian view JAN 17(6): 727-733
Dearnley CA & Meddings FS (2007) Student self assessment and its
impact on learning: a pilot study. NET 27 (4): 333-340
Harden RM & Stamper N (1999) What is a spiral curriculum?
Medical Teacher 21(2): 141-143
Jones R & Oswald N (2001) A continuous curriculum for general
practice? Proposals for undergraduate-postgraduate
collaboration. BJGP 51(463): 135
MacVane Phipps F. (2010) Evidence based practice and problem
based learning: A natural alliance? In Munro J and Spiby H (Eds.)
Evidence Based Midwifery. Chichester:Wiley Blackwell
Porter J & Meddings F (2007) Innovative changes in a UK
midwifery education programme BJM 15 (9): 4

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