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Title: A mixed method evaluation of enquiry based learning (EBL) within undergraduate midwifery education in Ireland
Author: Byrne, Anita
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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Introduction: Effective pedagogical approaches within professional education, and specifically within midwifery, are fundamental to the provision of evidence-based, reflexive, life-long learners who win have the capacity to navigate dynamic contemporary practice. Therefore, the evaluation of a midwifery educational intervention such as Enquiry Based Learning, that has the potential to nurture such knowledge, skills and behaviour among students, is both timely and warranted. Research Question: The research question asked; ’how does the introduction of EBL as a pedagogical approach within undergraduate midwifery education impact student engagement, student enjoyment and student learning?' Research Objectives; To identify the specific attributes of Enquiry Based Learning that may enhance or impede student engagement, student learning, student enjoyment and whether, as a pedagogical approach, EBL may enhance and progress student midwives’ epistemic and cognitive development. Research Design: A mixed methods sequential transformative (MMST) design was chosen as the most germane approach for this evaluation. MMST is a ’two phase project with a theoretical lens overlaying the sequential procedures’ (Creswell, 2009, p.212; Creswell et al., 2003). The aim of this theoretical perspective is to shape and direct the research question with the ultimate aim of advocating a call for action and promote change (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 2003). The theoretical lens that guided this evaluation was feminist epistemology or women’s ways of knowing and learning (Belenky and colleagues, 1986). Data Collection Process; This evaluation study had two data collection phases, qualitative phase one followed by quantitative phase two. Participants in this study were 14 first year under-graduate student midwives. Findings: Student views of EBL impact in relation to particular aspects that enhanced their engagement, learning, and enjoyment were identified. Specifically, the aspects of EBL that students articulated as enhancing their engagement, enjoyment and learning were intra-group peer work, autonomous relaxed EBL learning environment, ongoing constructive facilitator feedback, emergent pride in knowledge generation and relevance of knowledge and skills for clinical practice. The aspects that proved less educationally effective were detailed as Initial mind-set shift required for active learning praxis, group dysfunction issues and intergroup presentation of knowledge and skills. However, when questioned directly about their enjoyment of the approach, student responses were less affirming than anticipated. Results related to overall enjoyment of EBL portray a general position of ambivalence towards the approach. For some students at least, EBL may appear to be less than the sum of its parts. When mapped against Belenky and colleague's (1986) Women's Ways of Knowing theoretical framework, findings suggest that the core educational tenets of EBL that students found effective, may also promote and enhance the development of women's epistemic and cognitive perspectives.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available