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RGU researchers scoop I-Tech Award


Researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have scooped a prestigious award for their innovative work to help students improve their performance in clinical settings.

Gavin Innes, Fiona Culligan, Caroline Wood and Peter Baker.Fiona Culligan, Caroline Wood, Gavin Innes and Peter Baker received an I-Tech Award from JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland which aims to help learning providers improve performance and efficiency through the use of technology.

Their project entitled, ‘Using digital video recordings of simulations for self-evaluation,’ assessed the use of digital footage of clinical simulations.

The research won the Learning and Teaching category at the I-Tech Awards and was described by judges as “a really innovative and scalable way of allowing large numbers of students to view videos of their own performance.”

In 2011, lecturer Fiona Culligan teamed up with Caroline Wood, Senior Lecturer for Clinical Skills Development, to investigate if videoing the students during their clinical simulation scenarios and its use as feedback had a positive or negative effect upon their perceptions of their own performance.

Mrs Culligan said: “We’re all very proud that our project has been recognised at the I-Tech Awards. A lot of work has gone in to the research and it’s great to have established a representative data set which highlights that students do place a value on viewing their video footage.”

More than 120 students took part in the research which involved participation in a clinical simulation, recorded using the Scotia Medical Observations and Training System (SMOTS), followed by immediate face-to-face feedback from their lecturer.

Previously, nursing students received immediate verbal feedback from lecturers following their clinical simulation. However, it was found that participants were often anxious and found it difficult to engage in discussion.

Although the simulations were recorded in the past, students didn’t always have the opportunity to view their footage due to the large number of students involved.

With the help of Gavin Innes, eLearning Adviser and Peter Baker, Clinical Skills Centre Technical Services Officer, the video footage was uploaded to RGU’s Media Library and made available on the Virtual Learning Environment “CampusMoodle” for each student to access their own footage privately.

Students were then invited to complete an online questionnaire and attend a focus group. The research team found:

  • A total of 70% of students viewed their digital footage
  • More than 91% of students thought that viewing the video footage and feedback had enhanced their learning experience and 85% want to view future simulation footage
  • Viewing the digital footage of the simulation at a later date improved students’ perception of their performance

Mrs Culligan added: “As a result of large nursing cohorts, time spent on clinical simulation scenarios can be limited especially for students receiving face-to-face feedback from lecturers.

“However, the video footage adds significant value to their learning experience and to improve upon this we also wish to pursue the possibility of allowing students to use footage within their e-portfolios in order to reflect and demonstrate their learning.”

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport