• The impact of an enhanced assessment tool on students’ experience of being assessed in clinical practice: a focus group study

      Haigh, Jacquelyn; Dearnley, Christine A.; Meddings, Fiona S. (2007-04)
      As part of a CETL funded project (ALPS 2006) 29 student midwives and their link lecturers were given an electronic version of a clinical portfolio on hand held computers (PDAs). These devices were used during an eight week clinical practice placement to record tripartite assessment interviews and to facilitate grading of the placement. Three focus groups conducted at the end of the placement explored the concept of clinical practice assessment and the impact of the electronic portfolio on the students’ experience of clinical practice and its assessment. Data was analysed from an activity theory perspective in that the electronic assessment tool was viewed as an artefact mediating situated knowing about student assessment in a particular socio-historical context. Findings suggest that students perceive clinical assessment as contested with different assessors having different understandings of it. However the electronic devise facilitated changes to the assessment tool. These changes promoted a shared understanding of the assessment process which was pragmatic and acceptable to students and clinicians. The significance of this study is that it highlights the role of assessment tools in creating a shared understanding of the assessment process rather than simply articulating that understanding.
    • Using mobile technologies for assessment and learning in practice settings: a case study.

      Dearnley, Christine A.; Haigh, Jacquelyn; Fairhall, John R. (2008)
    • Using Mobile Technologies for Assessment and Learning in Practice Settings: Outcomes of Five Case Studies

      Dearnley, Christine A.; Taylor, J.D.; Hennessay, S.; Parks, M.; Coates, C.A.; Haigh, Jacquelyn; Fairhall, John R.; Riley, K.; Dransfield, M. (2009)
    • Vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC): exploring women's perceptions

      Meddings, Fiona S.; MacVane Phipps, Fiona E.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie; Haigh, Jacquelyn (2007)
      Aims and objectives.  This study was designed to complement local audit data by examining the lived experience of women who elected to attempt a vaginal birth following a previous caesarean delivery. The study sought to determine whether or not women were able to exercise informed choice and to explore how they made decisions about the method of delivery and how they interpreted their experiences following the birth. Background.  The rising operative birth rate in the UK concerns both obstetricians and midwives. Although the popular press has characterized birth by caesarean section as the socialites’ choice, in reality, maternal choice is only one factor in determining the method of birth. However, in considering the next delivery following a caesarean section, maternal choice may be a significant indicator. While accepted current UK practice favours vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) in line with the research evidence indicating reduced maternal morbidity, lower costs and satisfactory neonatal outcomes, Lavender et al. point out that partnership in choice has emerged as a key factor in the decision-making process over the past few decades. Chaung and Jenders explored the issue of choice in an earlier study and concluded that the best method of subsequent delivery, following a caesarean birth, is dependent on a woman's preference. Design and methodology.  Using a phenomenological approach enabled a holistic exploration of women's lived experiences of vaginal birth after the caesarean section. Results.  This was a qualitative study and, as such, the findings are not transferable to women in general. However, the results confirmed the importance of informed choice and raised some interesting issues meriting the further exploration. Conclusions.  Informed choice is the key to effective women-centred care. Women must have access to non-biased evidence-based information in order to engage in a collaborative partnership of equals with midwives and obstetricians. Relevance to clinical practice.  This study is relevant to clinical practice as it highlights the importance of informed choice and reminds practitioners that, for women, psycho-social implications may supersede their physical concerns about birth.