Empowering Nordic and Baltic midwifery students and teachers in multinational collaborating learning of research
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Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Riga Stradins University, Riga, Latvia
Kauno kolegija Higher Education Institution Kaunas, Kaunas, Lithuania
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway
Novia University of Applied Sciences, Vaasa, Finland
Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Copenhagen Professional Highschool, Copenhagen, Denmark
Stavanger University, Stavenger, Norway
Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Pernilla Stenbäck   

Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A176
The How to Protect Normal Birth project is a multinational project involving students and teachers from 10 midwifery programs in Northern Europe. Students are conducting theses on midwives' perspectives on what constitutes a normal birth and the ways they provide support to labouring women in a hospital setting. Data is collected through interviews analyzed with content analysis. Teachers provide guidance on research methods and encourage student participation. Results have been shared at conferences, fostering mutual learning about international research and midwifery practices. In the current presentation, we evaluate the project as a collaborative learning and teaching method.

Material and Methods:
In 2022, an evaluation of the study as a collaborative teaching method was conducted through a questionnaire distributed to the participating teachers and students. The questionnaire included open-ended questions to encourage reflection on their involvement in the project. The responses were analysed using content analysis.

The results of the evaluation of being part of the project as student midwives and teachers includes the following: 1) Being a part of a multinational study on a fundamental topic as normal birth can be empowering for both students and teachers within midwifery, 2) Engaging in collaborative learning can enhance the research skills of both the student and teachers 3) Students and teachers describe both similarities and differences across counties and settings recognizing the diversity in how normal birth is described and understood by participating midwives. The students´ feedback regarding their involvement in the study was mostly positive. They were exiting to participate in a study closely related to their upcoming profession and highlighted the differences and similarities in midwifery practice across countries and individual midwives. Being part of an international project provided opportunities to network with midwifery students and teachers across borders, and gave them an understanding of research and interview techniques for data collection. They felt empowered to participate in oral presentations at international conferences alongside their teachers. The teachers described how participating in the project provided an opportunity to learn from each other's teaching and supervising methods, and the differences between their respective education programs. To build a positive learning environment and include the students in the project, research and presentations of the findings was described empowering. By embracing such opportunities for collaboration, the teachers included students in international research and gave them an opportunity to learn about normal birth in an international perspective.

Conclusions and further research:
Collaborating learning is empowering for booth students and teachers. The topic, “Normal birth”, is essential and of interest for midwifery and midwifery education. The results from this study will be further analysed by the teachers and published in a scientific journal relevant for midwifery. Teachers are united in the project and will continue with the project including new perspectives on normal birth such as midwifery students´ and the women´s perspectives. The inclusion of students in the project may help shape their perspectives as future midwives and prepare them for the globalized healthcare environment.

We would like to thank student midwives and midwives who are or have participated in the current multinational project.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Nordplus funded project, Finnish National Agency for Education.
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