Enhancing cultural sensitivity in sexual and reproductive health care among midwives with Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL): A mixed method evaluation study
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Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Faculty of Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions, Birzeit University, Birzeit, Occupied Palestinian Territories
Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Berit Mortensen   

Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A202
Midwives globally are serving women with a great variety of ethnical backgrounds and cultures. Counselling women in sexual and reproductive health requires a sensitive approach regarding individual experiences and needs, which is also reflected by the person’s cultural background. The Norwegian funded project Midwifery Research and Education Development (MIDRED) is a collaboration between Universities in Ghana, Palestine, and Norway, that started up during the Covid-19 pandemic. To enable the collaboration despite travel restrictions we piloted a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program in Women’s Health - Sexual and reproductive Health (WH-SRHR), based on the curriculum of the International WH-SRHR course at the master’s program in Midwifery at Oslo Metropolitan University. The course has a study load of five credits in the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). We anticipated that involving midwives from different parts of the world would give an opportunity for all to be introduced to and share various cultural approaches to the topic. For University of Ghana and Birzeit University the synergy of the experience was meant to help the development of a similar local course for midwives in their region. The course used blended learning, combining online videos, texts, and quizzes (moocs) with face-to-face lectures and discussions on zoom. It also had a component of practical training in providing contraceptive counseling. Teachers from all the three involved universities gave lectures and joined in online group discussions. The three-weeks course included mandatory assessments and a home-exam. To prepare for the exam the students developed their own research question and were offered teacher supervision in the process. The first pilot course was conducted in 2021 and the second pilot course in 2022. The design of the second pilot course was revised based on students and teachers’ evaluations from the pilot in 2021. The aim of this study is to evaluate if the design of the COIL and the experience of transforming a regular onsite course to an international online collaboration learning program can enhance midwives’ cultural knowledge when providing sexual and reproductive health care.

Material and Methods:
To evaluate the pilot process, we will use mixed methods in analyzing data from the two years. Numbers of students and teacher’s attendance will be presented, as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis from the students’ individual voluntary evaluations and focus group discussions of the teachers’ experiences. We will also present learning analytics to evaluate how the students used the online material as a part of the course.

The results from analysis are still in progress and will be presented orally at the 7th EMA Education Conference.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
The Midwifery Research and Education Development (MIDRED) project (reference number 70320) by Norwegian Agency for Development (Norad), through the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research NORHEDII.
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