The development of a blended course focusing on the self-regulation of a cohort of student midwives through peer-learning
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Midwifery Department, Department Healthcare, Design & Technology, Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Educational development service, Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Department Healthcare, Design & Technology, Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Department of Public Health, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Florence D’haenens   

Midwifery Department, Department Healthcare, Design & Technology, Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Brussels, Belgium
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A188
Metacognitive skills are increasingly important and are considered as one of the 21st century skills. Students with strong metacognitive skills are masters of their own learning process: they are able to learn, unlearn and relearn. Metacognition is the performance to think about one’s own thinking. Metacognitive skills deal about strategies that the student can use to complete her/his tasks: for example, planning, (self-)evaluation and monitoring. Metacognition is an important transversal skill for today’s employers1-2. Self-regulation is a cyclical process in which the student assesses, plans, monitors and adjusts his/her own learning activities in an independent way, based on previous experiences and feedback within a specific learning context. Self-regulation includes that a student is able to reflect on her/his learning process and her/his approach. It also implies that the student adopts the received feedback and previous experiences into a next preparation phase3. Moreover, there are essential skills that students must master in order to reach self-regulation, including (meta)cognitive skills. According to Devlies, cognitive skills, together with metacognitive skills, contribute to the most to self-regulatory skills4-6. Peer learning is an interactive & instructional model allowing students to develop their metacognitive skills & consequently contributing to self-regulation. Learning from each other and supporting each other by sharing, reading & giving feedback on each other’s texts and assignments give the students the opportunity to concentrate in an active way on their self-regulation skills. They work this out in a structure way through evaluation criteria, but also freely, through discussions in online or face-to-face synchronous teaching moments7. These challenges demonstrate the societal and educational importance to train bachelor students towards self-regulating young professionals. These future health professionals are able to estimate and adjust their own performance, according to the expected standards. The aim of our project was therefore to develop a digital, blended educational course focusing on self-regulation of a cohort of students enrolled in the bachelor midwifery of a Flemish University of Applied Sciences and Arts located in Brussels, Belgium.

Material and Methods:
The Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (ADDIE) approach8 was used as a framework for the development of the digital, blended educational course. All the midwifery students enrolled in the blended course ‘Evidence Based Midwifery: empowering the midwifery profession’ received instructions to train their feedback literacy. These instructions were given in advance and through the blended course. Their assessment literacy was also trained by using structured evaluation criteria, which they could consult any time through the blended course.

In the analysis phase learning goals and objectives were identified and information about what the students already knew and what they needed to learn was gathered. In the design phase informed decisions were made about creating the learning program, including specific learning objectives, content structure, mental processes needed by the students, retention of knowledge or skills, time management, and peer-learning. The development phase involved constructing the blended course based on the decisions took in the previous phase. During the implementation phase the blended course was created, tested and approved in an iterative process. In the evaluation phase, the blended course’s effectiveness and clarity were assessed for the students. Information was gathered to revise and improve the course and assignments with peer feedback. The extent to which students grew in their self-regulating skills was measured by reflective assignments that required them to describe their own learning process.

The blended course is still running until June 2023. The authors expect to draw conclusions about optimizing the course, the assignments using peer-feedback, and evaluating self-regulation skills during the first semester of the next academic year.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Voorsprongfonds for colleges and universities, project digital didactics and examinable learning materials.
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