Monday, October 1, 2007

Midwifery students connecting with each other

The value and potential of blogging for connecting with people who have the same interests or experiences has really been brought home to me in the last few days. I have been keeping an eye on midwifery blogs via iGoogle and my Google Blog Search, which informs me every time a blog entry is made with midwifery as its topic. There aren't too many midwifery blogs out there, but I have come across a number of blogs by midwifery students. It is fascinating (and humorous for me, as a lecturer and OLD midwife) to read the trials and tribulations of the students. And I have to say...thank goodness I'm not going through that! But I have been really struck with how these blogs can act as a portal of information about midwifery and midwifery education in other countries and how supportive they can be to students as they work their way through the various challenges they face. Ideas about international collaborative teaching and support via blogs have been flowing thick and fast. The problem I can see is time constraints. Midwifery students have many demands on their time, not least study and clinical requirements. As many are mature students, they have to juggle family commitments as well. So , if blogging could be worked into the requirements for their assessment, that may inspire them to make use of this form of networking. For example, this sort of international networking would fit in really well with the papers that teach 'midwifery knowledge' eg international midwifery context. I would love to hear from any midwifery educators or students who are interested in exploring this concept further.


Carolyn McIntosh said...

Thanks for carrying on this debate Sarah. I do think that if students are required to maintain blogs then the blogs should form part of the assessment for the student. I do wonder if this could be adapted to assess how students use their blogs as a reflective, learning tool. How they go about investigating issues which arise for them through their blogs and perhaps how they contribute to the learning of others in the group by sharing reflections and resources with them. Perhaps there could be some peer marking involved, i.e. did the other student/s in the group stimulate you to think and reflect on practice? did the the other student/s in the group assist you with your own relections on practice?
I am not sure about any of this of course, these are just some thoughts I am having.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks for that, Carolyn. Its exciting, isn't it, thinking about all the possibilities and will be even more exciting putting them into practice.