EBL Enquiry Based Learning in the Midwifery Curriculum

Enquiry Based Learning
in the Midwifery Curriculum
Maz Peace, Cathy Hamilton, Sam Janda-Schwab
Francesca Entwistle
What is Enquiry Based Learning ( EBL)?
• Originates from educational philosophy of
‘problem based learning’.
• Discussion around a problem is the stimulus for
student-directed learning
• EBL adopts a broader approach with enquiry
around a topic area rather than a problem
• Inductive learning is the key factor in both
(Price, 2003; Kahn and O’Rourke, 2004)
Why EBL?
• Student led is believed to foster ‘ deep learning’
(Knight, 2002)
• Collaborative learning encouraged.
• Encourages students to become life-long
learners (Grandis, 2003, Thomas 2007)
• Has been introduced into midwifery curriculum
in other HEIs with positive results (Brown et al,
Large lectures versus Small Groups
The Midwifery Curriculum
• We have adopted a ‘hybrid’ approach
• Linked to modules in each year of the programme
as well as aspects of the shortened programme.
• A trigger is used to develop discussion around
scenarios linked to midwifery practice
• Students identify a ‘chair’ and ‘scribe’ then work in
small groups to identify and fulfil their learning
• Lecturer takes a supportive facilitating role
EBL in the 3 year pre-registration
• Used throughout each year
• Year group usually divided into 6 groups
• Each group undertakes EBL learning through a variety of
triggers - photograph, poem, audio recordings, set of notes
• Discussed within group and then research divided between
group members. Lecturer present to facilitate session
• Timescale – trigger offered one week and feedback
expected the following week.
• Feedback given to each other in class and also via group
“Wiki” on StudyNet
EBL for distance learners
• Very ‘Hybrid’ approach which unconventionally
allows individual and group work approaches
• ‘Triggers’ are created within aspects of directed on
line learning
• Trigger examples include - online newspaper
reports, YouTube video clips, scenarios and
• Students mostly feed back via Wiki’s or discussion
options within StudyNet but, early modules may
allow for feedback during block weeks
EBL within the practice domain
Three year midwifery programme:
Shortened midwifery programme: 8 on-site triggers
Site related scenarios
Students identify their learning needs
Tasks are allocated fairly across student numbers
Students then separate and go off within the site
area to seek out the required information
• Students either reconvene on site to feedback or
feedback electronically
Room availability
Student anxiety
Lack of engagement for some students
Lecturer anxiety
Group dynamics
Staffing resources
• Student centred
• Students taking responsibility for their own
learning (mirrors professional practice)
• Deep learning fostered
• Philosophy of adult learners
• Creative thinking encouraged
• Flexible learning approach
• Satisfying for students and lecturers
• Small group working: interactive
Carl Rogers (1965) stated:
"I know I cannot teach anyone
anything, I can only
provide an environment
in which he can learn."
In Summary:
EBL Group meets
Ground rules
Introduction of
Group identifies Chair
and Scribe for the
Evaluation of group
learning and reflection
on the process
Students identify
- What words do you not know
or understand?
- What do you already know?
-What do you need to know?
-Students present
- Feedback from
facilitator and peers
Self-directed study
-Undertaken in
small groups or
-Exploration of
Adapted from
The City University
(Goreham, 2007)
Let’s try it …….
Feedback and discussion…
Thank you…
…from the midwifery team
Brown, S., Wilkins, C., Leamon, J., Rawnson, S. (2008). Student
midwives’ views of enquiry based learning: the BUMP study. British
Journal of Midwifery, 16 (5) 302-305.
Grandis, S. (2003). Foundation studies for nursing: using enquirybased learning. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan,
Kahn, P. & O’Rourke, K. (2004). Guide to curriculum design: Enquirybased learning. London: Routledge
Knight, P.(2002) A process approach to curriculum making to support
complex learning. LTSN :Generic Centre May 5-6
Price, B. (2003) Studying nursing using problem- based and enquirybased learning. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Rogers, C. 1965, Client-centred Therapy (Houghton-Mifflin