Abstract of presentation given at the Festival of Learning, Edinburgh Napier University, 30-31st March 2010 (http://www.health.heacademy.ac.uk/scevents/fol/fol2010)

minefacebook.jpgOh my Blog ! Flipping, Facebook ! Strategies to enhance communication and collaboration in an Erasmus Mentoring Project across four European partners
Alex Chapman, Caroline Reid

‘MINE’: ‘Mentoring in Nursing in Europe’, is an Erasmus funded Intensive Programme, coordinated by Middlesex University, in collaboration with the University of Malta, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and the University of Florence.

The programme aims to engage nursing students, clinicians and academics in co-operative enquiry, and to establish a community of learners to explore the mentorship of Erasmus nursing exchange students in practice. Drawing upon the experiences of nursing exchange students and their mentors, a key endeavor of the programme is the creation and development of ‘toolkits’ to support exchange students and their European practice mentors and thus enhance practice learning.

Working together over a fifteen week period, but with only two of these as a direct contact event where all participants meet, required the development of alternative strategies to enhance the groups’ collaboration and communication. To these ends, a range of web 2.0 technologies were adopted.

Facebook was used as a pre-event platform to facilitate introductions and promote interaction amongst the group. Digital technologies such as ‘Flips’ (DV Cameras) were used to capture significant moments and create enhanced blogs to share reflections. The ‘toolkits’ developed were disseminated via a project wiki. Ultimately, individual learning experiences were captured, and shared, in the form of digital narratives.

This ‘trigger’ presentation will highlight the triumphs and challenges of introducing web 2.0 technologies to facilitate communication and collaboration amongst this diverse enquiry group. Reference to, and grounding of discussion in the context of this collaborative Erasmus Mentorship project, will also be outlined.

Contact: Caroline Reid or Alex Chapman