Authors: Marjolein Annen, Cornelia van Slochteren, and Bea Dijkman, Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen
The three Chinese higher education institutions (HEIs) in the GeNEdu consortium are currently developing new, competence-based courses to educate competent gerontological nurses who can address the healthcare needs of older people in the ageing Chinese society.
In our previous blog post, we introduced the competences that form the basis of the new courses: students learn about providing gerontological care, organisation of gerontological nursing care, communication and collaboration, health promotion, professional behaviour, evidence-based nursing, and lifelong learning. Teaching students these competences entails not only developing knowledge, but also developing skills, attitudes, and values that are needed to be able to apply the competences in different situations in the field of gerontological nursing. To prepare students for this, the learning methods include skills labs, training, simulations, and internships in real life environments such as elderly homes and hospitals. To support their students in competence-based learning, the three Chinese HEIs are building learning labs (=Living labs) in which students can work on developing their competences in a simulated environment. These labs will provide a rich learning environment for the students.
In October 2021, the GeNEdu project provided an online training for teachers on how to use learning labs to educate gerontological nurses. The week-long training was targeted to Chinese teachers from the three higher education institutions on the theme “Integrating digital technologies into gerontological nursing education”. In the daily sessions, examples of how we offer education to students in the Netherlands and in Europe were presented, discussed, and exchanged. The emphasis was on multidisciplinary work in skills labs and on using digital technology to support the learning of skills. In addition, teachers from Hanze and JAMK Universities of Applied Sciences provided an insight into how technology is used in practice and for innovation in elderly care. The training was closed with presentations of the Chinese learning groups about the knowledge and experience gained during the week, including a draft plan on how the Living labs could be designed at their own universities. The next online training is planned for May 2022, when the trials of the Living labs will be executed.