University of Tasmania

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Unexpected positive consequences of COVID‐19: enhanced nursing student connectedness

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 20:05 authored by Kathleen ToriKathleen Tori, Carey MatherCarey Mather
The unexpected COVID‐19 emergency created multifaceted learning and teaching challenges across the University. Disruption of learning required in preparation for undertaking professional experience was initially particularly problematic; affecting not only student progression but also the ability to undertake clinical practice in healthcare settings. The School of Nursing undergraduate Bachelor students were able to return to campus safely by capitalising on a team‐based approach; underpinned by consistency of bi‐directional communication to ensure that staff, students and facilitators were kept informed. Ensuring equity of access, a return to campus protocol (University of Tasmania, 2020) was implemented across multiple campuses simultaneously to avoid geographical disadvantaging of students. Augmenting the on‐campus experience was a rapid transition of the theoretical curricula to an online delivery (Mather et al., 2020). The flipped classroom approach proved successful and surpassed the expectations of all stakeholders. In simulation sessions, social distancing precautions coupled with reduced student to staff ratios, enabled student‐centred teaching moments. Students experienced personalised one‐on‐one learning within dedicated simulation workshops that encouraged greater interactions between facilitator and student which were previously unavailable (Saunders et al., 2020). Frequent shorter sessions were held, and student feedback was positive regarding connectedness with peers and staff within the smaller teaching groupings. This presentation describes the enhanced student engagement, connectivity, and positive teaching experience for staff. Additionally, the unintended positive consequences for nursing students undertaking learning and teaching during ‘COVID’, will be explored.



School of Nursing


University of Tasmania

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Event title

Teaching Matters 2020 – Learning in 2021: strengthening connections

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Higher education; Nursing

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