Posted by & filed under co-design, Compassion, Mental Health, midwifery, Midwives, My Research, patient and public involvement, ppi, Publications, Research, work-related stress.

Patient and public involvement or #PPI is defined by INVOLVE (part of, and funded by, the National Institute for Health Research) as: 

“Research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. This includes, for example, working with research funders to prioritise research, offering advice as members of a project steering group, commenting on and developing research materials and undertaking interviews with research participants.”

three person pointing the silver laptop computer

In our latest publication, we explain how patient and public involvement works in maternity service research. Here, we asked childbearing women about their experiences in relation to the workplace wellbeing of midwives. We also asked them how they felt about new research looking to create and test an online intervention designed to support midwives. We did this via a discussion group, where participants were offered refreshments and remuneration for their time. Our aim was to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the perceptions of new mothers in relation to the barriers to receiving high quality maternity care?
  2. What are the perceptions of new mothers in relation to the psychological wellbeing of midwives working in maternity services?
  3. What are the perceptions of new mothers in relation to a research proposal outlining the development and evaluation of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress?

These PPI activities helped us as researchers to do the following:

  • Better understand this research problem from the perspectives of new mothers
  • Validate the direction of future research plans
  • Explore new areas for data collection based on what really mattered to mothers and their babies
  • Improve upon the design of the proposed online intervention based on what really mattered to mothers and babies.

You can read our full methodology via the linked citation below:

Pezaro, Sally, Gemma Pearce, and Elizabeth Bailey. “Childbearing women’s experiences of midwives’ workplace distress: Patient and public involvement.” British Journal of Midwifery 26.10 (2018): 659-669.

This article was launched in the October edition of the British Journal of Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives annual conference in 2018 .

white and black Together We Create graffiti wall decor

Put simply, the findings in relation to what participants said were analysed thematically and turned into meaningful insights or ‘PPI coutcomes’. In this sense, we used a co-design approach to inform the direction of new research. How did this work exactly? See figure below.

Figure 1. Overall findings

Initially, we considered that it may have been useful to include midwives in PPI activities, as they were to be the intended recipients of the intervention proposed. However, INVOLVE briefing notes state that:

“When using the term ‘public’ we include patients, potential patients, carers and people who use health and social care services as well as people from organisations that represent people who use services. Whilst all of us are actual, former or indeed potential users of health and social care services, there is an important distinction to be made between the perspectives of the public and the perspectives of people who have a professional role in health and social care services.”

A such, we could not include midwives in these PPI activities due to them have a ‘professional role in health and social care services’. Nevertheless, as midwives were the intended end users and direct beneficiary of the intervention proposed, we argued that they should “not necessarily be excluded from PPI activities simply because they treat patients”. This debate lends itself to further academic discussion and we welcome ideas on this going forward.

two person standing on gray tile paving

Both national and international strategies and frameworks relating to healthcare services tend to focus on putting the care and safety of patients first , yet these findings suggest that to deliver the best care to new mothers effectively, the care of the midwife must equally be prioritised. As such, we now intend to seek further funding to continue this work and secure excellence in maternity care.

If you would like to follow the progress of work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

I’m participating an evaluation of the EduHack project under the Erasmus+ programme and the course they have developed as part of this project on various aspects of Learning and Teaching in a Digital world. You can find the course here.

I was very impressed with the design of the course, and especially its explicit link-up to the competence framework DigiCompEdu. My first impressions are that the course is well-designed to give a broad overview of the central topics concerning learning and teaching, as well as access to some relevant resources. It is all presented in a clean and concise manner.

Chosen topic: Co-creation

I chose to the topic of “Foster Knowledge Co-creation among students” for further consideration. All courses have a same structure with the sections of Read, Watch, Do and Resources.


Screenshot 2018-11-08 at 22.28.06


The textual information gives a good overview of the concept of knowledge co-creation and the reasons and goals for using this process with students. It also gives some indications of academic literature and structure to use in course design.

The tools recommended are suitable for brainstorming/idea collection etc., but I wonder why other tools focussed more on writing (collaborative documents, wiki) and negotiation (voting tools?) have been excluded in this list.

The videos and the do-activity are illustrative, but I would also have preferred some reflections here from educators who have used co-creation with their students, and the challenges they have faced. For educators who want to try out student co-creation, I think this will be useful to have.

A possible extension to the course might be some way to include not only the brainstorming aspects of co-creation, but also the deeper aspects of understanding (framing, questioning, negotiation, etc.)

The additional resources are certainly an added value to the content.

The Eduhack course seems to be a good offering for educators starting off in digital teaching as well as those looking for more insight into issues concerning digital teaching.



Posted by & filed under #CMALTcMOOC, content curation, digital scholarship, education, knowledge management, learning networks, networked learning, professionals, Social Media.

I was recently contacted with the request to contribute to the internal evaluation of an EU project within the Erasmus+ programme, the project Eduhack, which aims to “improve the skills of teachers-in-training and recently-graduated teachers in developing and delivering eLearning courses, with particular attention to OERs and MOOCs”, with a focus on higher education. So this is what I was asked to do:

  1. Register at the project website and indicate the address of your blog (or set up a new one);
  2. Choose one of the project ‘courses’ within the areas of ‘digital resources’, ‘teaching’, ‘assessment’ or ’empowering learners’;
  3. Read and watch the relevant elements/materials;
  4. Carry out the ‘do’ activity;
  5. Post your results/write up a report on your blog (sic);
  6. Fill in the evaluation questionnaire

Topic: Curate and organise digital resources

As a long-term content curator, I was curious about this topic, so that was my first choice. Each topic/item seems to have a standard structure containing 4 elements: Read, Watch, Do, Resources.

The ‘Read’ element provides a short summary of what content curation is, why you would use it as a teacher in HE, names to possible platforms, and how they can be used. The ‘Watch’ element has two video fragments illustrating the use of curation. The first one has short snippets of interviews with expert curators about the why and how. The second one is a mini-lecture (using a Prezi’) about curating. The ‘Do’ element suggests creating an account on either Pinterest or, or – if you already use Pinterest or – to write a blog post on ‘how you are using or could be using these tools in your teaching’. The ‘Resources’ element on the page contains to links to relevant introductory articles.

My reflection on curation (is also my #CMALTcMOOC specialty)

I have been in the business of digitally-supported learning for about 15 years now, and I am still trying to find the right mix of instruments for curation that fit me best. I have given presentations about content curation both in Dutch and English for colleagues.

  • Starting from social bookmarking, I first had a account until the service ended, and in 2007, I moved over to using Diigo, which I still use in the background, meaning that all my tweets that contain a URL are being stored in my library. Only very rarely do I actively add a bookmark to my library.
  • Since 2004, I have experimented with a blog on (mainly at conferences), but quickly found that I am too ADHD to keep up writing well-thought-out and profound reflections. So my blog has a very uneven history. Recently I moved to this WordPress blog, in an effort to build a portfolio for the CMALT accreditation.
  • So when I discovered tools for content curation, I started using several different platforms, such as Netvibes (since 2007), (since about 2010), and eventually also
    • Netvibes was/is a content collector, where I combined a number of relevant RSS feeds for myself and for my peers and students, trying to bring together academic sources and more popular contributions in a number of domains. With the ‘demise’ of RSS as a broadly used standard, the value of Netvibes in my daily professional practice has all but disappeared.
    • was/is an automatic news-clipping service, which takes the twitter-feeds of my network, and publishes the content of the most popular tweets on a daily or weekly basis. I used this for a short period with my students within a course on Quality of Education where I asked them to tweet and use the course code as a hashtag. The would then harvest all those contributions. Currently, still produces a weekly paper, but admittedly I don’t read it anymore.
    • has become my favourite platform, and I use it regularly, but intermittently. I curate a number of topics (both in English and Dutch), and I have co-curated two topics with colleagues (one on networked learning with Prof. Em. P. Sloep). Co-curation makes very good sense in situations where all teachers are flooded with high workload.
      The educational subscription also allows me to co-curate a topic with students, but I have not started doing that yet. The course that I teach is only a 10-week course, and as such s not really suited for co-curation woth students. I am considering using a co-curated topic with a small group of thesis students, though.
  • My main sharing platform has become Twitter, which suits my ADHD the best. I keep track of what people in my network are tweeting about, and often retweet relevant contributions. If these contributions fit with one or more of the topics that I curate on, then I will add it on, write a short paragraph with a personal opinion or reflection, and then also tweet the link to the post. Currently, this approach works well for me, but I would still like to further explore content co-curation together with colleagues and students.

Tablet view of my interface

Posted by & filed under Classroom Interactivity, e-assessment, moodle.

A recent tweet from Donna Lanclos ABSOLUTELY NAILED my understanding of the perception among many of the E-Learning Team’s role here at Royal Holloway, University of London: <RANT>This limited view of our role compounds the skewed nature of our workload in recent years, where poor resourcing and a lack of effective leadership in IT Services […]

Posted by & filed under e-assessment, GradeMark, moodle, PeerMark, Turnitin.

Background During the 17/18 academic session the School of Law and the E-Learning Team collaborated to explore and ultimately embed the use of technology enhanced peer marking of student work. The aims of this project were varied and reflected the needs of the two departments involved: to enhance, promote and streamline pedagogically sound approaches to […]

Posted by & filed under #ASCILITEMLSIG, CMALT, SOTEL.

This week we cover an overview of digital publishing formats and CMALT portfolio submission requirements. We hope you have enjoyed your participation in #CMALTcMOOC 2018, and although the 7 weeks finishes at the end of this week, this is just the beginning for the community that has been established! We hope that you now have an understanding of what is required for producing a CMALT portfolio, and encourage you to continue working on developing and sharing your portfolios. You are invited to further PD activities such as

You are also invited to take part in a final participant survey to give us feedback. This week we will also host our final Participant Hangout reflecting upon their CMALT cMOOC experience.

cMOOC Feedback Invitation:

We want to get your feedback on how we can improve #CMALTcMOOC. We have an information sheet, consent form, and online survey for your feedback. Also, if you are willing to let us use your CMALT portfolio as an example there is also a portfolio showcase opt-in. The links are:

Info Sheet:

Consent Form:


Portfolio showcase option:

Future Plans

Remember to check out the growing list of examples for the CMALT Portfolio sections in the Project Bank at

While the “Future Plans” section is not assessed you must complete it. This can be as detailed as you like. The purpose of this is to help you plan for your professional development; it will also be useful when preparing to meet your continuing professional development requirement to remain in good standing.

This week we will also look at an overview of digital publishing formats suitable for an ePortfolio to be submitted for CMALT accreditation. Portfolios can be submitted for review by three different dates throughout the year: 31 January, 31 May, and 30 September

CMALT ePortfolio Examples

A list of Australasian CMALT holders can be found at:

Example AUT CMALT portfolios