Writing group meeting minutes Friday 4th July

· Bibliography

Present: On campus- Marion, Gail, Rachel, Kathleen & Joe- Via Skype: Claire, Mary & Mamdooh

Purpose of meeting- Presentation of Robert Brown’s Eight Questions Abstracts

Rachel Hurford, (in dyad with Kathleen Greenway) working title The Most Effective Initiatives that Can be Used to improve Nutrition for Older Hospitatlised Patients.
Rachel explained that the impetus for her dissertation project was sparked by a placement in a Swedish hospital. It had struck her that simple strategies were being utilised to create nursing focus around patient mealtimes. She had not observed these during her UK placements but wanted to explore thorough a literature review the possibility of implementing some similar initiatives within the UK context. The target journal is Essentials of Care, which is an International journal focused on the care of older people. There is a call for articles on nutrition in a special edition of the journal in 2015.

Feedback from the group:

Mary: Add more regarding the origins about why you have chosen this in your resources list. Make it clear that it goes beyond personal opinion so try and relate to policy directives in order to  keep it strategic.

Claire: What remains unresolved section: additional training and cost implications , if its not happening here would it not be better to fund that training , could you argue a case for this?

Mary: be bolder in posing your work as filling a gap in our knowledge make it appeal to management too especially regarding  economics and cost benefits

Marion: WeNurses might be a good audience -you will find them on Twitter, you can certainly use social media to promote your topic.

Its a really clear question that you have posed but be explicit about what do you mean by older person? Also perhaps think about the words effectiveness and initiatives and what these words imply. You are argiung for an excellent set of recommendations.

excellent set of recommendations

Gail: widen your audience and don’t call it is systematic review. There was group discussion about previous journal feedback, who don’t regard a student dissertation project as a systematic review , Mary suggests that an alternative is a focused literature review. Gail suggests to also argue for the costs of not carrying out the recommendations.

resource: the even  greater cost of not doing it, think of ramifications/press/ etc


Joe: Contextualise  the article from the outset and as it is an  International journal- compare and contrast between other countries ( include transatlantic) or WHO nutritional stance/standard

Style: Change title  to initiatives to improve nutrition for older hospitalised patients

cut it down- be punchy.

section 6 – cut down to the 1 sentence allowed really nail down to what it is that summarize your article.


2. Claire Gibbs & Ann Foley (in quartet with Marion Waite & Jan Davidson-Fischer) working title TBC. The focus of  the proposed article is  based upon the experiences of Claire and Ann when they took on the roles of online teaching assistants in modules on the MSc Nursing Studies programme at Oxford Brookes University. These were modules that both Claire and Ann had successfully completed, previously. Claire explained that they both felt that had gained more than they anticipated in taking on these roles and had received very positive feedback from learners and the teaching teams for their input. Both used the experiences to successfully complete an Independent Study module. They are very motivated to disseminate their experiences and are aiming at either at a ‘student as producer’ themed journal or Nurse Education Today.

Feedback from the group:

Mary suggested that the topic is really crucial and timely and wondered about a link with employability?  Marion explained that the MSc in Nursing helps to focus participants on the enhancement of their careers. Many of the students will  aspire to a  senior role in clinical practice or to develop a career in higher education (HE). Part of enhancing the student experience is to give them opportunities thorough and beyond the curriculum to develop related skills. Part of the code of practice of being a nurse  is to  be a teacher and this is not confined  to the HE  setting.  In practice it involves mentorship of learners, and patient education, so an opportunity to be a teaching assistant on a  HE module aims at mastery of the teaching role.

Mary suggested that a colleague who is based at Coventry University would make an ideal critical friend as they have published a lot within related areas.  Mary will forward contact details.

Mamdooh, commented that students as change agents have an important role and that this sounds very similar to his own experiences as informal peer mentor for International students.

Gail: didn’t get a sense of what sort of piece of writing it was going to be.. why is this important ? Try and be more confident and clear about the message that is being conveyed.

Rachel: whats the audience ? This was explained as HE practitioners and learners who may want to develop similar roles

Kathleen- Is this a new role created for you? Is it innovative?
Whats aspect of online learning- i.e was there a focus? was there a hypothesis? or  were you open to ‘blue skies’?

Marion:  One of the modules is seen as challenging by learners and it can feel very troublesome for the  teaching staff. Having a student teaching assistant appeared to be a catalyst for transformation. The role was almost a stepping  stone between teachers and learners and gave a sense of the importance of being able to offer a diverse range of research expertise and skills to learners to help them develop research proposals which is the assessed output for the module. The module evaluations were very abundant with positive feedback  and learners achieved good marks. The role supported good levels of student engagement.

Joe: what is a an online teaching assistant? please define.  What genre of academic writing you are attempting  here? Single Case study..reflective approach. Risk given the number of themes there for the choosing. The issue that is apparent to Joe is what you can add in the role of teaching assistant  as a previous user of an educational experience

Marion explained that enhancing the students experience of distance learners is a current University strategic objective and student teaching assistants may be an initiative that helps to support this.

Joe: identified democratisation of education as a theme because it seemed as though there was potent; democracy between academic staff and learners. Marion explained that student as producer is a current theme , not necessarily student led or student centred but an emphasis on students and teachers working collaboratively on projects and outputs that might influence or develop skills important for future employability.


Using a framework to present abstracts for peer feedback is helpful in focusing proposed  journal articles. Joe’s experience of being a creative writing tutor suggests that it is important to give feedback on style and form in addition to content. Both proposals  as presented today would benefit from thorough editing for superfluous text. Marion asked Joe about the difference between creative writing and academic writing. Joe suggested very little other than academic writing can be more constrained. Joe has recently finished his undergraduate nursing dissertation on the topic of what people who are dying write about. Everyone considered this to be a fascinating topic and suggested to Joe to consider a potential output aimed at publication and made suggestions about potential dyad partnerships to take this forward. The group also discussed Mandooh’s proposed publication output which is focused upon dissertation supervisory experiences of post graduate International students aimed at The Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching (BEJLT).  There is an interesting link with the informal role that James Okoli took on to support International students and Marion suggests that the proposed article could be strengthened with collaboration with James and Gail.

There is definitely a sense of progression and confidence within the group as we are incorporating new members and able to feel as though we can support them to write about diverse and more far reaching topics.

Next meeting 31st July 2-3.30pm BST, contact mwaite@brookes.ac.uk if you would like to attend (on-campus or virtually).

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