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Alison Power, Associate Professor (Learning and Teaching), Senior Lecturer in Midwifery, FHES

Demystifying the Digital World: supporting midwifery students to develop digital competence and confidence

Presentation at: Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase 4th February 2022

To meet Professional Standards for pre-registration midwifery education, ‘technology-enhanced [and simulated] learning opportunities’ (NMC, 2019a:10) are embedded in the curriculum in a first-year module which aims to develop students’ digital and technological literacy.

At the start of the module students undertake self-assessments of digital competency using three online platforms (UoN’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), the NHS IT Skills Pathway ‘Digital Learning Solutions’ (DLS) and the JISC ‘Building Digital Capability’ website) to identify their digital learning needs. All three platforms then offer a suite of e-learning packages for students to complete, targeting their areas for development. The module is largely delivered online and uses a range of innovative and dynamic learning and teaching approaches for students to engage with both synchronously and asynchronously.

The first cohort to complete the module were asked about their experiences via an online survey and all respondents agreed that the module had been successful in its aim of developing their digital confidence and competence.

The recording of the event is available to view

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There are a range of tools available for new and existing enrolled students to contribute towards development of digital capability. The three listed below are key starting points. A video introduction to this posting is also available.

1) Rate your digital fitness

This will provide a quick overview of your digital strengths and areas for development. A personal report will be generated which will allow you to track improvements over time. For more details see –

2) The “Student Introduction to NILE (Ultra)” site on the Organisations tab on NILE

NILE (Northampton Integrated Learning Environment) is a online base for most of your course. This site provides a basic introduction to NILE. You will find the site listed in the “Organisations” area after logging into NILE.

Image showing location of the Introduction to NILE resource

3) LinkedIn for Learning Resources

LinkedIn Learning will be a resource that you will return to regularly over your student journey. It will help you develop the generic skills that will improve your ability to produce academic level assignments as well as develop digital skills specific to your chosen field. We believe the sooner you get familiar with using LinkedIn Learning the quicker you will be able to produce high quality work. For more details see

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In July, the Learntech team posted information about rethinking the way in which inductions are handled. This was also suplemented with some top tips for staff as they prepare for the new academic year.

The information below builds on this with more recent information for staff who will be using technology in the context of their module.

As you plan your induction for students there are some key items of information of which you / your students need to be aware, that will help ease their progression into the University.

Accounts: All students at enrolment will be provided with a username and password for their University account, which enable them to access key resources such as the University computers, NILE, and Library materials. Full support is provided in both libraries to help any student log into the systems and access their accounts. Support via phone and email is also available, details are provided at the end of this message.

Students should use their University ID number (shown on the student card) as their username. The password will be their date of birth in a six digit format, followed by the first two letters of the family name (with the first letter being a capital letter and the second letter being in lower case) and followed by the = sign. [This is known as the University login.]

username 31234567
password 081086Fa=
(This example shows what the password would be if the family name is Farmer and the student’s date of birth is 8 October 1986.)

All students need to go to the User Portal, set up their security questions, and change their initial password BEFORE they start to use the main university resources. It is important that they are encouraged to do this, as the initial password is a temporary one and will expire after 15 logins if it is not changed.

NILE: Students may then use their University account to login to NILE. They will then need to add the modules which are relevant to their course to their account. To help with this, tutors need to ensure they provide the exact module code(s) and name(s) to students, so that they can search effectively. Students will also find it helpful to be given some context of how tutors anticipate using NILE within the module, and guidance on the information they can expect to find there.

Training: Staff may request bespoke sessions for particular aspects of Learning Technology or specific use of NILE by using the general enquiry form

Email: The student’s personal email account which they provided at enrolment will be used for all electronic University communication. The student may find which account is being used by the University. A University provided email account is available for those students who do not wish to use their own account for University business. Students who wish to change the email address used by the University will need to contact their relevant Administration Team.

Should any student have a problem with any of the above then they should contact the library either in person or by the main contacts below:

Phone: 01604 893089

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During 2011 we are changing the way we run inductions for Learning Technology. Student feedback indicates that they feel overloaded with information during welcome week, and many either do not attend their designated induction slot, or find they have quickly forgotten the information that we provide. Feedback also tells us that NILE inductions are more helpful when they are hands-on and task-focused, and so a decision has been made to discontinue the demonstration-style ‘overview of NILE’ sessions previously offered during this period.

Changes being made over the summer will simplify the process of getting access to and using NILE:

  • From August 3rd, 2011 NILE will use the same username and password which is used to log on to University computers.
  • Changes made to passwords used to log on to University computers via the central system ( will also update those on NILE.
  • NILE will use the same email address as held centrally by the University

Students are able to check the email address that the University has recorded on the Student Record System.

If the email the University has recorded is incorrect they will need to  contact their Student Admin Team. (Follow the link if you’re not sure how to get in contact with your Schools’ team)

Information on NILE will also be available from library staff, who will be meeting all students during the Deans’ talks on the Monday of Welcome Week to outline what the department has to offer them. They will also be out on the floors in the library for two weeks offering support at point of need.

Additional guidance and information for students will be available from the Help tab on NILE and via the LTSupport email address, and drop-in sessions will be available for any students who feel that they would value more detailed assistance with IT systems – these will be advertised during September. The team will also continue to offer a variety of more in-depth sessions throughout the year working alongside and in response to academic staff.

As always, we recommend that tutors introduce NILE in an integrated way, along with other teaching methods and resources, both in face-to-face sessions and in information packs sent out to new students.

If you feel that this approach does not suit your students needs, then please contact a member of the Learntech team, who will be happy to discuss alternatives.

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