Empathy and Dignity through technology: using lifeworld‑led multimedia to enhance learning about the head, heart and hand


  • Andy Pulman
  • Kathleen Galvin
  • Maggie Hutchings
  • Les Todres
  • Anne Quinney
  • Caroline Ellis-Hill
  • Peter Atkins


Lifeworld, technology, transprofessional, web, humanising care, healthcare


In 2010, the School of Health and Social Care developed a collaborative lifeworld led transprofessional curriculum for health and social work disciplines harnessing technology to connect learners to a wider view of evidence based practice. The purpose was to increase use of technology‑enhanced learning, introduce lifeworld‑led philosophy to the curriculum, release staff potential, and expose students to research undertaken within the School. Delivered to over 600 undergraduate students from community development, midwifery, nursing fields, occupational therapy, paramedic science, physiotherapy and social work, the Exploring Evidence to Guide Practice Unit was facilitated by a number of resources including lectures, group work and a variety of web‑based learning materials. Central to the unit were seventeen web‑based case studies which included the human experience of the impact of specific illnesses (such as stroke and living with dementia) and more general experiences (such as social isolation and homelessness). Each case study provided stories and poems, qualitative and quantitative research and policy and practice issues related to specific topics. At the heart of the philosophy underpinning the case studies and unit was an opportunity for students to integrate understandings about different kinds of knowledge for practice, conventional evidence, understandings about the persons or service users experience and the students own insights that came from imagining what it was like for the person experiencing a condition or situation and encountering human services (Galvin and Todres 2011). The project built on the successful development of Wessex Bay, a virtual community of case scenarios, used as problem‑based triggers to engage students in learning activities relating to the residents (Pulman, Scammell and Martin 2009). This paper discusses the development of the web based case studies and how they integrated visual and audio materials with the aim of enhancing the lifeworld experience of students.



1 Aug 2012