Sim-versity project was successfully elected one of the projects, which got the funding from British Council in 2017. Very eagerly we started the preparations for the project locally in Finland and planned the first years actions, such as project organization, allocation of the time of the revised budget and e.g. focus group interviews for the healthcare students. We have two teachers from Finland who have been involved in the project and an excellent financial secretary who manages the Erasmus project budgeting and day-to-day accounting very well. In addition to this, we have excellent colleagues who to consult with the cultural know-how, when the needed.
Project partners have collaborated regularly and have created better and more open co-operation relationships that are essential for smooth and productive project collaboration. The project manager is a cultural expert and her expertise is complemented by a number of experts in the project e.g. in simulation learning, geriatric nursing and project competence. In this project, therefore, the competence is intensifying and joining internationally!
In the spring, the project carried out focus group interviews or Café learning events in all partner countries. In Finland, a focus group interviews conducted for healthcare students, standardized patients and healthcare teachers. In total, about 20 people participated in the interviews. The interviews were largely consistent with a generally accepted pattern of differences, but they also exposed different perspectives on the types of difficulties that diversity can cause in the health care sector. This was a good and refreshing finding, because the world, people’s attitudes and work in the health sector do not change in the blink of an eye or from somebody’s command, but from understanding and pervasive attitudes towards humanity and diversity. In focus groups we received a lot of information about how health education training was developed to produce better skills for understanding and professionalism in diversity and culture. We discussed in the focus group e.g. of the themes how does multiculturalism emerge in the field of health care, how to increase multicultural participatory health care and how could multi-culturalism, eg. ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and disability be added to simulation education more than nowadays.
Another major event in the project was to provide the first version of the e-learning environment to be produced in the project. The learning environment is a WordPress web site, a relatively easy-to-use web based content management and management system. The project produces a toolbox of models, simulation exercises and gauges of cultural management and competence assessment. The first in the toolbox has already been exported descriptions of each participating University and will be exported till the end of September some simulation scenarios of the themes of the project; age, ethnicity, gender and disability.
The web-based learning environment enables all material produced in the project to be used publicly and freely at the end of the project. The online learning environment works on mobile devices, tablets and computers, and possibly the material produced in the project is available in English, Finnish and Slovenian. In order to maintain and exploit the material produced by experts in the online environment after the project has ended, it has to be decided during the project how this will be secured. It is a challenging task for the coming months and the whole project. Finally, it can be said, that the most fruitful moments during the first year have been the meetings with other participants via skype and especially face to face meeting in Slovenia!
Best wishes from Finland Marja and Riitta