Enquiry-based learning in undergraduate midwifery education
Enquiry-based learning (EBL) describes an environment in which learning is driven by a process of enquiry owned by the students. Starting with a scenario or an object as a trigger, and with the guidance and support of a teacher as facilitator, students identify their own topics and learning needs. They examine the resources needed to research the topic/s, thereby acquiring the requisite knowledge. In this way, knowledge gained is more readily retained because it has been acquired through experience and in relation to real problems. Accordingly, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their group to organise and direct the learning process. Advocates of problem-based learning (PBL) and EBL claim that these approaches help to enhance content knowledge; and foster the development of communication, team-working, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skills. The paper considers the concept of EBL and its use in under-graduate midwifery education, within the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work (NMS) at The University of Hertfordshire, and discusses some of the advantages and limitations of its application.