Ripples Across the Pond

Aims of the project

  1. To develop cross cultural communication skills amongst nursing students.
  2. To gain insight into international practice and the evidence base behind nursing practice.
  3. To compare and contrast assessment skills cross culturally in nursing practice.
  4. To examine how mental health services are delivered in the US and the UK; differences and similarities. This will enhance the students awareness and understanding of globalised mental health practice.
  5. To analyse and problem solve strategies for working with mental health, from diagnostic measurements and treatment protocol’s and explore each country’s approach.
  6. To exchange and examine cultural perspectives and the legal framework when caring for people that suffer from mental health difficulties.

Types of Learning Activities

Students are given a number of case studies in relation to Mental Health Care, students are then divided into discussion groups in forums and are able to discuss share and consider mental health assessment care and delivery in the context of the UK and US mental health systems and services.

Interaction Modes

Due to time zones, the activity was best managed asynchronously, this had the benefit of meaning that students could access at their own country specific related appropriate times.  Discussion forum approach also allowed student s to structure responses in advance and critique and review their thoughts on a particular issue before posting.  Case studies identified related to those the students would encounter during their summative assessment of the module, thus whilst the activity was not directly assessed, it did assist the student in developing their thoughts and considerations in relation to the report that they would need to generate in relation to a case study for the summative assessment of the module.  generating and implicit rather than explicit link of the activity.

Sequence of Activities

Phase 1

Students are introduced to the OIL project.  CU student’s recorded and introductory video that was posted in the project introducing themselves the university and the course that they are studying.

Phase 2

Students were divided into groups and mixed together UK and USA students. A series of ice breakers was developed to allow students to personally introduce themselves.

Phase 3

Each group was given a case study to read and discuss in the forum in relation to assessment of mental health, pathways of care in the UK and US in relation to mental health care.

Interaction were time limited across the module.

Academic Context

Module:  216MHN – Assessment and Carepathways across the life span (Mental Health)
Course:  BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing
Level of Study:  Undergraduate, Year Two
Nuber of student participants in 14/15: 38 CU students / 42 US students

Conference posters

Ripples Across the Pond Poster

High resolution version available here (JPG file).


Honorary Award: 4th European Conference on Mental Health in Riga, Latvia (October 2015).



This project has been supported by the learning technologies team at Coventry University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning Enhancement (CELE).