The LOUD Report
The acronym LOUD stands for “Learning; Observing; Understanding; Disability”, and is the name chosen by its members for our university’s consultant group of co-teachers with learning disabilities.
LOUD has been in existence since April 2015, and is tasked with monitoring and developing the quality of learning disability education within the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.
Cathy Bernal and Victoria Stirrup asked student nurses to answer some questions about being taught by people in LOUD during Simulated Hospital Admissions. Some students reported that they felt uncomfortable during the teaching, potentially because they saw the co-teachers as a group with a label, not as individuals.
Most students felt that they were learning a lot from their co-teachers. They learned to communicate better with people with learning disabilities.Some of them also learned that not everyone with a learning disability is the same. Most students said that they had learned how to be a better nurse, through their interactions with LOUD. Some said that they had learned a lot from carers, too.
After the initial training, some students decided to learn more about learning disability, with one student even spending a day with the community learning disability team. Several students were able to see that it was a positive experience for the co-teachers to be involved in this teaching. It helped them to feel better about going into hospital in future.
It would appear from the findings of this project that the interventions of LOUD, in terms of the Simulated Hospital Admissions, have a significant potential for student learning. Although the group was founded in response to a matter of principle rather than evidence of potential impact, it is clear that the consultation of co-teachers with learning disabilities about how they deliver educational experiences can make a substantial difference to Adult Nursing practice.
However, the project reported here – somewhat paradoxically – has been solely an academic initiative, and not co-produced, as the values implicit in the co-teaching approach would suggest. Although LOUD will be consulted on the current findings as indicated, it is hoped that in future the members of LOUD will be able to participate more fully in further projects designed to evaluate the impact of the group.
It is impossible to suggest what shape these projects might take prior to the planned consultation with LOUD; but it is anticipated that they will be characterised by a much more active role for all of its members. If the group conceives a research question, generates an approach to it, and participates in its completion, then perhaps the next report of this nature will be truly co-produced.
To find out more about LOUD and the LOUD report, please see the below resources.
LOUD evaluation report (lay version)
How Good Is LOUD Report (accessible version)
An Evaluation of LOUD