n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - A virtual appreciative coaching and mentoring programme to support novice nurse researchers in Africa

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The conventional model of nurse research education and support has shown itself to be deficient in the face of the rapidly changing health care and educational environments. This is more so in the open distance learning (ODL) context where institutions embark on cross border initiatives to build the capacity of novice nurse researchers. The purpose of this study was to develop a virtual appreciative coaching and mentoring programme to support novice nurse researchers in Africa. The programme was based on the opportunities and challenges experienced during the supervision of students across distance and the need identified by stakeholders for further support. A qualitative, exploratory, single descriptive case study design was used. The participants included 15 post-graduate midwifery nursing students and one external supervisor. Data were collected through guided narrative reports and debriefing interviews. The data were analysed through an inductive thematic approach. The findings indicated that there were positive experiences that could be capitalised on such as the personal motivation of students, personal resilience, innovative ways of research education and the possibilities that technology offered. Challenges included issues of language, culture, resources and skills deficiencies. An appreciative virtual coaching and mentoring programme underpinned by an appreciative inquiry philosophy is proposed. Connectivism formed the pedagogical approach with training, coaching and mentoring forming the main teaching and learning strategies. A blended cyber learning approach is recommended in order to manage the ICT challenges inherent in the African continent. Virtual coaching and mentoring may provide a novel means for supporting novice nurse researchers in African countries.

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