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Virtual learning environment (‘Ivy Street’) for palliative medicine education: student and facilitator evaluation
  1. Oliver Clabburn1,
  2. Karen E Groves2 and
  3. Barbara Jack3
  1. 1 Psychology, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
  2. 2 Queenscourt Hospice, Southport, Sefton, UK
  3. 3 Evidence-Based Practice Research Centre, Edge Hill University, Lancashire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oliver Clabburn, Psychology, Bath BA2 9BN, UK; oclabburn{at}


Aim The study aimed to evaluate student and facilitator perceptions regarding the novel use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) in the development and implementation of ‘Ivy Street’.

Sample/methods Healthcare professionals enrolled on the first palliative and end-of-life care masters level module and course facilitators were invited to participate in the study. Two online surveys were developed comprising five open-ended questions to gain both student (n=16) and facilitator (n=4) perceptions of Ivy Street. Data were analysed thematically.

Findings The key theme to emerge was the ‘Positive Perceptions of Ivy Street’. A second sub theme ‘Critical Feedback of Ivy Street’ focused on some initial technical issues. Respondents perceived the use of Ivy Street to be enjoyable, enabling and promoting peer discussion, while also having a high impact on student engagement. Respondents commented how Ivy Street removed concerns regarding confidentiality when discussing patient cases through utilisation of standardised Ivy Street characters.

Conclusion The novel use of a VLE through developing characters, a story and vignettes is considered to be an effective and engaging method of learning for healthcare professionals enrolled on a palliative and end-of-life care module.

  • education and training
  • hospice care
  • communication
  • end of life care
  • hospital care
  • clinical decisions

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  • Contributors The paper was written by OC and reviewed by KEG and BJ. All authors edited the paper until it was completed.

  • Funding This study was conducted in part fulfilment of an educational qualification.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in the submitted article are not an official position of the institution or funder and reflect those of the author.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval was obtained from the university research ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement (5) Data available upon request.