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Customer Story

Anglia Ruskin University
School of Nursing & Midwifery

Anglia Ruskin University is the largest provider of nursing education in the East of England. With over 2,000 pre- registration student nurses in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education enrolled onto NMC approved courses, Anglia Ruskin has successfully implemented Myprogress since 2015 as their mobile and web-based tool for observing and assessing student nurses in clinical practice.

Setting the Scene

Prior to working with MyKnowledgeMap, Anglia Ruskin University’s student nurses used a paper-based clinical practice portfolio to allow them to undertake and demonstrate the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council competencies whilst on placement. With three campuses; Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough, as well as 200 placement areas, student nurses were widely distributed, creating a huge challenge for the university and its 5000 registered mentors. Some of the key challenges faced include:

  • Students were difficult to keep track of whilst they were on placement and know how they were progressing.  It was only possible to track student progression when tutors could sit down with them face to face.
  • Link Tutors could only feasibly visit each hospital placement area once or twice a week, community placements less frequently to support students in practice.  This led to students feeling isolated in practice and it was unsustainable, costly and unsustainable.
  • Although the school had a robust system in place to resolve issues around obvious failing students, tutors lacked the ability to detect students early who could be at risk of failing or struggling.
  • There were difficulties in getting formative assessments completed on time and collecting valuable assessment data proved to be time consuming.
  • There was a need to adopt a system that met the new 2018 NMC standards and apprenticeship reporting standards.
  • Paper records were bulky, environmentally unfriendly and when lost, could not be replaced.


The problem for us with paper documentation was that in such a huge region we had no idea of how the students were actually progressing whilst they were on practice, until they actually came back in or visit, we didn’t know how they were getting on in their placement area” - says Siân Shaw, Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Anglia Ruskin’s School of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Work.

As a leading provider of nursing education, Anglia Ruskin continually strive to ensure the student experience whilst on practice remains ‘Outstanding’. Having long experienced the aforementioned challenges, they sought to innovate and transform the student placement experience, and implement a web-based e-practice assessment framework that communicates with mobile devices in practice.

Choosing the right solution

Moving to a digital way of working from the paper-based platform, is a challenge and cultural change for any organisation. Embarking on a transformational project with many key stakeholders and over 2,000 student nurses across five nursing programmes called for a careful and well-planned implementation plan.

After research Anglia Ruskin University adopted Myprogress as their offline mobile-based practice assessment tool. Myprogress, developed by MyKnowledgeMap, was chosen for this project as the platform closely aligned with the organisations’ needs and specific challenges around their student placements. Some of these alignments include:

  • The ability to support and monitor student progress whilst they are on placement 
  • It's potential to enhance the quality of practice learning, particularly practice assessment and closely support mentors in their role
  • The ability to rapidly identify students at risk of failure and facilitate early intervention - improving student retention and standard completion
  • The ability to enable practice assessors, practice supervisors and academic assessors to have relevant access to the ePAD, as well as have relevant role access to review and sign off documentation
  • It's unique ability to conduct practice-based assessment on mobile and offline, therefore not relying on the need for WiFi access in challenging clinical settings 

Enabling outstanding student experiences 

Following a successful pilot with Myprogress in 2015, Anglia Ruskin University received a commendation from the Health Education East of England and funding to expand on the project and was also presented an example of excellence in assessment practice at the University Learning and Teaching Conference in June 2015. Anglia Ruskin has since transformed their practice- based assessment process for all 2000 student nurses and 5000 mentors and as of Christmas 2018 has become completely digital.  Sian adds:


There’s a lot more benefits for the student nurses than the fact of simply completing their practice assessments in Myprogress, they’re also developing employability skills with digital literacy being a key employability skill. The digital platform also improves accessibility and promote inclusivity as students with specific learning needs have found that Myprogress really helps them too” 

Since the pilot, Anglia Ruskin University has also seen the following benefits:

  • The feedback provided to students was more comprehensive, especially with the 'speech-to-text' functionality enabling practice staff to provide feedback faster 
  • Assessments are more likely to be completed on time and combined with the remote ability to view student progress, Academic Assessors and Practice Assessors are able to better support students 
  • Supporting staff and students are able to review and prepare for meetings in advance - improving the student learning experience 
  • There has been an increase in both student and staff digital literacy skills - improving digital literacy across NHS Trusts in the region
  • Improved efficiency as academics are able to provide additional support and engage with assessors in practice without taking the time to travel to placements; this is key in meeting the new 2018 NMC Standards. 

By using valuable assessment data from Myprogress, students are able to be prepared, informed and have improved engagement with mentors, allowing students to reflect on their practice, feed-forward and structure their own future learning on the same device. Additionally, the data gathered through Myprogress has enabled the university to gain insight into the performance of their nursing programmes and conduct predictive analysis on student failure. Through improving the student experience and gaining valuable insight into student progress and potential for failure, Anglia Ruskin has been able to dramatically reduce student attrition.

Over the last 5 years, the attrition rate has reduced from over 20% in Cambridge to 2.5% and the transformation of assessment in practice with Myprogress was a contributing factor to this positive change.

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