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Integrating Flo into Higher Education

Jayne Evans, Lecturer of Pre-Registration Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Staffordshire University (September 2015)

Staffordshire University has been working in partnership with the nhssimple team for the past two years and have developed protocols for integrating Flo into the Higher Education arena.

Primarily here at Staffs University, we are using Flo to support students as they enter into university life, this is known to be an exciting time for students however it can equally be an anxious time for many students; Flo is aimed at easing this passage into Higher Education.

Students receive two types of messages from Flo, statements which offer information, reassurance and support, for example; ‘Hi, it’s FLO. Welcome to Staffs Uni! We are delighted that you have chosen to study with us here at Staffs. You will hear from me over the next few weeks. FLO’.

Students also receive messages which require them to provide a response and can interact with Flo, for example ‘Hi, your personal tutor will play an important role during your time here at Staffs, have you met your personal tutor yet? Reply #1 if YES or #2 if NO.’

Receiving such messages from Flo has proven to encourage students to engage better with the University subsequently increasing their sense of belonging and as a result the students are more likely to continue with their studies and complete their programme.

Some very good outcomes of Flo’s integration have been demonstrated thus far based on local evaluation. Students have evaluated their experience with Flo extremely positively, 90% stated that they had an increased sense of belonging from interacting with Flo, direct quotes include:

“The FLO system made us feel a part of the University, not so alone at times” (Nurse 9)

“Feeling part of something specialThat I have made a good start and I should keep going” (Nurse 16)

The initial project utilising Flo with Higher Education has been evaluated and reported upon and the findings have been presented in two recent conferences; “Technology Enhanced Learning” at Birmingham University (May 2015) and also NET conference (Networking for Health Education) at Cambridge University (September 2015) .

The team at nhssimple who support the development of Simple Telehealth, especially Lisa Taylor, have been brilliant, they have supported us at every stage of the development of the protocols and in the putting everything in place ready for the students. The integration of Flo into Higher Education has been, and continues to be, a resounding success.

Jayne Evans, September 2015


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