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Anna Coonan-Byrom

Anna Coonan-Byrom is a Senior Midwifery Educator at the University of Central Lancashire, working in higher education since 2010. Respecting students as partners, Anna has innovated across midwifery education, utilising case-based learning, forum theatre and digital technology methods to stimulate active and social learning to build global learning communities.
University of Central Lancashire
Job Title
Senior Midwifery Lecturer

Anna has developed her role as a Senior Midwifery Educator alongside her doctoral work with the Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture Unit.

Her midwifery practice, research and education philosophy is underpinned by Antonovsky’s (1979, 1993) salutogenesis sense of coherence construct; supporting students to comprehend, manage and derive meaning from their learning journey and experiences.

Motivated by a desire to transform midwifery education to improve outcomes for all women and babies, she has developed a range of dynamic student-centred education approaches to help stimulate social and active learning with ‘real-life’ application. Anna led the vision and developed the operational framework for an immersive case-based learning midwifery curriculum. She has been described as ‘the driving force’ behind transforming the previous traditional curriculum, utilising forum theatre techniques to bring learning to life. This curriculum has been shared via national and international conferences and has inspired a whole generation of midwifery educators.

Building on this work, Anna utilises a range of dynamic teaching approaches harnessing digital technologies to transform teaching, learning and assessment across undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Anna’s passion for digital innovation alongside her commitment to enabling knowledge translation and democracy, prompted her most recent work as the Director of a global online learning platform. This site offers access to two academic peer-reviewed journals, dynamic blogs, podcasts and snappy multimedia modules to support maternity care workers around the world.

As the first midwifery publisher of The Practising Midwife, a global journal for everyday midwives, she recently launched “The Student Midwife”, the world’s first journal for students. Celebrating her ethos of students as partners, this journal is written for students, by students, stimulating a global student learning community, strengthening 21st Century skills.

Anna has presented her approaches to education at conferences and workshops around the country and the world. She has also published in a wide range of academic journals and textbooks. In the future she would like to develop her research capacity and curate a centre of excellence for midwifery education research so she can continue supporting students and peers.

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.