Facilitating Learning in the 21st Century
- Four Competency Statements
The Nursing Fundamentals course will be guided by competency statements which are based on contemporary professional nursing standards and guidelines. The four competency statements that are unique to the Nursing Fundamentals course include;
- The Nursing Fundamentals course must prepare graduates to make clinical decisions using current best evidence.
- The course must train graduates to demonstrate the ability to work efficiently with inter-professional and nursing teams and to make clinical decisions that are aimed at achieving quality patient care.
- The Nursing Fundamentals course must prepare graduates to maximize benefits and minimize risks for patients through improved individual performance and system effectiveness.
- The course must teach graduates to use information and technology to support clinical decisions and to minimize medical errors.
A1. Nursing Fundamentals: Explanation of Four Competencies
The four competencies listed in part A above are aligned with the national nursing standards and guidelines documented by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN). Competences i, ii, iii, and iv are aligned with QSEN standards related to evidence-based practice, teamwork and collaboration, safety, and informatics respectively. First, the nurse educator for the Nursing Fundamentals course will have to teach learners how to use current best evidence to make clinical decisions.
This will help the institution to maintain compliance with QSEN’s evidence-based practice standards. Moreover, nurse educator for the course will have to ensure that graduate nurses are competent enough to function with inter-professional and nursing teams to share knowledge that is aimed at achieving quality patient care. This way, the institution will have observed QSEN’s standard related to teamwork and collaboration (Rosenblum and Sprague-McRae, 2014)
Additionally, the nurse educator for the Nursing Fundamentals course will be compelled to teach graduates to maximize benefits and minimize risks for patients through improved individual performance and system effectiveness.
This will help the academic institution to comply with the safety standards set by QSEN. Furthermore, the nurse educator will ensure that graduate nurses are competent in using information and technology to mitigate medical errors and to promote improved care delivery. This will enable the institution to demonstrate adherence to QSEN’s standard related to informatics (Lewis, Stephens and Ciak, 2016).
A2. Three Learning Objectives
Clear learning objectives must be developed for the Nursing Fundamentals course to help students to master the four competencies listed above. The three learning objectives for course competency number ‘iv’ which is related to informatics are outlined below;
At the end of the course;
- The learner must be able to explain the importance of information and technology skills in promoting safe and quality patient care.
- Also, the student must be able to identify crucial health information that should be kept in electronic systems to support patient care
- the learner must have the capacity to describe the relationship between patient safety and effective management of electronic health information
A2a. Discussion of Criterion
The criterion that will be used to select appropriate learning resources to achieve the learning objectives listed in part A2 is consistency. The chosen learning resources must be consistent with educational standards set by national, state, and local agencies. According to Burns, Noonan, Jenkins, and Bernardo (2017), an effective learning resource for a nursing course must be coherent and consistent with the standards set by national, states, and local agencies in the nursing education sector.
Furthermore, the content of these learning resources must match the needs of learners irrespective of the program level in which they are to be used. By focusing on consistency when selecting learning materials for the Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse educator will choose only those resources that highlight the specific contexts in which they are to be used, and that explicitly explain nursing concepts that are to be covered in the course.
Furthermore, the nurse educator will be sure to select learning resources that specify the types of learners who can utilize those resources. Also, the nurse educator should consider the appropriate method of instruction that must be used in the classroom to ensure compliance with educational standards set by national, state, and local agencies (Burns et. al., 2017).
A3. Approaches to Course Design
The Nursing Fundamentals course will be developed based on the principles of the contemporary approach to course design. The contemporary approach to course design that will be used to develop the course is the learning-centered approach. According to Ihm, Choi, and Roh (2017), a learning-centered approach is based on the principle that the ability of a student to efficiently acquire new knowledge is mainly dependent on the teaching process utilized by the instructor.
Here, the learner uses the information provided by the instructor to build upon a given concept based on the knowledge that had been acquired previously. Learning-centered approach to course design is appropriate for learners who are being taught to achieve certain competencies which have been set by relevant accreditation bodies (Ihm, Choi, and Roh, 2017).
In the Nursing Fundamentals Course, nursing students are expected to achieve the competencies outlined by QSEN. As a contemporary approach to course design, the learning-centered approach will help learners in the Nursing Fundamentals Course to acquire the competencies listed in part A of this paper.
B. Strategies to Evaluate Learning Outcomes Role playing, as well as papers and essays, will be used to evaluate whether students have achieved the intended learning outcomes in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. Papers and essays is an evaluation strategy that involves the issuance of exam topics to students and asking them to write their answers on papers in essay form.
It is a form of summative assessment because it often conducted at the end of a course and it covers all topics covered in the course. Using papers and essays evaluation strategy, the nurse educator will judge student performance in the Nursing Fundamentals Course based on documented standards (Harrison, Konings, Schuwirtg, Wass & Vleuten, 2017).
C1. Criterion-Referenced Tests
Criterion-referenced tests will be used in the Nursing Fundamentals Course to evaluate student outcomes. When using criterion-referenced tests, the nurse educator will document learning standards which students will be expected to meet for them to be considered competent. Only students who meet the set standards after answering given tests will be deemed proficient (Lock, McNaught and Young, 2015).
C2. Norm-Referenced Tests
Apart from criterion-referenced tests, norm-referenced tests will be used to assess student outcomes in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. When using norm-referenced tests, the nurse educator will compare student performance with that of an imaginary average student who will be selected from a group of learners who had completed similar tests before. Students who manage to perform better that the imaginary average student will have passed their exams. Conversely, learners who score grades below that of the imaginary average student will have failed the test (Lock, McNaught and Young, 2015).
D1. Advantages of True-False Test Items
Advantages of true-false test items will influence their use in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. The nurse educator may choose to use true-false test items because individual test items are easy to compose and organize. Also, true-false test items are easy to tally because they display students’ answers very clearly. Moreover, true-false test items will enable the nurse educator to examine students on some concepts because they allow sampling of information from several topics (Javid, 2014).
D3. Advantages of Multiple-Choice Test Items
One of the advantages of using multiple-choice test items of the course is that they will allow the nurse educator to assess many learning objectives in a single examination. Also, when multiple choice test items are used, the nurse educator will easily evaluate results of a large population of learners. Moreover, using multiple-choice tests in the Nursing Fundamentals Course will help to improve student performance in subsequent tests (Sutherland, Schwartz and Dickison, 2012).
F. Cultural and Societal Factors
The ability of students to effectively learn the Nursing Fundamentals Course in the classroom can be impacted by both cultural and societal factors. In this regard, a student’s learning ability may either improve or decline as a result of influence from factors inherent in their cultures (Shawwa, Abulaban, and Balkhoyor, 2015). For example, the level of concentration of a female student who comes from a community that does not support girl-child education may negatively be affected because such student will face rejection from the community.
G2. Learning Activity Meeting Learning Styles
The learning activity described in part G1 effectively meets kinesthetic learning style of students in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. According to Kharb, Samanta, and Singh (2013), students who apply kinesthetic learning style enjoy learning through movement and making contact. These students always want to engage in activities that make them move their hands during the lesson as this helps to break teaching boredom. The activity in part G1 will get learners moving and will help them to break from teaching monotony.
H. Importance of Learning Activity Promoting Critical Thinking Skills
When teaching Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse educator will create learning activities that improve critical thinking skills of learners. According to Papathanasiou, Kleisiaris, and Kourkouta (2014), today’s nursing institutions must strive to promote critical thinking skills of students to produce graduates who can effectively keep up with the rapid technological advancements in the contemporary world.
Therefore, learning activities that improve critical thinking skills of learners are important because they will enable students to understand and analyze issues more effectively, with the aim of solving complex problems that they increasingly encounter in the ever-changing world (Papathanasiou, Kleisiaris, and Kourkouta, 2014).
H1. Critical Thinking Strategy
The nurse educator will use collaborative learning to facilitate the development of self-reflection skills among students in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. Collaborative learning is a critical thinking strategy that involves allowing nursing students to work in teams to solve complex problems related to specific course concepts that they have been taught in the classroom.
H2. Implementation of Selected Strategy
Collaborative learning strategy will be implemented in the Nursing Fundamentals Course by following four steps chronologically. First, the nurse educator will teach students a new course concept and allow them to ask questions. Second, the nurse educator will identify an article that talks about a complex issue related to the taught concept. Third, he or she will ask students to form groups.
Each group will be invited to read the article, analyze its contents, identify the problem, and come up with a solution or solutions to the identified problem. Fourth, the nurse educator will use the solutions generated by each group to help students to understand the course concept further (Rosenblum and Sprague-McRae, 2014).
I. Examples of a Best Practice
The nurse educator should have a system in place to provide feedback to learners in the clinical setting. There are several acceptable approaches for providing feedback to students. For instance, in the Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse educator can provide written feedback to learners at the end of the course, that is, in a summative manner. The feedback should contain an explanation of observed desirable behaviors as well as undesirable behaviors and actions that students can take to improve on them (Anderson, 2012).
C1. Evaluation Method
Formative evaluation method will be used to assess if the curriculum design is effective for the Nursing Fundamentals Course. This assessment strategy involves assessment of the curriculum design during implementation. Formative evaluation of curriculum design will enable the nurse educator to make relevant changes that match ongoing trends in the nursing education field (Burns, et. al., 2017).
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