Midterm check-up: The experience of "being with" or "isolated from" simulation in the lab
Cynthia Blum, PhD, RN, CNE; Candice Hickman MSN, RN
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Background: Faculty educational responsibility transcends traditional methods of lecture and examination with summative course evaluation. Educational constructs should incorporate formative evaluation to allow responsive student feedback to occur. This approach allows gaps within a course to be addressed in order to benefit the current group of student learners. This is particularly important in a didactic course with a lab practice component, where continuity reinforces curricular objectives.
Study: Fifty-nine pre-licensure undergraduate nursing students enrolled in an introductory assessment and skills course and lab participated in a focus group session to assess course progression. At midpoint, the students were asked how the didactic course and required lab component could be enhanced and better synthesized.
Findings: Emergent themes derived from focus group data included a disconnect between the didactic course and lab, inconsistency in content between lab days, and inefficient scheduling of student time. Based on student feedback, immediate didactic course changes included the addition of an audiovisual enhanced lecture to demonstrate lab expectations using a simulated scenario, increased communication between didactic and lab faculty, and obtaining additional lab equipment to facilitate student involvement. Summative focus groups validated the success of the interventions, where students felt valued as their concerns were addressed.
Conclusion: Nursing programs are required to report quality and outcome indicators to accreditation bodies. Currently enrolled students do not benefit from course redesign resulting from a summative course evaluation; formative evaluation offers the opportunity to assess and address learning deficiencies to assure all graduates are adequately prepared to become safe, competent, and successful registered nurses. Formative evaluation is one way to assure program quality standards are being met.
41st Biennial Convention - 29 October-2 November 2011. Theme: People and Knowledge: Connecting for Global Health. Held at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center.
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