Friday, September 19, 2008

Constructing courses to enhance learning

Grading clinical is a question I stuggle with. When our students are on clinical for 6 weeks in the medical/surgical setting they receive a grade at the end of this. How to allocate a grade is difficult because often it is reliant on the students abilitiy to articulate verbally or written, what they have learnt. Many of you like me have been learning about learner styles during this certificate. People who learn auditory or through reading are usually people who can also express themselves well this way. However for many learners kinsethetic is the way they learn which is why they are so good on practical placements. But the only way we have to assess them at present is to look at the portfolio they hand in, listen to what they tell us and to a small extent preceptor/ward feedback. The reason preceptor feedback is not given high priority is because the RN is often assessing different things from us (technical skills and relating well to patients and staff is what they often comment on). This is particurly so if the RN wasn't edcuated in the degree system and received an apprentciship style of training. The RN may not understand what we as a nursing school are trying to assess in the way of knowledge and meeting nursing council competencies.

So using portfolios and judging on how the student answers our questions is given the most emphasis. This disadvantages students who cannot express themselves well. It also means consistancy amongst lecturers in the course can be difficult because we often have different things we favour that we want to assess. This is why going pass/fail would make it easy. However my concern is that if we did this the students may not attempt to make links with theory courses and focus on completing ward tasks. Interestingly enough I asked my students the other day if they liked having to do a portfolio considering so much work was involved. They responded with a resounding YES it was essential for them to 'make' them learn the work..If we went pass/fail this would not encourage the students who do put the extra effort in. latest thoughts is to seperate out health assessment as a new course (we can do this soon, as we are having curriculum review). Run this alongside clinical and this course will receive a grade but will be linked in to their clinical experience..i.e refelection, case study and pathophysiology will be the assessment outcome for the health assessment course. This means they would still have to try and link clinical but the lecturers on clinical can assess pass/fail. What do other people think about pass/fail in comparison to grading???.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Constructing Courses to Enhance Learning

I thought I would start today while my ideas are fresh thinking about the design of my course and my developing ideas.

I have talked about my theoretical perspective on the wiki as been the social and situational orientation. I believe it is important that the students are given chance to reflect on their practical experiences to allow deep learning to occur and to make sense of their practical by linking it with theory. One of the ways we do this at present is by asking the students to construct a portfolio. However this has difficulties in that not everyone is able ot articulate their learning in writing. The other problem is consistency, as the students will usually work with 2 different lecturers in the course who have different ideas as ot what they like in the portfolio.

An idea is forming in my mind to look at the use of e-portfolios so I'll do some research on this. I'm also very interested in setting up a journal for each student in a course wiki in moodle. This course wiki will also have a wiki for each different ward in the hospital that the students work in. The students will be asked to contribute at least 2 times to the ward wiki. This means throughout the year each ward will have a resource which has been set up by the students and will help all students who end up on that ward.

If I was to introduce this I would need a to give a lecture on how to use wikis and e portfolio's and I'm thinking camtasia might be a good resource for this..... Any way this is just a quick note on my developing thoughts and I will be adding more as the ideas evolve...Cheers! have ot go and deal with kids!!!