Curriculum learning designs: teaching health assessment skills for advanced nursing practitioners through sustainable flexible learning

Fitzgerald, Les, Wong, Pauline, Hannon, John, Solberg Tokerud, Marte and Lyons, Judith 2013, Curriculum learning designs: teaching health assessment skills for advanced nursing practitioners through sustainable flexible learning, Nurse education today, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 1230-1236, doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.029.

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Title Curriculum learning designs: teaching health assessment skills for advanced nursing practitioners through sustainable flexible learning
Author(s) Fitzgerald, Les
Wong, PaulineORCID iD for Wong, Pauline
Hannon, John
Solberg Tokerud, Marte
Lyons, Judith
Journal name Nurse education today
Volume number 33
Issue number 10
Start page 1230
End page 1236
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2013-10
ISSN 1532-2793
Keyword(s) Action research
Clinical practice
Curriculum development
Health assessment
Online learning
Clinical Competence
Focus Groups
Models, Educational
Nurse Practitioners
Nursing Assessment
Nursing Education Research
Online Systems
Surveys and Questionnaires
Summary BACKGROUND: Innovative curriculum designs are vital for effective learning in contemporary nursing education where traditional modes of delivery are not adequate to meet the learning needs of postgraduate students. This instance of postgraduate teaching in a distributed learning environment offered the opportunity to design a flexible learning model for teaching advanced clinical skills.
AIM: To present a sustainable model for flexible learning that enables specialist nurses to gain postgraduate qualifications without on-campus class attendance by teaching and assessing clinical health care skills in an authentic workplace setting.
METHODS: An action research methodology was used to gather evidence and report on the process of curriculum development of a core unit, Comprehensive Health Assessment (CHA), within 13 different postgraduate speciality courses. Qualitative data was collected from 27 teaching academics, 21 clinical specialist staff, and 7 hospital managers via interviews, focus groups and journal reflections. Evaluations from the initial iteration of CHA from 36 students were obtained. Data was analyzed to develop and evaluate the curriculum design of CHA.
RESULTS: The key factors indicated by participants in the curriculum design process were coordination and structuring of teaching and assessment; integration of content development; working with technologies, balancing specialities and core knowledge; and managing induction and expectations.
CONCLUSIONS: A set of recommendations emerged as a result of the action research process. These included: a constructive alignment approach to curriculum design; the production of a facilitator's guide that specifies expectations and unit information for academic and clinical education staff; an agreed template for content authors; and the inclusion of synchronous communication for real-time online tutoring. The highlight of the project was that it built curriculum design capabilities of clinicians and students which can sustain this alternative model of online learning.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.029
Field of Research 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
1110 Nursing
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2012, Elsevier Ltd.
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