Student nurses' experiences of using a learning contract as a method of assessment

Bailey, M. E. and Tuohy, D. (2009) Student nurses' experiences of using a learning contract as a method of assessment. pp. 758-762. ISSN 02606917 (ISSN)

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe final year undergraduate nurses' experiences of assessment through the use of a learning contract. Using a qualitative descriptive design, data was collected from a purposive sample of final (fourth) year undergraduate student nurses. Two approaches were taken for data collection, anonymous evaluative questionnaires and interviews. The study was approved by the local university research and ethics committee. Data was thematically analysed. This article presents and discusses the findings from the interviews. Findings suggest that students' approach to the assessment strategy influenced engagement with the learning contract. Three themes were identified: skills, perceptions, and actions. Within these themes three types of learner were identified: happy, pragmatic and fearful. Factors found to influence successful completion of the learning contract were: support, relevant skills, prior experiential learning and required theoretical knowledge. Recommendations include the need for educators to consider module assessments that recognise the learning needs and preferences of the student within a supportive environment. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :8; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Bailey, M.E.; Department of Nursing and Midwifery, North Bank Campus. University of Limerick, Health Science Building, Limerick, Ireland; email: maria.bailey@ul.ie; References: An Bord Altranais, (2005) Requirements and Standards for Nurse Registration Education Programmes. third ed., , An Bord Altranais, Dublin; Arthurs, J.B., A juggling act in the classroom: managing different learning styles (2007) Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 2, pp. 2-7; Banning, M., Approaches to teaching: current opinions and related research (2005) Nurse Education Today, 25 (7), pp. 502-508; Beattie, V., Collins, B., McInnes, B., Deep and surface learning: a simple or simplistic dichotomy (1997) Accounting Education, 6 (1), pp. 1-12; Chan, S.W.C., Wai-Tong, C., Implementing contract learning in a clinical context: report on study (2000) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 31 (2), pp. 298-305; Colaizzi, P., Psychological Research as the Phenomenologist views it (1978) Existential Phenomenological Alternative for Psychology, , Valle R., and Kings M. (Eds), Oxford University Press, New York; Cowman, S., The teaching/learning preferences of student nurses in the Republic of Ireland; background issues and a study (1995) International Journal of Nursing Studies, 32 (2), pp. 126-136; Dingwall, L., McLafferty, E., Do Nurses promote urinary incontinence in hospitalized older people? An exploratory study (2006) Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15 (10), pp. 1276-1286; Dworetzky, J.P., (1991) Psychology. fourth ed., , West Publishing Company, St. Paul; Fisher, M., King, J., Tague, G., Development of a self-directed learning readiness scale for nursing education (2001) Nurse Education Today., 21, pp. 515-525; Gardner, E.A., Deloney, L.A., Grando, V.T., Nursing student descriptions that suggest changes for the classroom and reveal improvements needed in study skills and self-care (2007) Journal of Professional Nursing, 23 (2), pp. 98-104; Knowles, M.S., (1986) Using Learning Contracts, , Jossey-Bass Publisher, San Francisco; Lowry, M., Using learning contracts in clinical practice (1997) Professional Nurse, 2 (4), pp. 280-283; Mazhindu, G.N., Contract learning reconsidered: a critical examination of implications for application in nurse education (1990) Journal of Advanced Nursing, (15), pp. 101-109; McAllister, M., Learning contracts: an Australian experience (1996) Nurse Education Today, (16), pp. 199-205; Morse, J.M., Field, P.A., (1998) Nursing Research the Application of Qualitative Approaches. second ed., , Stanley Thornes Ltd, Cheltenham; O'Shea, E., Self-directed learning in nurse education: a review of the literature (2003) Journal of Advanced Nursing, 43 (1), pp. 62-70; Parahoo, K., (2006) Nursing Research Principles, Process and Issues. second ed., , Macmillan Press Ltd., London; Quinn, F., (2000) Principles and Practice of Nurse Education. fourth ed., , Nelson Thornes, Cheltenham; Ryan, D., Mannix McNamara, P., Deasy, C., (2006) Health Promotion in Ireland Principles, Practice and Research, , Gill and MacMillan, Dublin; Sandelowski, M., (1996) Fourth Generation Evaluation, , Sage Publications, London; Sand-Jecklin, K., The impact of active/cooperative instruction on beginning nursing student learning strategy preference (2006) Nurse Education Today, 27, pp. 474-480; Schon, D., (1983) The Reflective Practitioner, , Basic Books, New York; Smedley, A., The self-directed learning readiness of first year bachelor of nursing students (2007) Journal of Research in Nursing, 12, pp. 373-385; Snelgrove, S.R., Approaches to learning of student nurses (2004) Nurse Education Today, 24, pp. 605-614; Timmins, F., The usefulness of learning contracts in nurse education: the Irish perspective (2002) Nurse Education in Practice, 2, pp. 190-196; Tuohy, D., Student nurse - older person communication (2003) Nurse Education Today, 23, pp. 19-26; Waddell, D.L., Stephens, S., Use of learning contracts in a RN-to-BSN leadership course (2000) Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 31 (4), pp. 179-184
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assessment and learning styles; Learning contracts; Self directed learning; Student nurses; article; attitude to health; contract; education; educational status; human; information processing; learning; nursing education; nursing student; policy; qualitative research; teaching; Contracts; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Educational Measurement; Faculty, Nursing; Focus Groups; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Public Policy; Students, Nursing
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 02:35
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/1733

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