Assessment of Learning in the Clinical Practice Environment: Using an On-Line Tool to Help Students Understand the Abstract Nature of Steinaker and Bell's (1979) Experiential Taxonomy

Sweeney, John and Hegarty, Josephine and Condon, Carol and O’Shea, Maria and Flynn, Angela and Marsh, Lynne and Phelan, Agnes and Cummins, Ann and Creedon, Sile and O’Mahony, Kay (2012) Assessment of Learning in the Clinical Practice Environment: Using an On-Line Tool to Help Students Understand the Abstract Nature of Steinaker and Bell's (1979) Experiential Taxonomy. In: National Academy’s Sixth Annual Conference and the Fourth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference. Threshold Concepts: from personal practice to communities of practice, 2012, June 28 - 29 2012., Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

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Abstract

Assessment of clinical competence is an essential component of any health related professional programme. Clinical assessment in our school currently comprises of: 1) Each student being assigned a registered nurse/midwife clinical preceptor 2) Preceptor and student working together in clinical practice 3) Student and preceptor agreeing the number of competencies and level of attainment for each placement and 4) the first 4 stages of Steinaker and Bell's (1979) experiential taxonomy (exposure, participation, identification and internalization) being used to assist in identifying the level of competency attainment appropriate for each year of their programme. However, students and preceptors have articulated difficulty in comprehending the abstract nature of such threshold concepts. To create a profile of clinically pertinent cases which could be used to explain what is required of students at the various levels of the taxonomy. Translate this information into an easily accessible online intervention. A series of qualitative, descriptive semi-structured interviews (created around the framework of Steinaker and Bells (1979) Taxonomy) were conducted with students (n=10) and preceptors (n=10). Data was analysed using qualitative, thematic, content analysis. Key exemplars, which best explain the clinical assessment process were identified. An online package using a mixture of text, audio, providing clinically relevant interesting explanations of abstract terminology was created. The complex nature of each of the concepts within the taxonomy were unravelled using the exemplars provided by students and their preceptors, each participant bringing a unique and discipline specific perspective. This paper provides an overview of the process used to develop and validate the online learning resource. The interviews provided an insight into the clinical assessment process and brought clarity to abstract terms used in the taxonomy. The online intervention provides an easily accessible tool which can be used as a learning resource. Acknowledgement: NAIRTL grant funding.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 19:49
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 16:40
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3762

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