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)


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.

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