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What policies should be taken into account for the curriculum design?
Institutional policies concerning the disciplines being offered should be taken into account (Keating).
Case Study #2: Philmore College
What parameters must the curriculum committee consider when designing the courses?
The design parameters that should be considered by the curriculum committee should include "all components (title, purpose, and description; outcomes, teaching-learning strategies, content, classes; opportunities for students to demonstrate learning and faculty evaluation of student achievement), and the relationships between and among them" (Iwasiw et al.).
In what way will a commitment to active learning influence course design?
As the term implies, active learning requires effort on the part of the educator as well as the learners in an intensive fashion. For example, Michael and Modell (2003) report that all active learning approaches "ultimately require students (the learners) to test their current mental models of the phenomenon being considered. All of these techniques require that educators present challenges to the students' mental models" (p. 79). In addition, active learning can influence course design by providing opportunities for educators to fine-tune their curricular offerings to the learning styles being evinced by their students (Michael & Modell). In addition, the active learning process will contribute to improvements through the iterative process that takes place as curricular offerings are provided and experience is gained in what works best in a given classroom setting. In this regard, Iwasiw et al. point out that, "The philosophical approaches and outcomes approved for the curriculum are realized within courses."
Which components should be included in the courses?
When planning a course, there are several issues that nursing educators must take into account, including the following concerning the needs of their students:
1. What level of understanding and experience do they possess?
2. What are appropriate expectations for the group in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes?
3. What topics and course areas have they been studying before this particular course/session?
4. What are they going on to do and what specifically should they be prepared for?
5. Does the teaching content (in terms of level, pace and content) appear to be meeting their needs?
6. Are there opportunities for flexibility to address unforeseen learning needs? (McKimm, 2003, p. 8).
In addition, other factors that should be considered include:
1. Do the students/trainees have any particular learning needs or difficulties?
2. Have the learners experienced difficulties with any course areas or topics previously which might affect their progress?
3. Is the teaching style appropriate for these learners' needs and style of learning? (McKimm, 2003, p. 8).
What classroom and clinical experiences could be incorporated into the courses?
An accelerated 12-month BSN program must take into account a wide range of regulation, accreditation, professional standards and the educational milieu in which curricular offerings are provided. At the national level, Fontaine advises that, "The NCSBN developed a model nurse practice act that offers guiding principles for state boards of nursing and applies to education and practice" (Fontaine, p. 199).
What would sample clinical and classroom courses look like for this accelerated baccalaureate-nursing program?
An accelerated baccalaureate-nursing program generally requires between 12 and 18 months to complete, including prerequisites, and achieve their programmatic objectives in intensive learning settings (Mason, Isaacs & Colby, 2008). According to Mason et al., "Instruction is intensive with courses offered full-time with no breaks between sessions. Students receive the same number of clinical hours as their counterparts in traditional entry-level nursing programs" (2008, p. 174).
Cook, P.R. & Cullen, J.A. (2003, July/August). Caring as an imperative for nursing education.
Nursing Education Perspectives, 24(4), 192-195.
Fontaine, K.E. Curriculum planning for degree nursing programs.
Iwasiw, C., Andrusyszyn, M.A. & Goldenberg, D. Curriculum development in nursing education. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Keating, S.B. The components of the curriculum.
Mason, D.J., Isaacs, S.L. & Colby, D.C. (2011). The nursing profession: Development, challenges, and opportunities. New York: Wiley.
McKimm, J. Curriculum design and development.
Michael, J.A. & Modell, H.I. (2003). Active learning in secondary and college…[continue]
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