FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 4 Assessment Strategies and Complete Course Plan KP

FPX 6105 Teaching and Active Learning Strategies Assessment 4 Assessment Strategies and Complete Course Plan KP

Teaching and Active Learning Strategies

Overview

This paper presents a teaching plan with teaching and active learning strategies. It is a teaching plan for students in higher learning institutions (universities and colleges) pursuing a degree or post-graduate degree in nursing. The teaching plan targets this audience because they are instrumental in forming the future nursing working force. The setting is ideal because it is one of the primary environments for preparing nurses for competency before starting practicing in actual clinical settings. The teaching plan will teach nursing students in these environments about becoming a competent nurse in the modern and competitive nursing and medical disciplines.

Learning Theories and Diversity

Learning Environment

Various educators teach in different learning environments. They also teach different courses using different approaches to benefit their students. As a nursing instructor in an institution of higher learning, I would be required to teach in a college or a university. I prefer teaching nursing students in a university to help them acquire their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. As an instructor, I would also be eligible to teach nurse educators and nurses to earn their master’s degrees in nursing. The topic for this learning environment (an institution of higher learning) would be to become a competent nurse in the modern and competitive nursing and medical disciplines. I would proceed with extreme caution to ensure I meet all my students’ needs and address their academic requirements in this endeavor. It is imperative to understand that although nursing students need to graduate and get their degrees, they must be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to address contemporary nursing issues.

           I choose to become a nursing instructor in an institution of higher learning because it is one of the primary environments that prepare nurses for their work. After leaving high school, students join higher education institutions to pursue their career courses, and nursing is one of them. As a nursing educator, I would like to prepare students to face practical situations in their careers. In this case, I choose to teach in a university to prepare students theoretically and practically. I do not wish to teach in a hospital setting because it involves more practical lessons. Training in this environment would imply teaching more practical classes and less theory, while my approach is to equip students with practical and theoretical nursing knowledge. I also do not prefer teaching patients because I train my nursing students to educate patients on various health matters in their interactions continually. Hence, I believe that nurses are sufficient patient educators, and health facilities do not need nurse educators to educate patients. My audience for this course would be undergraduate and graduate nursing students in institutions of higher learning. The undergraduate students are less familiar with nursing tenets, and they would require significant attention to equip them with all the knowledge taught at their level. On the other hand, the graduate students pursuing their master’s degrees are familiar with nursing and seek to advance their qualifications and become nurse educators. 

Educational Theory

The cognitive learning theory would significantly apply in developing this course, considering the teaching topic proposed in the teaching plan. This teaching theory affiliates with psychology, where cognitive psychologists assert that learning is a targeted internal process that focuses on thinking, organizing, understanding, and consciousness (McSparron et al., 2019). Cognitive psychologists believe that learning is not a phenomenon that can be observed directly. Instead, it is a process associated with the change in capability and capacity of a person to respond. Essentially, the theory assumes that learning does not immediately change behavior. However, a student must first be equipped with questioning skills and problem-solving (McSparron et al., 2019). Through information processing and exploration, they learn actively, solve problems, search for new information, and review their previous experiences to understand better what they are learning. 

           Cognitive theory has three components. First, it has comprehension, where for learning to be efficient and beneficial, the student must understand their reason for learning a particular subject. Secondly, it has memory, where cognitive learning discourages information cramming (Soto, 2019). It requires students to have a deep subject understanding to improve their ability to relate previous experiences with new knowledge and information. The last element is the application, where learners must apply new knowledge in life situations. 

Applying this theory in this course and the proposed topic will be effective because of the benefits associated with cognitive learning theory. Cognitive learning will enhance learning, where nursing students will relate with the experiences to apply new knowledge to solve nursing problems. It will also boost their confidence, strengthen comprehension, improve learners’ problem-solving skills (Zhang & Cui, 2018). Suppose other theories are applied in this course. In that case, the learners will not become proactive in solving problems because they will not learn to use their internal and external environments as drivers to their learning and understanding of concepts. Although the theory is robust in preparing learners, it has a weakness in that it depends on personalized learning. The learner must develop their unique way of knowledge acquisition and perception, and they must have their personal experiences to relate to what they learn.

Diversity in the Learning Group

Indeed, learners come from different backgrounds and environments, implying several diversities. The current target audience for the course comprises nursing students, and like other students, they have some differences. First, the groups may have ethnic differences. Today, universities and other higher learning institutions admit international students to various programs (Heng, 2019). Hence, the nursing programs in these institutions have students from different ethnic groups. Also, the group will have gender diversity. In the modern world, higher learning institutions have become accommodative, where they admit males and females in equal proportions in various academic programs (Jagers et al., 2018). Even if equality is not met, they accept a significant percentage of female students alongside a majority male population. Hence, the nursing programs will have this characteristic as well. 

Lastly, the groups are likely to have socioeconomic status differences. Indeed, students come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with some coming from affluent backgrounds and others from low-income families (Altan, 2018). This difference can interfere with learning because students identify with their peers based on socioeconomic status. The affluent students will, in many cases, look down upon their counterparts from low-income families. On their side, the students from low-income families might lose their confidence, harming their academic performance. However, these diversities are inevitable because the student population and the learning environment are diverse (Valente et al., 2020). Therefore, it is imperative to establish strategies to address the diversities to ensure the students coexist irrespective of their differences to achieve their academic goals.

Addressing Diversity in the Learning Environment

While diversity can be a challenge in a learning environment, it is a strength in a learning environment because learners get to exchange ideas and share experiences based on their differences. If anything, in the proposed course, learning environment, and the proposed learning theory, diversity will allow students to exchange experiences to apply new knowledge to problem-solving. Therefore, several strategies will be used to address the learning environment diversity. First, as the instructor, I will understand my students. Promoting cultural awareness in the classroom starts with the teacher understanding and appreciating each student (Altan, 2018). In this strategy, I will understand each student’s cultural background, learning style, hobbies, and what makes them distinct from others. Demonstrating this interest to understand each student will create trust and establish a bond with my students to make them feel valued. The second strategy will be maintaining consistent communication. Instructors must maintain constant contact with the students throughout the learning period and ensure they communicate among themselves (Muldoon, 2022). To have practical interactions to share and exchange their ideas, I will make them form groups that meet the inclusion criteria. With diversity in discussion groups, students will interact and appreciate each other for their diversity. This approach will ensure that each student feels a part of the learning environment and the learning process because their contributions are valued at the group and class levels.

           I will also practice cultural sensitivity in the learning environment. Although it is significant to keep an open dialogue among students, it is equally essential to ensure that the instructor is sensitive to everyone’s language, culture, and beliefs concerns (Altan, 2018). Hence, I will ensure I understand each student’s diversity characteristics and be sensitive to them. Similarly, I will appeal to the learners to be sensitive to their differences and respect each other. Lastly, I will incorporate diversity in the lesson plan. The classroom environment is practical in fostering cultural awareness. However, instructors must ensure diversity is represented in the learning activities and the lesson plan (Evmenova, 2018). For instance, when teaching about the history of nursing and nursing education, I would broaden the content to go beyond the United States to accommodate students from the other continents. Depending on the cultures represented in the learner’s population, I could use different approaches to ingrain cultural diversity in the lesson plan to include every learner in the learning process.

Managing Conflict in the Classroom

Diversity can lead to conflict in the learning environment. Mainly, these conflicts affect the learners, especially those considered different from the larger student population. Indeed, conflicts cannot cease to happen because they are intrinsic to humanity, forming a fundamental part of people’s emotional and moral growth (Valente et al., 2020). However, it is imperative to manage the conflict that may arise in a learning environment because of the learners’ diversity. I will use various strategies to address the dispute in my learning environment. First, I will encourage my students to become obliging. In this strategy, learners or conflicting parties stop focusing on their differences and emphasize their commonalities (Valente et al., 2020). Their characteristics in this environment are that they are all students who want to excel in nursing. Hence, instead of perceiving each other based on their gender, racial and ethnic affiliations, or socioeconomic background, I will encourage them to consider each other as students and nothing more. I will also use the integrated approach to conflict management. In this strategy, people manage conflicts directly and cooperatively (Valente et al., 2020). They seek to solve disputes through collaboration. In this case, I will encourage my students to consider their differences and reach a solution that suits everyone involved in the conflict. Lastly, I will focus on peace-making from the beginning. This falls under the avoidance approach, where through diversity and cross-cultural sensitization, I will prevent conflicts among the learners because of their diversities.

Management and Motivation

The Learning Environment

The learning environment most appropriate for teaching nursing students about becoming competent nurses in the modern and competitive nursing and medical disciplines is an institution of higher learning. This environment supports the growth and development of adult students as they engage in the educational enterprise (Moore, 2020). A higher learning institution environment supports students’ needs with psychological and emotional conditions, physical environment, and sociocultural influences necessary to prepare them for their careers. Teaching about nursing competency in the contemporary world is challenging because the nursing and medical disciplines are dynamic, with every day bringing new technology and challenges to professions in these disciplines (Thibault, 2020). Therefore, higher learning institutions become an integral environment to prepare nurses for competency. 

This environment is favorable because it offers the opportunity to deliver theoretical and practical lessons to nursing students. For instance, a healthcare facility setting would not be appropriate to research a new virus because it would pose significant risks to patients and hospital personnel. However, an institution of higher learning would have advanced laboratories for medical and nursing experiments under sophisticated and controlled environments that ensure students’ and personnel’s safety (Rao, 2019). Also, a higher learning institution environment promotes cross-cultural interactions because nursing students will have several diversities based on their backgrounds. Coming together in this environment would allow them to interact, appreciate their differences, and work together to achieve their academic goals (Paric et al., 2021). Moreover, the topic to be taught targets nursing students to equip them with the necessary knowledge for competency in nursing in the modern nursing practice. Hence, the higher learning institution becomes favorable because it is where nursing students train to become nurses.

Theories of Classroom, and Learner Management and Learner Motivation

This learning environment can use several theories to manage the classroom. However, two theories stand out prominently and are unique to the learning environment. The first theory is the Glasser’s Choice Theory of 1998. In this theory, Grasser asserts that all that people do is behave. He states that almost all behavior is a choice, and humanity is driven by genetics to satisfy the five basic needs: love and belonging, survival, freedom, power, and fun (Milford & Kiddell, 2020). In this theory, the primary need is love and belonging, which is brought about by connectedness with others. Therefore, the theory can apply in managing the classroom by encouraging students to connect to feel a sense of belonging in the environment and the learning process. 

Glasser’s choice theory would also require the teacher to teach the students successfully and guide them to understand that hard work and obedience will improve their lives and academic performance. The theory will also guide the instructor to develop class activities that benefit and address students’ needs. Hence, the theory manages the classroom and learner by minimizing disruptions and ensuring continuity of learning (Khaksar et al., 2018). Applying the theory in the proposed learning environment will bring benefits that include; minimizing coercion because it does not inspire quality, the instructor will focus on quality, and learners will have self-evaluation to determine their course progress. 

           The second classroom management theory will be Kohn’s Student-Directed Learning Theory of 2006. According to this theory, teachers must allow students to be self-directed (Brownstein, 2013). Hence the theory will allow the instructor to explore the topics that interest them most. Rather than presenting external motivation factors, the instructor should allow students to learn independently and explore new knowledge without worrying how good they are. Indeed, this theory will be convenient because to become a competent nurse, nursing students must go out of their way to discover new knowledge and trends in nursing to become competent problem solvers (Brownstein, 2013). The theory focuses primarily on the learning process rather than academic achievement. It factors diversity in that it understands students learn at different paces and setting standards discriminates the students who learn at a slower pace. Hence, Kohn asserts that classrooms must have the student as their central focus element, making such a class have several characteristics, including displaying student projects, sharing ideas among students, respectful teachers who mingle with learners, and multiple activities coinciding.

           The theories that will inform student motivation in the proposed learning environment are cognitive. The first cognitive theory of motivation to apply will be the goal-setting theory. Edwin Locke proposed this theory in the 1960s. It explains that setting goals affect performance (Locke & Latham, 2019). Setting specific and challenging goals is likely to motivate learners and execute tasks effectively, while easy and vague goals may lead to poor performance. I will motivate my learners by applying this theory in the proposed learning environment by urging them to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound (SMART) goals in their nursing course. 

The second cognitive motivation theory will be the expectancy theory. Victor H. Vroom proposed this theory in 1964. The theory asserts that a person chooses a particular behavior over another with respect to achieving their goals (Lee, 2019). the theory has three variables, including expectancy, valence, and instrumentality. Expectancy posits that a person’s effort results from the need to attain the performance goal they desire. As such, a person’s expectancy is addressed by their self-efficacy, goal difficulty, and control (Lee, 2019). Valence denotes the worth that a person sets on the cavalries of a reward, while instrumentality is the notion that a person will be rewarded after achieving the expected performance (Lee, 2019). Applying this theory will motivate the learners by expecting excellent results in their academic performance and being rewarded with a nursing degree at the end of their course, enabling them to land a promising career in nursing.      

Evidence-Based Strategies for Classroom and Learner Management

The evidence-based strategies for classroom and learner management will include, first, maximizing structure. This will involve activities like predictable procedures and routines and minimizing distractions and crowding. This can happen by managing traffic flow in the classroom and supervising students adequately (Kuivila et al., 2020). Secondly, it will involve setting expectations and rules. Students must set their expectations, and the instructor will establish what they expect students to accomplish and handle themselves in the classroom. The third strategy will involve an active engagement of students. In this strategy, I will provide high chances for students to respond, conduct direct instructions, and allow peer tutoring. I will grow a community of learners in my classroom (Owens et al., 2020). This strategy will involve setting the mindset of learners towards cooperation for academic achievement. I will also develop respectful and meaningful relationships with the learners. This strategy will help to inspire and motivate students to achieve because they will feel a sense of belonging and know they are valued for who they are.  

Teaching Strategies

Learning Outcomes

The nursing course is demanding, and it aligns with significant nursing philosophies. Indeed, human beings, who are the audience for the developed nursing course and topic for nursing competency in the contemporary nursing environment, are dynamic, multi-dimensional, open systems that interact continually with the environment. They seek balance in life through their unique abilities that constitute the diversity in their environment. As a health course, nursing is dynamic. Like other health subjects, it involves sophisticated responses between internal and external environmental factors (Cooper et al., 2020). learning the course also involves the interaction of internal and external environmental factors for cognition. Being a practice-oriented field, the nursing course taught in higher learning institutions must meet social goals. The nursing course’s goals lead to health enhancement through promoting health, reducing risks, and preventing diseases. Its goal is to optimize health through interpreting and influencing health and illness responses (Fu et al., 2020). Therefore, nurses must collaborate with clients and professionals from other fields to attain optimal health for society (Homeyer et al., 2018). The nursing course has several learning outcomes that undergraduate nursing students must achieve at the end of their course. The learning outcomes are addressed by the nursing philosophy, goals, practice model, and professional nursing standards. Therefore, the proposed developed nursing course will have its learning outcomes related to this, including ethics, evidence-based practice, and professionalism. 

           The nursing course and the topic for competency will prepare the learners for ethics in nursing. It is a learning outcome for ethical reasoning and actions that promote advocacy, social justice, collaboration, and leadership for nurses as healthcare professionals (McDermott-Levy et al., 2018). Because nurses mainly focus on patients, ethics in this course provides a forum to help them ensure patients’ and fellow healthcare providers’ safety. Ethics as a learning outcome in this course will have several benefits that align with the learners’ expectations (Hoskins et al., 2018). It will help them as nurses in situations they encounter in the clinical setting, including obtaining informed consent, maintaining patient confidentiality, telling the truth, and dealing with beliefs that conflict with empirical knowledge. 

           Nursing is a practice-oriented course and discipline. Hence, evidence-based practice is one of its actual learning outcomes. At the end of the course, a nursing student must demonstrate skills in improving patient health outcomes through accessing, examining, and understanding information from theory, research, or other sources, the family, individual, and community level (Chien, 2019). Indeed, the proposed topic on competency in the course requires that nursing students be proactive in solving problems. Evidence-based practice in nursing will help the nursing students in the course use current research to improve patients’ health and safety while minimizing overall costs and disparities in health results (Chien, 2019). As a learning outcome in this course, it denotes an applied problem-solving approach that combines optimal practices from updated clinical literature with medical experience while considering the preferences and values of the patient under treatment. Indeed, this is one of the outcomes that demonstrate exemplary competency in a nurse, making it suitable for this course.

           Nursing is a profession with nurses as its professionals. Hence, upon completing the course, nursing students must demonstrate significant nursing profession through professionalism. As a learning outcome, professionalism in nursing encompasses several factors in the field that align with learners’ expectations (Labrague et al., 2019). First, it means that the student must provide individual, leadership, and professional development. Here, the learner will practice personal care and personal reflection to gain comprehensive feedback to improve their practice performance. They will also identify leadership theories and principles to recognize the significance of nurse leaders and educators in practice and policy issues(Labrague et al., 2019). Secondly, it means that the learners must establish partnerships with other professionals through collaboration to optimize care reinforce outcomes, and improve the healthcare experience (Labrague et al., 2018). Here, the student will develop their professionalism through identifying and utilizing communication techniques and tools for professional communication, using team dynamics to participate in meaningful teams, and seeking collaboration with other professionals to optimize patient care. They will also learn to communicate in written and verbal formats and use modern communication equipment to manage communication in their profession (Bussard & Lawrence, 2019). Lastly, professional nursing will enable the learners to demonstrate accountability for individual and nursing practice through consistent engagement in life-long learning.

Teaching Strategies

Various strategies could apply to teach this course. However, it is vital to consider the course requirements, teaching topic, and learner population to establish the strategies that best fit teaching the course. Considering that the course is nursing, the topic is competency in the nursing discipline in the modern nursing environment, and the learner population is nursing students with demanding learning outcomes in the course, the teaching strategies must be effective and efficient in meeting the instructional needs of the course and learners expectation. The first applicable teaching strategy is lecturing. This is one of the traditional teaching strategies that have proved effective over the years. Lecturing works best when presenting information to many learners when the instructor wants to cover more material within a short period (Sanaie et al., 2019). Although some people claim that lecturing is boring because it is traditional, modern technology can make it exciting and convenient in teaching. Lectures can incorporate interactive software applications, videos, and polling technology to make them fun in teaching and combat the passive role of students in a lecture hall.

           The second teaching strategy for this course could be high fidelity simulation. Simulation allows instructors and learners to recreate scenarios in an artificial setting. When applied in nursing, simulation will allow learners to recreate clinical scenarios in artificial environments. The scenarios will represent the patient care environment and allow the learners to apply their theoretical knowledge (Labrague et al., 2019). As a teaching strategy in nursing, simulations provide advanced educational experiences that assist nurses in developing significant clinical competency. Moreover, this teaching strategy improves the learners’ satisfaction for meeting their expectations and improves their confidence even before practicing in natural clinical settings (Shin et al., 2019). Debating could also apply as a teaching strategy in this course. Primarily, it applies when teaching a controversial subject in nursing or discoursing tendencies in nursing education. Debating allows students to become actively involved in learning the course contents, think critically, and improve their verbal communication skills (Tyo & McCurry, 2019). Lastly, using case studies can also be a teaching strategy in this course. Case studies in nursing education are real and complex stories that bridge the gap between theory and practice and the learning environment and the workplace (Tyo & McCurry, 2019). Using case studies in nurse education is practical in teaching cultural competence, clinical diseases, and communication skills.

           The most appropriate strategies among the four above are lectures and high-fidelity simulations. Although many commentators argue that experimental and student-centered teaching strategies should replace lecturing, it remains a fundamental teaching strategy in many disciplines. The strategy fits the current course because nursing has many aspects, including nursing education, history, and nursing trends (Sanaie et al., 2019). Most of these subjects are theoretical, and they are taught best using lectures. The method is also appropriate because the course will have many students, and lecturing is favorable for such a situation. Lecturing has several advantages. First, if conducted effectively, it can communicate the intrinsic interest through enthusiasm. Lectures are detailed, covering the core principles of subjects (Sanaie et al., 2019). Secondly, they can present content and nursing material that students cannot access through other teaching forms. Lastly, instructors can organize lectures to meet the needs of their students based on their diversity. 

           High fidelity simulations are also appropriate for teaching this course because it allows students to simulate the actual clinical setting in the simulation environment. While students cannot access some clinical equipment and infrastructure, simulation allows them to simulate them in the learning environment and learn about them (Labrague et al., 2019). Hence, the strategy will prepare students for competency in the hospital setting before beginning their practical practice. High fidelity simulations have several advantages in the nurse education learner environment. First, it demonstrates enhanced critical thinking, collaboration, and caring behaviors (Labrague et al., 2019). While the student is not in the clinical setting, simulations help them propagate the environment to develop these qualities. Secondly, it provides students with the chance to practice legal, ethical, and practice-based activities. This factor is integral in developing competency among nursing students.

Learning Barriers

Learners may encounter several barriers to learning because of the nature of the learning environment and their course. However, it is imperative to understand that whether students are bored or tired and willing to quit, they start the learning process to complete the course. Hence, the learner and the instructor must develop ways to counter the learning barriers that emerge in the learning environment. Some of the barriers to learning may include resistance to change. All new endeavors produce some change that requires people to get out of their comfort zones. In this learning environment, nursing trends can bring significant changes to nurse education that students would be unwilling to accept (Alexander et al., 2021). For instance, they could be hesitant towards technologies, where they may think some nursing technologies are sophisticated and cannot handle them. The resistance could also be caused by students thinking they know it all. Resistance to change is a preexisting belief that can significantly hinder earning progress in a learning environment (Koc & Demirbilek, 2018). However, it is possible to address this challenge through truth acceptance. If new trends arise in nursing education, it is significant to recognize that they may instigate resistance among learners. Accepting these concerns would allow instructors to address them accordingly.

           Secondly, the fear of failure can be a significant barrier to learning. It is standard practice for people to think that it is safer not to try than to risk unknown results (Zhang et al., 2018). This thought stops many people, including learners, from learning valuable skills and embracing opportunities. Ranging from high achievers and fast learners to low achievers and slow learners, all students may at one point be afraid of failure and become reluctant to practice new knowledge and skills (Zhang et al., 2018). However, understanding that mistakes are inevitable in learning should allow students to relax in the learning process. This learning barrier can be overcome by allowing room for mistakes in learning and using empowering language to assist students in developing positive attitudes towards learning. Here, the instructor can motivate the learners by encouraging them to practice and understand that making mistakes in the learning environment is better than not knowing what to do in a real-life nursing situation (Zhang et al., 2018). The instructor should also help the learners to strengthen their self-correcting skills to learn how to detect and fix mistakes. 

           Thirdly, diversity could also impede learning. Diversity can affect both the instructor and the learners. It becomes a challenge to some students when the learning environment has characteristic domination of a single learning style (Sánchez et al., 2019). For instance, the lecturer could focus on student-centered learning while some students require guidance and close monitoring. When left alone to learn, they lose focus and cannot concentrate on their learning. Diversity also becomes a barrier to learning when the learners are insensitive to each other’s differences. In this case, students discriminate against each other on cultural differences like sociocultural statuses, ethnicity, gender, race, and religion (Sánchez et al., 2019). The students who find themselves being the subject of discrimination lose their self-esteem and cannot concentrate on their learning. They spend most of their time thinking about ways to fit and identify with the other students instead of focusing on their learning. This challenge can be addressed through cross-cultural practices. Indeed, diversity in the learning environment is inevitable (Sánchez et al., 2019). Therefore, the instructor must enhance cross-cultural practices in the learning environment, such as having an inclusive curriculum and lesson plan and sensitizing diversity among students. This strategy will allow students to feel a sense of belonging to the learning environment and the learning process despite their differences from other students. 

Assessment Strategies

All the areas of nursing education require assessment for the educator to obtain student learning information, evaluate clinical performance and competencies, and reach decisions about nursing students. In nursing education, assessment is integral to monitoring educational quality in the learning environment and healthcare programs in the clinical setting (van Schaik et al., 2019). Evaluating the outcomes that students and graduates have achieved makes it possible to measure the effectiveness of programs and courses, which enhances decision-making in case changes or improvements are needed (Billings & Halstead, 2019). Moreover, assessments ensure a framework for accountability for the quality of education learners receive in the learning environment. Like other healthcare professionals, nurses are accountable to society and their patients for meeting their health requirements. Similarly, nurse educators are responsible for the quality of education they provide to their nursing students, the outcomes they achieve, and their courses or educational programs (Billings & Halstead, 2019). Through assessment, nurse educators and other educational and healthcare professionals gather information to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their teaching and their courses, and they document these outcomes for review by others in the learning environment. All instructors, irrespective of their teaching settings, must have an assessment, measurement, testing, and evaluation knowledge (Billings & Halstead, 2019). The designed course of teaching nursing in a higher learning institution to nursing students will require an assessment to evaluate its effectiveness. 

Learning assessments involves gathering information to decide about students, learning policies, and educational programs or courses. In a classroom setting, assessment collects information about what a student understands and what they can do (Immonen et al., 2019). The educator uses the information they obtain from assessment to determine relevant learning activities that can meet students’ learning needs and improve their academic performance. The type of assessment that determines learners’ academic needs is diagnostic, and teachers can use diagnostic information to determine the excellent content, practice opportunities, and learning activities for learners to meet their desired academic outcomes (Immonen et al., 2019). Assessment is also critical because it generates reliable and valid data to determine learners’ grades. Although nurse educators consistently assess learners’ progress in meeting learning outcomes and gaining clinical competencies, they must also measure learners’ achievements in the course through academic grading. Assessment types provide the information necessary for faculty to determine whether learners achieved expected outcomes and developed vital nursing competencies (Immonen et al., 2019). The expected learning outcomes in this course are ethics, nursing professionalism, and evidence-based practice. This course will use several assessment strategies to measure students’ competency in meeting these learning outcomes and establish whether learners meet their expectations. The assessment types in the course will include tests, measurements, evaluations, and ipsative assessment.

Tests

First, the course will use tests as the first assessment type in measuring learners’ competency. Tests are items to which learners respond in oral or written form during a fixed time. The most prevalent kind of test is the academic examination to assess students’ competency. According to Brookhart & Nitko (2019), a test is a systematic procedure or tool that helps to describe more characteristics about a learner. Typically, tests are scored based on the correct percentage or number of answers administered similarly to all learners taking a particular test. In this course, I will use tests as the primary assessment strategy. When students are admitted to the course, I will use tests to establish whether my students have the prerequisite knowledge to achieve the course outcomes or have already met them. Since this course is competency-based, students will proceed to the instruction level in the learning environment after demonstrating their capacity to undertake the course in the learning environment (Zhang & Cui, 2018). I will also use tests to provide the base for developmental assessment. This assessment type monitors learning progress, provides feedback to students, and suggests added learning activities as necessary. I expect many students in this course, making it difficult for an instructor to customize instructions to meet individual students’ needs. However, using tests and quizzes will reveal what content areas particular students may lack knowledge about. 

           After administering and reviewing test results, I will identify the content areas that students learned adequately and those they did not. Tests will help me to establish the competencies that the learners have achieved. When they pass the tests, it will imply that they have realized the learning outcomes of the different contents in the course. However, failure in the tests will demonstrate a lack of competency and inadequate understanding of the course contents (Zhang & Cui, 2018). In some cases, students may show a partial understanding of the course content, where they pass some areas of the tests and fail in others. This will advise me on how to proceed to ensure the students understand everything in the course.

           Tests are highly inclusive, and they address diversity in the classroom. Because they are uniform, they treat students with significant equality (Zhang & Cui, 2018). Applying them in this course as assessment strategies will address the learning environments diversity. Since the students will cover the same course content, I will subject them to the same tests. Hence, tests will effectively foster cross-cultural sensitization because they will not distinguish students based on their characteristics (Rabin et al., 2018). They will test students on various characteristics, including competency comprehension. The equality demonstrated on the tests will help students concentrate on improving their course competency rather than focusing on their differences. The fact that they all take the same test despite their strengths or weaknesses will make them understand that their differences do not matter. 

Measurement

I will also apply measurement as an assessment strategy in this course. Measurement is a process that assigns numbers to represent student performance or achievement. For instance, when a student scores 90 questions correctly out of 100 items, they measure their performance in the test. In measurement, the number of the items answered correctly of score denotes the extent to which a student possesses specific characteristics tested in the test. Measurement is significant in reporting learners’ achievement on nursing and other tests. However, all nursing outcomes are not compatible with the measurement as an assessment strategy (Kahya & Oral, 2018). Many nursing outcomes are evaluated qualitatively using other assessment means, including performance observation in clinical simulation or practice. Although measurement assigns numbers to reflect learning, they mean nothing by themselves (Kahya & Oral, 2018). For instance, scoring 20 marks on a test has no meaning unless referenced to or compared with other learners’ scores or to an established standard. This score (20 marks) could be the lowest or highest score on the test, compared with other learners. Also, the student could have set an individual goal to score 20 marks on the test. Hence, meeting this goal is more significant to this particular student than how other learners scored on the test (Billings & Halstead, 2019). This score could be interpreted differently, where scoring 20 marks could be the standard expectation of this group of learners. Therefore, for a score to be relevant and have meaning, it is vital to have a reference point for comparing a particular test score.

Measurement uses norm-referenced and criterion-referenced interpretations to interpret results. Norm-referenced interpretation compares test scores and other assessment information with the scores of a standard group (Furby, 2020). This interpretation compares a learner’s test scores with those of their fellow learners who took the score or other relevant group. It describes the learner’s score as above or below average or ranks it using a particular criterion in the classroom (Furby, 2020). However, this referencing criterion has a disadvantage because interpretations like grading on a curve do not demonstrate what the learner can and cannot do. Also, they vary their interpretations of a learner’s performance based on the comparison group selected (Furby, 2020). In clinical settings, norm-referenced interpretations compare a learner’s clinical conduct with that of a group of other learners. This kind of comparison indicates that a learner has less or more clinical competence than other students in the group. A clinical or nursing evaluation instrument where a student’s performance is rated on a scale of above or below average denotes a norm-referenced criterion in an assessment system. Nevertheless, this system does not show whether a learner has established the anticipated competencies. Hence, it only shows whether students performed worse or better than their fellow learners.

On the other hand, criterion-referenced interpretation interprets scores according to the present criteria instead of relating a student’s performance to that of fellow learners. This type of measurement compares individual scores with a present criterion or standard (Furby, 2020). The concerns in this interpretation are how well the student performed and what they can do regardless of how other learners performed. This performance interpretation system may describe the specific learning activities a student may undertake, e.g., defining terms in clinical ethics, indicating the level of activities performed or questions answered correctly, e.g., 96%, and compare performance with an established standard to identify whether the learner met the standard, e.g., did not meet simulation competency (Furby, 2020). The criterion-referenced interpretation shows how well a learner performed at the end of the instruction compared with the competencies and outcomes they were expected to achieve.  

I will apply measurement to assess various student aspects, including their competency, learner outcome achievement, and student expectations. In this assessment type, I will use various questions to measure learners’ competency, including how does a student’s performance compares with others in the classroom? Did the learner meet the clinical course outcomes and develop the necessary competencies despite how other scholars in the class performed in the clinical practice? And does the student has the potential to improve their performance if it is below expectations? The responses to these questions are contingent upon the basis used to interpret clinical performance as required by the course, like scores interpretation. This assessment type will offer significant insights into student performance. Tests in the evaluation will have a set standard for achieving standards, which will act as the measurement criteria (Billings & Halstead, 2019). For instance, I will set many tests to 100 possible marks. When students score above 75%, it will imply that they conform to the course expectations. However, scores below this mark will indicate poor performance that calls for improvement as an instructor based on my teaching strategies and the part of the student based on their content mastery and understanding, and learning styles (Billings & Halstead, 2019). However, I will also consider individual student goals. If a learner sets a goal and achieves it, I will consider meeting their expectations as learners. However, they must also meet the course expectations, and thus will also factor in the performance measurement. 

Using measurement as an assessment type in this course will effectively foster cultural competence and fit with learners’ varied learning styles. Measurement focuses on comparing individual performance to a set standard or group performance. Hence, after seeing how individual students perform, measurement as an assessment strategy will allow me as an instructor to follow up on individual students to establish why they are not meeting course expectations. Also, since only the instructor will have the students’ scores, it will help keep their performance confidential unless they want to share it with their fellow learners. This will preserve their confidence as they work on their weaknesses to meet course expectations. The students with different learning styles will benefit from measurement as an assessment strategy because they will work individually with the instructor to address their weaknesses. 

Evaluation

This is the process of judging students’ learning, achievement, clinical performance, and competence based on the assessment data. In nursing education, evaluation happens by judging students’ course outcomes, the knowledge they gain from the course, and the students’ performance quality in the clinical setting (Branney & Priego-Hernández, 2018). As an assessment strategy, the evaluation identifies students’ needs, where the learner can provide additional instructions to assist learners in their learning, and in developing practice competencies, evaluation goes beyond a test score or performance rating (Crisan & Pop, 2019). It extends to the act of making a value judgment concerning the quality or the worth of a student’s performance or the products they develop to represent their learning. Hence, evaluation helps the instructor to make a value judgment about students. The evaluation process answers questions like “How well did the learner perform?” and “Is the learner competent to meet course needs?” The educator collects and analyzes data about the learner’s performance then judges them based on the quality of their performance. 

In educational courses, evaluation collects information before developing the course, during the process of the course, and after the course to determine its effectiveness. During program evaluation, department members collect students’ and curriculum data to document the program’s outcomes, judge its quality, and make sound decisions about curriculum revisions (Crisan & Pop, 2019). The action of educators to measure course outcomes for accreditation evaluating their courses and curriculum are also part of the evaluation process.  

This course will apply formative and summative evaluation processes to evaluate students’ performance. In formative evaluation, I will judge students’ progress in achieving desired course outcomes and becoming competent in clinical practices. Since this evaluation is diagnostic, it will not have a grade (Arrogante et al.,2021). I will use it to determine the areas in which my students require further learning. In the classroom setting, I will conduct formative evaluation through observing and questioning my learners, issuing diagnostic quizzes, written assignments, and other activities for students to complete within and outside the class. The formative evaluation will also be integral in the instructional process (Arrogante et al.,2021). I will consistently observe my students as they learn how to provide patient care and develop practice competencies. This evaluation will allow me to give feedback to my students about their progress in achieving practice outcomes and how to develop and improve their competencies and knowledge. 

I will also practice summative evaluation as an assessment strategy. It is an end-of-instruction evaluation for determining what students have learned in a course. This evaluation allows an instructor to judge the quality of the student’s accomplishment in the course and not their progress in meeting the course outcomes (Lewallen, 2015). Summative evaluation happens periodically during the middle of a semester or end-of-term evaluations. It will help me grade my students and make high-stakes decisions concerning learners in the course. Due to its finality helps in evaluating broader contents coverage and competencies than formative evaluation (Lewallen, 2015). In this evaluation strategy, I will use test papers, assignments, and projects to evaluate the quality of my student’s achievements in the course.

Evaluation as an assessment strategy will support cultural competence. Cultural competence is an ethical issue that denotes the intentional efforts of the evaluating officer, in this context, the educator, to produce work that is honest, valid, respectful of learners, and considerate of all other stakeholders in the learning process (American Evaluation Association, 2011). A culturally competent evaluation comes from an ethical commitment to equity and fairness for stakeholders. However, if an evaluator has insufficient attention to culture, they may undermine individual and group determination, justice, fairness, and equitable treatment of all interests and persons. Therefore, practical and ethical evaluation requires inclusiveness, cross-cultural boundaries learning, and respecting different perspectives (American Evaluation Association, 2011). Therefore, while conducting evaluations as assessment strategies in this course, I will uphold the ethical obligation to ensure learners in the evaluation process understand their rights and the inherent risks associated with taking the course. If there are minority groups in my class, I will conduct significant research to ensure I do not violate their rights during my evaluations. I will also set the evaluation standards equally for all students to avoid favoritism, thus ensuring equitability for all the learners in the course. 

Ipsative Assessment 

This assessment type determines a student’s performance based on their previous performance. The normative assessment model, as discussed above, uses many assignments and rubrics to measure students’ performance against a static criterion or standard (MartĆnez-Arboleda, 2021). However, it plays a significant part in examining why schools use various assessment strategies and consider the value of allowing learners’ progress to be the criterion against which their successive performance is measured. The ipsative assessment reflects an individual best type of progress visible in areas like athletics. For instance, an athlete could be working to improve their time in running a 5km distance. Students assessed on academic work using ipsative assessment are proud of their work. It helps them take a longer-term perception of their work (MartĆnez-Arboleda, 2021). Ipsative assessment helps educators identify students who are on an upward trajectory and willing to learn. It also identifies students who move downwards on their performance to help them improve their performance. 

           For the ipsative assessment to be practical, the educator must take several initiatives. First, they must compare a student’s previous work with their current performance. Secondly, they must ask the learner to identify what they perceive as their areas of weakness in various assignments and reflect on how they could improve in their subsequent work (Jensen et al., 2021). Lastly, the instructor must decide how the learner has progressed and suggest what the student will do next to improve their performance. Also, a practical ipsative assessment is secluded from the current grading system available for the course. However, this assessment method is disadvantageous because it cannot help future instructors determine a student’s performance. Also, it requires an instructor to do more work on an individual student at the expense of the entire learning group (Jensen et al., 2021). When a learning group has many students, the instructor cannot manage the burden of ipsative assessment, and they may be discouraged to teach the group if this remains the only assessment mode for the course.

           I will apply ipsative assessment in this course for the students who perform below average when I measure their performance with norm-referenced interpretation. These students will form a group to establish their weaknesses to improve their performance. Alternatively, I can work with them individually, comparing their performance with what they did in the past and helping them identify what they need to do to move in an upward trajectory. The assessment method may not support cross-cultural practice because it differentiates students based on their performance, establishing performing and non-performing students. However, its ultimate goal is to establish uniformity in the class by pulling up the weak students to the level of the performing group. This assessment strategy will not exist alone in the course. I will only apply it in assessment when I determine that some students are not performing as expected. It will aim to work with individual students to identify their weaknesses and establish what they can do to recover their footing. 

           These assessment strategies will be instrumental in assessing the performance of my learners in the course. However, it is imperative to understand that they cannot exist individually, where assessment strategy becomes the only assessment method for the course (Billings & Halstead, 2019). However, they will complement each other in assessing the students to meet the learning outcomes and expectations. The various assessment methods will provide data that will be instrumental in making critical decisions about students and the course. For instance, if I discover that the majority of the students are not performing according to expectations, I can decide to change my instructional strategies to address the students’ learning styles. Also, if I discover that some students are performing on a downward trajectory based on a particular assessment strategy, I could decide to assess them using the ipsative assessment method to help them work their way up to catch up with their fellow learners. 

Summary

The teaching plan aims at teaching undergraduate and graduate students about competency in modern nursing and medical disciplines. The instructions will happen in institutions of higher learning, including colleges and universities. It will use the cognitive theory of learning as its learning theory because students must have a deep understanding of the nursing course. In classroom management, the course will use Glasser’s choice theory and Kohn’s Student-Directed Learning Theory of 2006. The course will use cognitive motivation theories for motivation, including the goal-setting theory and expectancy theory. The learning outcomes for the course will be ethics, evidence-based practice, and nursing professionalism. The course will use several assessment strategies to assess whether students achieve these outcomes, including tests, measurements, evaluations, and ipsative assessment. 

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