Evaluation of Curriculum In Nursing Education

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 Curriculum Evaluation In Nursing 

Evaluation of Curriculum In Nursing Education

Whats is Curriculum Evaluation,Implementation of Evaluation,Impact of Curriculum Evaluation,Who Evaluate Nursing Curriculum.

Whats is Curriculum Evaluation

    Curriculum evaluation is an ongoing systematic process centered on continuously improvement of the nursing curriculum (Card, Flannigan, & Clusky, 2004). Curriculum evaluation is defined as the gathering and analysis of data that match curricular objectives and using those data to make improvements in the curriculum.

Implementation of Evaluation

    Continuous curriculum evaluation is essential to the maintenance of quality nursing education. Nursing programs contract with multiple stakeholders, but it is the contract with society that is most important because the public deserves the best care possible. To produce a safe, competent nurse, curricula must be assessed to determine if state-of-the-art objectives and outcomes of nursing essentials are reflected within the curricula, With the advent of technology, a new challenge to nursing curricula is the delivery of courses via web-based methods. 

    The use of asynchronous courses and discussion boards threatens the integrity of the curriculum if its initial intent was used in the traditional classroom (Keating, 2006). The use of a theoretical framework to guide curriculum evaluation assists faculty to produce high quality outcomes.

    Multiple models for curriculum evaluation are embraced by some programs of nursing while other programs find it most beneficial to adhere to one specific model. A classic, the 1942 objectives model described by Tyler, identifies four teaching principles defining appropriate learning objectives; establishing useful learning experiences organizing learning experiences to have at maximum cumulative effect; and evaluating the curriculum and revising those aspects that did not prove effective (Keating, 2006) Prototype context, input, process, and product (CIPP) is a curriculum evaluation model developed by Stufflebeam and Shinkfield (2007). 

    It consists of four evaluation types that result in four decisions: Context (Is there a need?); input revaluation (What resources are available? process evaluation (Is the program implemented as planned? and product evaluation (Does the data determine that the objectives were met?). This model often serves as a basis for other curriculum evaluation models in nursing education (Bradshaw & Lowenstein, 2007).It is imperative that the evaluation method matches the model on which the curriculum was built (Chavasse. 1994).

Impact of Curriculum Evaluation

    Continuous curriculum assessment in nursing education is a method to inform stake holders about the quality and standards of the program. The stakeholders include society, faculty, students, alumni, the institution, councils of higher education, and accrediting bodies (Keating, 2006). Reporting data and changes made as a result of the data increases the credibility of the school. Multiple divided opinions concerning evaluation exist (Smillie, Wong, & Arklie, 1984). However, an essential component of a quality evaluation design is a comprehensive plan for the collection of data that matches the established objectives within the curriculum. 

    The plan determines what data will be collected, the frequency of data collection, the method of data analysis. and how to handle the findings (Giddens & Morton, 2010). One method of data collection suggested by Jacobs and Koehn (2004) is the use of questionnaires. These authors suggest that the constituents included in a survey sample are students (exit survey), alumni, and employers. This method may produce a low return rate, but the online survey technologies now available may help improve return rates.

    The school, in most instances, has the power to establish the timeline of data collection. Depending on the data needed, it is suggested that data be collected every 1 to 3 years or during intervals that satisfy accreditation cycles (Keating, 2006). Data collected should be analyzed in a timely manner to facilitate improvement. It is important to then report the data and implement curriculum changes. Data and reports should be systematically stored in notebooks or electronically in secure locations.

Who Evaluate Nursing Curriculum

    Schools of nursing have a responsibility to create and implement a plan for curriculum evaluation. An evaluation committee consisting of faculty with experience in curricula evaluation is recommended. Appointing a curriculum coordinator with extensive knowledge to oversee the curriculum committee is imperative. It is also important that the coordinator mentors an associate coordinator to maintain continuity if the coordinator is not available. 

    The committee should be charged with determining that the data to be collected matches the objectives, setting a timeline for data collection, collecting the data, analyzing the data, making recommendations to the faculty at large, assisting in the implementation of changes, and storing the date appropriately.Each faculty member plays a role in the evaluation process. In addition to providing assessment data and exemplars of projects and papers from courses, faculty can assist the committee by providing information concerning rapidly changing health care policies and processes. 

    Furthermore, faculty should provide input into new curricula design and evaluation for programs such as a new web-based curriculum. The chief nursing officer (CNO) of the school is also a significant contributor to the evaluation process. Institutional data and bench marking data obtained from crediting bodies may be available only to the CNO (Gard et al., 2004; Giddens & Morton, 2010). There is a need for research on curriculum evaluation as new models of education delivery continue to emerge, particularly in the area of education delivered exclusively online.

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