Strategies for Teaching Research In Nursing Education

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Education and Strategies for Teaching Research

Strategies for Teaching Research In Nursing Education

Strategies for Teaching Research In Nursing Education, Implementation of Nursing Educational Strategies for Research.

Strategies for Teaching Research In Nursing Education

    Our evidence-based teaching and practice should include nursing research. The challenge is to make it understandable, useful, clinically relevant, and interesting. IDEAS Market Research Cookies, Candy, and the Research Process General Description Comparison study in the classroom leads students through the steps of the research process. 

    This strategy may also be used to illustrate specific research concepts. Preparation and Equipment Put two objects in a zippered plastic bag for each student in the class. These objects must be comparable at some level. Example of the Strategy at Work To teach the research process, I distribute cookies or candy and caution the students not to eat until they’re directed to do so. 

    On the screen or board, I show the research process step by step. I’ve found it interesting to compare two kinds of chocolate chip cookies because so many comparisons are possible (number of chips per cookie, taste, size, price, texture). As a class we discuss each step and raise interesting questions:

• What is the problem we are trying to research?

• How would we design the study?

• What key words would we include in the literature review?

• What does the literature have to say about market research and this study?

• Who is the sample?

• How many sample members do we need? Eventually we move into more complex discussion:

• Is this class (sample) representative of the target population?

• If I coerced you into participating in this study, what rights would I violate and what threats would I expose you to?

• What are the threats to internal and external validity?

• Why do businesses perform market research? The last question leads to a discussion of the needs that motivate nursing research.

Implementation of Nursing Educational Strategies for Research

• Students enjoy food. You can use candy, cookies, crackers, or any food small enough to carry around. In large classes, consider your time and expense.

 • You can ask students to develop hypotheses or research questions based on this strategy.

 • After the exercise, you can open a discussion about sampling, sample sizes, or random sampling versus random assignment.

• Use Market Research for an entire class; as a group, trio, or pair exercise; or as a story incorporated into lecture content.

• Student groups can report their results to the rest of the class. How Do You Pick Your Shampoo? General Description In a large or small group, students can be asked about the decision-making process used to select a brand of any product. 

    Using the steps of the research process, students correlate research, decision making, and the nursing process. Preparation and Equipment No special equipment is required. Bringing pictures of the product will stimulate your students to think creatively. Example of the Strategy at Work I show a slide of a model with gorgeous hair and ask the students what criteria they use to select their personal shampoo. 

    We discuss such variables as cost, recommendations by friends, availability in the shower, desire for certain hair qualities, store displays, custom, exposure to advertising and marketing, recommendations from authority figures, previous experience, supermarket versus hair salon accessibility, expert advice from a hair stylist, and more. 

    This consideration such the “ways of knowing” that often guide nursing practice. When we’ve exhausted those ideas, we turn toward a discussion of evidence based practice. The research process, like the nursing process, is one of the tools we use to help us make decisions and solve problems. 

    After a while, I expand the research discussion with a hypothetical case: “What happens if you purchase a shampoo and wash your hair and it turns green?” This is a good time to reinforce the steps of both the nursing process and the research process. Hair turning green is an important piece of data. 

    Even if the shampoo was recommended by an authority figure (a respected friend, perhaps), the data would lead the buyer to question its use. You can extend this situation to the authority figure in the clinical area (nurse educator or experienced nurse) who recommends a nursing intervention. 

    Nursing research can determine the effectiveness of an intervention without relying on customs and beliefs about nursing practice. Discussing the need for continued nursing research, tight research designs, and replication studies is an effective way to relate nursing research and nursing practice. 

    Ask students to consider the influence of television, radio, and print media on different types of decision-making. You can ask students about any product they choose to purchase and use that item to describe the decision-making process. Personalize your teaching by using an object someone brought to class a cell phone, laptop, or PDA, for example. 

    Begin the discussion with the ways of knowing. Compare literature, customs, policies, peers, faculty, intuition, family members, or other experts with the research process as a way to validate knowledge.

    How Do You Pick Your Shampoo? is a playful way to open a research discussion with both students and practicing nurses. Issues in Measurement General Description This strategy uses practical methods to teach measurement concepts, including reliability (consistency) and validity (accuracy). 

    The exercises demonstrate the differences between these concepts and their relevance to the research process. See Froman and Owen1 for examples in addition to those presented here and for details about each exercise. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work I’ve used Issues in Measurement with both staff development and nursing student classes. I split the class into groups of four. After I distributed the equipment and gave instructions, each student measured the three other heads in the groups using the supplies I’d given out. 

    No other directions were provided. When all the measurements were completed, the group discussed the validity of each method used to obtain a head circumference. They related each method to the types of measurement used in the clinical area. The group also identified the difficulties of using a straight ruler to measure head circumference, the inaccuracies of measuring with elastic, and the interference caused by different hair styles and types of hair.

• This active, entertaining strategy gets students out of their chairs and involved in exercises.

• You can use both metric and standard measurement rulers and then discuss the discrepancies that result from using different units of measurement. Reliability and Validity Darts General Description This is a general strategy that helps students differentiate reliability and validity. The reader is also referred to Froman and Owen1 for additional details. 

    Reliability and Validity Darts depicts the differences between validity (accuracy) and reliability (consistency). Preparation and Equipment Prepare a slide or sign that resembles. Use it during class discussion to explain the concepts of reliability and validity. Example of the Strategy at Work You can let your slide work for you to illustrate how reliability and validity work. The darts are self-explanatory within the context of measurement issues.

    Include the diagram on a test. Students can indicate in pictures whether they understand the concepts of reliability and validity. Alternatively, they can discuss these concepts in an essay question or a short-written assignment.

    Ask students to create their own diagrams depicting the concepts of reliability and validity. Mock Studies General Description Students plan and carry out studies that reinforce concepts used in research. These include protection of human subjects, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and nursing implications. 

    The Mock Study and its conclusions illustrate the value of nursing research and evidence-based practice. Preparation and Equipment Mock Studies require a considerable amount of equipment. You’ll need a blackboard, overhead projector, dry erase board, or flipchart to gather ideas. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work One class I taught couldn’t seem to appreciate the need for nursing research. We were talking about things that “bug” us in clinical practice. One student brought up her concerns about performing chest percussion on postoperative clients. 

    She wondered whether the risks (pain inflicted) were outweighed by the benefits (mobilization of secretions) in these clients. Her question turned on a light bulb for me. Suddenly I saw how to create a study that would interest these students. I let the class decide on the problem and the research question. 

    Then I split them into groups of three or four and gave each group an assignment. These included designing the study, developing a sampling plan, discussing the literature review, anticipating issues with human subjects and data collection, considering methods of data analysis, understanding the conclusions, and tracking the dissemination of the results. 

    The class quickly learned the interconnections of each step of the research process and understood the need for regular communication between groups.

• Ask your students to identify an area of conflict or questionable practice in the clinical area. Use this assignment as preparation for a future class.

• Have students do the assignment individually as an Ah-hah Journal or E-mail Exercise.

• Extend the assignment by asking students to identify a clinical issue, conduct a review of the literature, and propose research designs. Group Research Critique General Description In this strategy, the instructor divides the class into pairs, trios, or small groups. These groups then select and critique a research article. 

    They may use a specific format, found in nursing research texts, or simply discuss the positive and negative aspects of the article. This strategy is also valuable for highlighting current science during coverage of a clinical content topic. 

    A critiquing format is essential to this exercise. Most research texts include one. You can also find a format in Herrman, The Critique Process for the Nursing Research Consumer,2 available from the Delaware Nurses Association. Make sure you use a format that meets the needs of the group and the level of detail needed for this assignment. 

    Although many different formats exist, most are fundamentally similar, asking the reader to appraise the study and evaluate its validity. Class content can also reinforce critiquing skills. Example of the Strategy at Work Group Research Critique works well if students are given a critiquing format. Sometimes I let students pick their own article, which increases their level of interest in the assignment, and sometimes I assign one. 

    Having the entire class critique the same one or two articles ensures that you, the instructor, are well versed in the articles’ assets and weaknesses. If students pick their own, I ask to approve it to make sure it is a nursing research article. If you do this, you may generate a discussion around the question, “What is nursing research?” I’ve also used one article through the entire course or program. 

    We refer to it as the class learns different research steps: design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and so on. Students prepare for class by critiquing a certain element or the entire work; class discussion can then reinforce concepts. Even some basic concepts, such as “Is the study qualitative or quantitative?” may be unclear during this process. Class discussion provides an opportunity to clarify concepts and reinforce lecture material.

• Group Research Critique can help you teach the different aspects of a research article.

• You can use the article critique as the final examination.

• In hospital education, nurses can critique articles individually and then discuss them in group meetings or journal clubs.

• In agency education, Group Research Critique can enhance a class on research consumerism and application.

• Staff nurses can select articles appropriate to conditions they see often in their client population. Results of several articles or meta-analyses may be referred to agency practice or standard committees.

• Participants can discuss the value of research application. How might their personal nursing practice change as a result of their reading and critiquing nursing research? Their practice may not change immediately. However, it’s valuable to examine the influence of research on the ways in which nurses practice and gain knowledge. 

    Clinical Application of Findings to Case Studies General Description The instructor asks students to find a nursing research article that applies to their personal nursing practice. A general case study leads them through evaluating the merit of the article. Emphasis may be on the critique of the research and on the ability to use the results in clinical nursing practice. 

    Use the case study and questions that follow or develop your own. Ask the students to bring a nursing research article to the class or program. Example of the Strategy at Work I asked my students to bring an article of interest and to read it through once before class. In class I distributed the following case study and questions. The students were asked to consider the questions individually for 15 minutes; then we discussed them as a group.

 • You may need to reinforce the importance of nursing research and its components. This lesson is important in itself.

• You can use Clinical Application of Findings after a critiquing exercise. This approach reinforces the need to appraise research before using its results to change nursing practice.

• Liven up the case study by adapting it for application to specific nursing specialties.

• Use a case study to illustrate the ethical issues that surround the research process and the role of the nurse as client advocate in research studies. You can present the following case to generate discussion about the ethical and legal aspects of research in regard to clients. Discussing these issues provides an interesting angle for both students and practicing nurses. 

    Use this case to illustrate the nurse’s role as client advocate and as proponent of research. It’s a great way to generate a discussion on research, advances in medical science, and associated ethical dilemmas. Research Moments in Every Class.

    This strategy reflects the principle that nursing research should be introduced into every area of content. For clinical and nonclinical information, the instructor briefly shares current research with the students. A focus on nursing implications highlights the need for evidence-based practice. 

    Preparation and Equipment Before class, take a moment to quickly search an electronic full-text database. Use “research” as one of your key words to ensure that you access a study about a content area. Example of the Strategy at Work I’ve found Research Moments especially effective for relating research findings to current practice. 

    An active search for each class topic reinforces the value of research and evidence based practice. I’ve used this method in many classes, including a class on cystic fibrosis. A quick literature review yielded several articles related to current research. I summarized their content briefly on a slide, which led to a short discussion.

• In continuing education programs, Research Moments helps to relate findings to current, local practices.

 • You can encourage attentiveness in your students by telling them they’ll be tested on research results. Then include a question about the research in a comprehensive examination.

• Ask your students to research topics related to daily class content. If the class is small enough, they can share their results with the group. When their peers become research information finders, other students will discover incentive to apply research to their own practice. 

    Research Corners Electronic or Bulletin Board General Description Research Corners resembles the Research Moments strategy. The difference is that abstracts and interesting findings are posted either on cork boards or electronically. Like Research Moments, this strategy doesn’t take much time. Preparation and Equipment You’ll need a bulletin board if you plan to post research results on paper. 

    For electronic postings, use a Web-based platform that allows attachments to a page that the class can view. Example of the Strategy at Work Research Corners enhances knowledge of a content area while reinforcing the need for nursing research. For physical postings, I either type a brief summary of an article or cut the abstract out of a journal. 

    Interesting clip art and colors add to the visual appeal of the board. Citations are kept brief and are limited to interesting findings at the students’ level. For electronic postings, I attach summaries or abstracts to the class page for viewing.

• Allow students to provide research ideas, abstracts, or summaries for posting.

 • Use Research Corners as either a required or an extra credit assignment.

• Use bulletin boards to promote research in break rooms or common nursing areas.

 • Use Online Discussion Groups to discuss current research findings.

• Provide incentives to encourage staff or students to develop visual displays about a particular topic. Encourage them to change these displays frequently. Students can receive extra credit for assignments. Staff nurses can be given clinical ladder credit, agency “freebies,” or books to reward their participation.

• Brief, eye-catching messages are important for busy nurses and students.

• A colleague posts Research Corners on her door, making a statement about nursing research and providing reading material for visitors. The instructor shows clips of current films to stimulate discussion of research concepts. These film clips should delineate a problem or issue in current research or health care. 

    Preparation and Equipment You’ll need a supply of video or DVD clips, cued to specific scenes. Before class, you’ll need to establish objectives for the exercise, consider the questions you’ll ask, and speculate on areas for future investigation. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work Many popular films raise issues that nursing research can and should address. After showing a short clip, I ask the class to formulate a research question or develop a research design addressing the topic. I’ve used clips to illustrate the steps of the research process, to stimulate research ideas, and to make research “real” from a movie perspective.

• Potential film topics include specific illnesses, clients dealing with symptoms, legal and ethical dilemmas, and social science content.

• Ask the class how nursing research might have changed the outcome of the film clip.

• Have students develop a Mock Study based on the research questions derived from a film clip.

• After showing a clip, use E-mail Exercises or Ah-hah Journals to brainstorm ideas for research design. 

    Clinical instructors are attuned to the value of research. In this strategy, the instructor investigates the literature to determine what is known about a topic and then presents the findings to the class. Clinical and practice issues present an opportunity for Clinical Area Questioning. 

    To begin with, you need an inquiring mind in the clinical area. The clinical question or issue determines the need to research the literature and find out what is known about the topic. Example of the Strategy at Work Students and staff nurses were asking questions about a clinical problem. 

    A client had been admitted with a diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia. This client had been receiving nasogastric tube feedings at home. I saw this situation as a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of nursing research. A literature review discovered studies that addressed ways of checking nasogastric tube placement. 

    Auscultation of air injected into a tube, aspiration of gastric contents, pH of gastric contents, and chest x-ray were compared for feasibility, effectiveness, and other criteria. Our summary of the findings generated much discussion about local practice and the procedures recommended by nursing textbooks.

• Ask unit instructors, senior clinical ladder nurses, or student leaders to do literature searches and disseminate information.

 • Information may be posted on electronic bulletin boards or cork boards.

• Like Research Moments in Every Class, Clinical Area Questioning should be inherent in every clinical experience.

• Keep a log of questions asked in day-to-day clinical practice so you can research problems later on.

• Ask students to determine their own clinical problems or issues to be researched and examined.

• Colleagues used this strategy to share “Nursing Research Myth Busters” with fellow nurses. Clinical questions from the group list serve were used to stimulate research, gather evidence, and come to practice-based conclusions. 

    By using the questions and issues from active bedside practice, participants not only received information valuable to enhancing patient care but also saw the value of investigation to solve clinical problems and the potential for research to improve patient outcomes. 

    Paper Towel Ideas General Description In this strategy, a common roll of paper towels can inspire creative thinking. Students list their ideas, one per sheet, unrolling the towels as their ideas evolve. Preparation and Equipment You’ll need one roll of paper towels for each individual, pair, trio, or group. Each roll needs a marker for writing down ideas. 

    For added incentive, you can bring in prizes to reward the greatest number of ideas. Paper Towel Ideas is a relatively inexpensive strategy. Example of the Strategy at Work A colleague asks students to use up their paper towels by listing researchable ideas, one to a sheet. Other faculty have used this strategy in research groups to list other concepts, such as types of sampling criteria and methods of data collection.

 • You can give prizes to the individuals or groups who come up with the greatest number of ideas, measured in the number of paper towels they unroll.

• The competitive atmosphere stimulates different, creative ideas.

 • You can use Paper Towel Ideas any time you want to brainstorm ideas and come up with new thoughts.

• Some faculty use toilet paper to create lists. Others reject this variation on the strategy, attaching a negative connotation to the use of toilet paper.

• You can use Paper Towel Ideas at the beginning and end of a course or program to demonstrate how far the students’ thinking has evolved. Faculty Research Sharing General Description Instructors share personal nursing research experience to demonstrate that professionals participate in and are invested in research. 

    Unlike War Stories and Clinical Anecdotes, this strategy focuses on research concepts rather than day-to-day clinical experience. Faculty Research Sharing works well in any class. Preparation and Equipment You may want to use slides or overheads to describe research findings. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work Faculty Research Sharing illustrates important concepts and highlights the challenges and rewards of research. In my experience, it’s better for students to hear brief discussions without elaborate discourses on design and implementation. For example, when differentiating quantitative and qualitative data, I avoided a theoretical discussion and stuck to examples from personal research.

• Maintain a focus on research concepts and keep Faculty Research Sharing brief and relevant to class content.

• As you share your research, make sure to keep the presentation at the knowledge level of the students.

• Have other speakers or faculty share their research experiences with the class. • You can take as little as 10 minutes to share research findings. Presented in the middle of a class, they can reinforce the importance of research in any clinical area.

• Clinical experts can share a policy or practice that was developed or changed on the basis of clinical research.

• When discussing in-depth data analysis procedures or complex theoretical frameworks, take care not to “turn off” the students.

• Ask faculty or guest speakers to discuss a single step of the research process consent of human subjects, data collection, and so on to keep the focus on class objectives. Student groups create a poster based on a research article or a review of several articles. 

    The research must reflect a practice issue. Because the posters are based on specific criteria and resemble those displayed at professional meetings, they prepare both students and nurses for scholarly presentation. You should develop a specific grading rubric or evaluation criterion for submissions. 

    The students contribute poster boards, illustrations, information, and the effort of making the poster. Example of the Strategy at Work Colleagues have used Poster Sessions in research and continuing education classes to promote active participation and research evaluation. One colleague split a class into groups of five. 

    Each group picked its own topic and found an article or review. Students used the assignment criteria to critique the study and used the posters to display their analysis. 

    Afterward the instructor graded the posters. Some of my colleagues have organized a poster display day. Student posters are graded, and the best ones win a small prize or award. Students also work individually with faculty on literature reviews, Mock Studies, or pilot studies and present their results in a Poster Session.

• Invite your colleagues to the poster displays. They can help you evaluate posters and assist in disseminating the students’ research findings.

• In the clinical area, assign units to complete a quality-improvement activity, a literature review, or a pilot study. Then have them develop posters. Display the posters during nurses’ week or in conjunction with an educational program. Provide rewards and recognition for participants.

• Encourage students and nurses attending conferences to view and evaluate research posters created by other nurses.

• Encourage students to submit posters to local conferences that foster student involvement in research. Research Concept Maps General Description Visual maps of research concepts and methods are used to reinforce the research process or to critique individual studies. 

    See Rooda3 for the use of mind mapping in a research course. Preparation and Equipment For individual assignments, you’ll need drawing supplies or software that can generate concept maps. For class or group concept mapping, you can use a blackboard, dry-erase board, overhead projector, or flipchart. 

    If an entire class or large group is working on one poster, spread a large sheet of paper over a desk or table so they can all contribute to the concept map. Example of the Strategy at Work I’ve had students map out the research process on the blackboard. 

    As with any concept map exercise, lines can be drawn to show connections between concepts reflected in circles or squares. Colors, shapes, and placement on the map can represent categories, steps, or differences in concepts. Concepts may be as elaborate or as simple as desired. See Rooda3 for examples of research concept maps.

• You can use Research Concept Maps with pairs, trios, or groups.

• Try using the strategy as a test question: ask students to draw the research process.

• Design a homework project in which students critique an article using a concept map. Campus or Unit Research and Nurse Interviews General Description Students survey peers and other students to learn the elements of tool development, field research, observational research, and data analysis. 

    Practicing nurses can live the experience of data collection by polling each other on selected information. During their clinical rotations, students interview staff nurses about the use of nursing research in the clinical area. Practicing nurses ask colleagues similar questions. These interviews can be either formal or informal. 

    Preparation and Equipment No equipment is needed. Students or nurses may conduct interviews before a scheduled class discussion. Interviewers should agree on topics to make sure that all interviews are on similar subjects. You may want to consider topics ahead of time to help your students brainstorm ideas for interviews. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work I’ve used this strategy early in a course or program to determine the research climate in which nurses work and the local attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Students can generate questions and then discuss their interviews in subsequent sessions. 

    An effective single question is, “Do you use research to guide your nursing practice?” I’ve also expanded this question to include such areas as level of research education, participation in policy and procedure development, reading of nursing journals, and involvement in research studies. 

    I’ve asked students and nurses to conduct informal studies of their peers. For student peer interviews, I sometimes pick a topic before class and instruct the students to “ask around” about that topic. They can use sample questions or develop their own. For nursing students, topics should reflect daily life. I’ve instructed students to ask as many people as possible if they shower in the morning, in the evening, or at some other time. 

    Early in the spring semester, I’ve asked students to poll peers about their plans for spring break. For practicing nurses, demographic surveys may be valuable. My students conduct interviews either alone or in pairs. We tabulate the results in a subsequent class. This method allows us to explore the data collection and analysis phases of research.

• Campus or Unit Research can be combined with Mock Studies to simulate study design and implementation.

• This strategy can generate enthusiastic interest in nursing research at the unit or group level.

• On a unit, you may want to include nurse managers, physicians, and clinical specialists in the interviews.

• According to the local research climate, this method may highlight the need for increased evidence-based practice in clinical settings.

• Nurses may claim that they don’t use research in daily practice. You can guide a student’s line of questioning with such queries as “How does your agency come up with policies and procedures?” “How does your unit conduct quality assurance?” and “How do standards of care change a client’s course of stay in the hospital?” 

    These questions may uncover a deeper appreciation of evidence based practice for both the student interviewer and the practicing nurse.

 • Campus or Unit Research makes a good icebreaker. Ask students to poll their peers on a topic and then use their findings to stimulate a discussion.

• You can use this strategy to explain different types of data and the methods used to organize them.

 • Descriptive statistics, such as mean, mode, and median, can be calculated and discussed as data descriptors. In the Know General Description The tabloids in the grocery store have taught us that human nature reacts to the different, exceptional, and outrageous. 

    Although not all nursing research findings meet these criteria, research sometimes uncovers surprising results that warrant further study and exploration. These are the facts that will catch your students’ attention in class. In the Know requires the instructor to be in tune with these data and to be able to summarize them simply. 

    Presenting a potential medical or nursing advance, much like those announced on the evening news, provides an opportunity for discussion and a point of interest. Of course, validity and reliability should be weighed before the data are accepted as fact. This critical process is educational in itself.

    Follow the introduction of research information to the lay public, peruse research journals, or do your own quick study of current research. Any of these methods can provide insights that will engage your students’ thinking. You must include the source and validity of that information to avoid misconceptions or misunderstandings. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work The newspaper frequently publishes information about current scientific research. Issues such as stem cell research, medical advances, and development of new medications are part of everyday news. Interestingly, busy nurses and nursing students are sometimes so absorbed with work and study that they are insulated from the news. 

    Current events that affect nursing practice or exemplify nursing research are especially useful. Recent exposés of widespread errors in medication administration have created a public outcry and call for a change in health-care practices. Clearly, changes are needed to ensure cautious and careful medication administration and eliminate inferior standards of care. 

    Being In the Know about such findings is an important way to validate good practice. Discussing these studies and their nursing implications underlines to students the importance of prudent nursing practice.

• In the Know may be used to discuss both sound and unsound research. Encourage your students to analyse any method or interpretation they find questionable.

• This strategy is a great way to reinforce the fascinating nature of research and scientific inquiry.

• Use In the Know to discuss the need for replication of nursing studies. In addition, replication with varying samples is necessary to ensure that results can be generalized. It’s important to emphasize that changes in practice should occur only after findings are validated and the literature has been reviewed thoroughly.

• Students can search public media to find In the Know topics. These topics can be collected as an Admit Ticket, written about in a short assignment, or used to guide class discussion.

 • Assign groups to review the media portrayal of current advances in disease treatment. Thanks to the Internet, we can view archival news clips to learn what the lay public has been told about a medical issue. These clips are often generated from large-scale studies in reputable nursing and medical journals. 

    Students can compare the public information with the scientific study to determine the accuracy of the portrayal, the implications for nursing practice, and the need for further study. Bring on the Evidence General Description Nurses and nursing students at every level are hearing about the importance of evidence-based practice. 

    Novices often have trouble understanding what data count as evidence and how to assess their validity. Sometimes information is accepted as truth because the messenger has a convincing manner, not because the information has been appraised accurately. Bring on the Evidence allows students to function as “research sleuths” on a clinical or nursing issue. 

    Students select or are assigned a clinical problem or research dilemma. They develop the research question, essentially conducting a literature review. The difference is that the students are uncovering and collecting research evidence in a “private detective” style. 

    You may want to use Bring on the Evidence as a final project for a research class. You need to develop the assignment, determine how many grade points you’ll award for different aspects of the work, and develop a list of potential clinical issues or problems. Example of the Strategy at Work This strategy is especially valuable for smaller classes or clinical groups. 

    The assignment may be done alone or as a group activity; I’ve found that groups work especially well. First, students select a clinical problem or issue. During the first-class session we discuss and define this topic, and the class brainstorms potential key words to use in a search. 

    The brainstorming session and choice of key words are essential, especially for novice researchers. I like to organize a field trip to the library, or at least to a computer that allows access to library databases. This type of practice provides a certain level of comfort with the research process. 

    I encourage my students to print full text articles and to access articles “the old way” by going to the library stacks and finding the article in a bound journal. Students can list their evidence and bring the list to class. Subsequent classes review the evidence and discuss implications for further research and nursing practice.

• Students can present their evidence as a Poster Session accompanied by a short discussion of their conclusions.

• In a clinical setting, students can use the policies and procedures of the unit to generate their clinical issue. They can then Bring on the Evidence to inform the unit staff about their findings and to recommend further inquiry to the agency procedure committees.

• Students may frame their evidence as an In-class Debate, presenting their research findings versus a traditional or institutional practice. Ask them to analyse the evidence and to decide whether it’s time to recommend a change in practice.

• Award prizes to students who find the most definitive evidence.

• This strategy may be combined with a Mock Trial to continue the “sleuth” theme. Author Guidelines General Description Once students appreciate the value of nursing research, they discover an incentive to become research consumers themselves. 

    The Author Guidelines strategy simulates the experience of developing a manuscript for publication. This strategy is meant to be coupled with other projects to teach the next step in the research process dissemination. Students use an original research idea or some other project to explore the publication process. 

    The project can be a Campus or Unit Research Interview, Mock Study, or any other strategy that replicates the research process. Author Guidelines takes that strategy a step further. Students review current journals that would potentially publish their idea and bring the author guidelines for that journal to class. 

    Alternatively, the instructor can download or obtain author guidelines to be distributed in class. Preparation and Equipment Preparation begins with another assignment related to the research process. You can use one of the other research strategies described in this chapter. 

    Example of the Strategy at Work Campus or Unit Research and Mock Studies are the best foundation for preparing a simulated manuscript. After designing and completing the first step of the process, students then use their Author Guidelines to complete a short assignment. They can write the abstract, lay out the sections of the article, or develop an outline of the potential manuscript. 

    Encourage your students to review the guidelines for specific requirements, such as formatting, length, and audience. Many editors suggest reviewing other articles in the journal to learn its literary style. I’ve used Author Guidelines to discuss the difference between writing school papers and writing for journals (a challenge for many of us). 

    I also emphasize the importance of meeting the needs of the audience. This is a good time to discuss the peer-review process, acceptance rates, the challenges of writing for publication, and opportunities to begin a career in writing. Letters to the editor, any type of commentary, smaller community and local nursing publications, and professional organizations all provide good opportunities for the beginning writer.

• This assignment can be adapted for a group activity, a single homework assignment, or a class writing exercise.

• Students can compare the author guidelines of different journals to discover the particular priorities of each publication.

• Classes can peruse issues of a journal to get a feeling for its target audience. Encourage discussion questions such as “Who is this journal designed for?” “How does the audience determine the writing style?” and “How much research is published in this journal?” Discussion questions can be reviewed in pairs and trios to encourage participation.

•Advanced students can use Author Guidelines to develop concept papers for publication or assist faculty with research, leading to a joint publication.

• Have your students draft a query letter for a particular journal using the Author Guidelines or journal rules.

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