Learning and Assessment in Practice

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  • Topic: Education, Educational psychology, Learning
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  • Published : March 21, 2012
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Learning and Assessment in Practice

The purpose of this assignment is to critically analyse and reflect upon the effectiveness of an innovation, developed for learning and assessment in practice. The 3 learning outcomes which I have focused on, as outlined in the module descriptor are (ii) critically reflect on the opportunities and limitations of practice as a dynamic learning environment in relation to the facilitation and evaluation of learning in practice, (iii) demonstrate the enabling of learners to integrate theory and practice, and (iv) critically evaluate a range of learning theories and teaching strategies to facilitate the integration of theory and practice.

I will utilise Gibbs (1988) model of reflection, (as cited in Quinn & Hughes, 2007). Gibbs’s (1988) reflective cycle encourages a clear description of the situation; analysis of feelings; evaluation and analysis of the experiences; conclusion of what I would do if the situation arose again; and reflects an action plan to achieve it (Gibbs, 1988). Reflection is an active process that enables health care professionals to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences (Johns & Freshwater, 2005) and serves to extend our professionalism and our confidence in a bid to make sense of clinical experiences (Ghaye Gillespie & Lillyman, 2000). It can help us in our ability to resolve the contradictions between what is desirable and what is actual practice, making us more self aware and thus become empowered to respond differently in future situations (Johns & Freshwater, 2005). In accordance with Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008), confidentiality will be maintained.

Learning in practice is an important part of the curriculum and accounts for approximately 50% of the pre-qualifying nursing programme in the UK (RCN, 2009). Supporting students to learn is an important function for both educators and practitioners and thus teaching, assessing and mentoring are fundamental aspects of nurses' roles and responsibilities. Butterworth, Faugier & Burnard (1997) see the mentor as somebody from a professional background that both nurtures and guides the student. It is within this framework that the importance of a mentor is clearly defined. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) considers a mentor as being a registered nurse who is a facilitator of a student’s learning and supervises and assesses the student nurses placed under their care. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) further outlines 8 areas of competency that a mentor must achieve in order to fulfil their role to an adequate standard. These are; (i) establishing effective working relationships, (ii) facilitation of learning, (iii) assessment and accountability, (iv) evaluation of learning, (v) creating an environment for learning, (vi) context of practice, (vii) evidence-based practice and (viii) leadership.

Following discussions with colleagues about students and information we give to students, I decided to develop this pack. It was aimed as a guide for second and third year pre-registration students. We do not take first year students on the ward because of the complex haematological conditions we have with our patients. My colleagues and other students thought it was a welcome addition to leaflets and study aids already available on the ward.

The innovation was developed as a learning resource, for use in my area of practice in an acute work place setting. The innovation is a student nurse information and welcome pack which also offers a guide to medical conditions and medications which are appropriate to our area of expertise. The pack contained an overview of the managers, consultants, specialist nurses, ward philosophy, medical conditions and medications relevant to our area, ward objectives and a step by step routine of the ward. There is opportunity for the student to see what medications we use on the ward with the advantage to gain more information...
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