Curriculum Implementation and Evaluation
In the contemporary medical world, new curriculum developments are nothing new among the nursing educators. That is for sure because they play important roles in curriculum development whenever there is a need for changes in the current curricula. That said, this paper seeks to establish the practical details of implementation and evaluation of a new curriculum targeting to introduce the BSN program in substitute of the current Associate Degree Program (ADN). Central to the analysis are various aspects of curriculum implementation and evaluation that are worth noting.
They include strategies for keeping current stakeholders informed about the curriculum, challenges and opportunities associated with curriculum development as well as the plan for the new BSN curriculum evaluation. With such information, it is beyond doubt that a new understanding of curriculum development is inevitable.
Strategies for Keeping Stakeholders Informed about the New Curriculum Development
Central to the success of any curriculum implementation is the familiarizing of the key stakeholders with the imminent curriculum changes. That is for sure since the stakeholders have major roles to play in the realization of the much-needed curriculum changes. In this case, the stakeholders of interest include current students in the ADN program as well as healthcare and community agencies. That said, the strategies employed to keep these stakeholders informed about the new curriculum development are worth noting and is the focus of this section.
Current Students in the Associate Degree Program
Of utmost significance to the keeping of current students in ADN program informed of the new curriculum development are various strategies that are worth highlighting.
Direct Involvement of the Students in Planning
A case in point of such strategies is the direct involvement of current students in the ADN program in the new curriculum adoption and implementation. Keating, (2014) is of the opinion that the direct involvement of students in these processes will ensure that the curriculum developers have the student’s inputs about the new curriculum. The students should be actively involved in the adoption and implementation of the new curriculum by engaging them actively. By so doing, the developed curriculum becomes more acceptable among the students and result in better outcomes.Early engagement of the learners assures of acceptance of the changes which make it easy to teach the curriculum. Failure to engage the learners could make them negligent of the changes and fail to appreciate the necessity of such learning content. Engagement of the students in learning ensures that the students are up to date with the progress of the curriculum development and implementation.
Teaching Students about the New Curriculum
Another strategy that can come in handy in familiarizing the current students with the new curriculum is teaching them about it (Keating, 2014).Lectures should make sure to teach the students about the new curriculum and what it entails so as to keep them informed about the whole process. The learners should be made aware of the contents of the curriculum, goals, objectives and the specific competencies that they should achieve. By so doing, the students will appreciate the progress spearheaded by the faculty and actively engage in the implementation of the new curriculum. The intervention also increases the willingness of the students to learn using the new curriculum as they gain an understanding of what they should know and the advantages of learning such course instead of the old course.
Healthcare and Community Agencies
On the part of healthcare and community agencies, the curriculum developers can familiarize them with the new curriculum using several methods.
Advertisement of the New Curriculum
A befitting example of the strategies of keeping the healthcare and community agencies informed about the new curriculum is the use of advertisements. The advertisements will bring to the attention of the affiliated healthcare and community agencies the new curriculum development. Various social media avenues can be used to advertise the new curriculum which makes most people aware of the changes and even draws more students to pursue the new course on offer. Consequently, the healthcare and community agencies will become more knowledgeable about the new curriculum alterations (Keating, 2014).
Awareness Campaigns and Training
Notwithstanding, awareness campaigns and training are other strategies that the curriculum developers may use to keep the affiliated healthcare and community agencies informed about the imminent changes. Such is the case since these strategies allow the affiliated healthcare and community agencies to earn necessary knowledge and skills, which enable them to contribute meaningfully to the processes and decisions relating to curriculum development (Keating, 2014). As such, the institution of these strategies is particularly important in keeping the affiliated healthcare and community agencies informed about the new curriculum development.
Challenges and Opportunities Associated with Curriculum Development
Possible Challenge for Faculty Teaching ADN and the BSN Program Concurrently
Faculty members that initially taught ADN programs are no exception to challenges associated with curriculum transition. That is the case since they have to put up with the demands that come with the new curriculum development.
Teaching Similar Content
Faculty members teaching ADN and the BSN program concurrently face a fundamental challenge of teaching the students in the two different programs the same content, which may not serve them right as per their scope of practice (Iwasiw, Goldenberg, & Andrusyszyn, 2014).There are high chances of duplication of content in the event that the same lecturers are required to teach the ADN and BSN students simultaneously. Such an eventuality is inevitable given that initially the faculty members were only conversant with the course content for the ADN students and not for the BSN counterparts. As such, the introduction of the new curriculum may present the faculty members with the challenge of differentiating the required course competencies for both programs. The faculty members should have clear cut competencies for the two courses and strictly adhere to them to ensure that students are taught as per their level.
Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Student Learning
Without a doubt, the integration of interdisciplinary partnership in the new curriculum comes with the advantage of enhancing student learning in several ways. For example, the interdisciplinary partnership offers an opportunity for the nursing students to interact with faculty members and students in different disciplines from whom they learn new ideas and skills about crucial aspects (Finkelman, & Kenner, 2013). As such, the ramification of this interaction is an increase in the knowledge and skill-set of the nurses, which translates to enhanced student learning.
Plan for the New BSN Curriculum Evaluation
There is need to assess the effectiveness of a curriculum to determine where the goals of the program were achieved. The proponents of the new nursing program need the assurance that they made the right decision concerning the issue, which is shown by the achievement of the course goals. The evaluation also helps to meet the increased demand for accountability in nursing. The effectiveness of a curriculum should be measured against a standard, and different methods are used to evaluate a curriculum (Keating, 2014). Qualitative and quantitative approaches are used in curriculum evaluation through examining student achievement or the content.
Competency-based evaluation is a strategy of curriculum evaluation that is used to examine the competencies that students gained since the course began. Behavioral and instructional objectives are converted to competency statements. The assessment of the effectiveness of a curriculum through the competency approach is concerned with determining whether students acquired specific skills and knowledge regarding the course (Iwasiw et al, 2014). Competency statements refer to statements that define particular skills that students should gain by the end of the course.
Competency-based curriculum evaluation involves an assessment of whether students have acquired the given skills. Trainers examine students based on the competencies that they were supposed to learn by the end of the course. Examiners determine the competencies gained by students throughout the course or during a specific period compared with all the skills that they were to acquire (Keating, 2014). The learners are therefore assessed for the skills, which they have gained.
Type of Data Collected for Evaluation
The achievement of the set competencies forms the key data to be collected for the evaluation of the new curriculum. Competency-based evaluation of the BSN curriculum needs the collection of data for comparison. Data collection will help determine differences made before and after the implementation of the curriculum. The evaluation of the BSN curriculum needs information on the competencies that students were able to gain with the old curriculum and competencies with the new curriculum. A baccalaureate degree in nursing requires that students should have specific knowledge and skills as per the AACN essentials (Iwasiw et al, 2014). Data collection, in this case, involves the determination of the competencies achieved by students in comparison with the requirements of the curriculum.
Student assessment should be done to evaluate the competencies gained during the course. Simulations can be done to establish what the learners could do in real life situations with the competencies they have. As such, the data canbe compared with the set competencies to confirm whether the curriculum goals have been achieved (Keating, 2014). A close similarity of the students’ competencies with the set standard reflects the meeting of the course goals. Cases, where students gain fewer skills than expected of them, shows that the curriculum goals were never met and there is need to revise the curriculum to ensure that the learners achieve the expected competencies.
Data Collection and Course Improvement
Data collection is essential in curriculum development, as it acts as the basis forevaluation. A curriculum is evaluated based on the set standards and the students’achievements.Therefore, trainers would be required to set the standard competencies for the BSN students andevaluate whether they were met. Data should be collected through student assessment to find outif they possess the required competencies (Iwasiw et al, 2014). Data collection provides a basisfor evaluation by highlighting what competencies were set and what the students achieved. Comparing the outcome helps in making decisions on the strategies that can be used to revise thecurriculum to enhance achievement of objectives and thereby improving a particular course.
Concisely, this paper aimed at establishing the practical details of curriculum implementation and evaluation. Indeed, the discussion has achieved this objectiveby the identification of strategies for keeping current stakeholders informed about the curriculum, challenges and opportunities associated with curriculum development as well as developing the plan for the new BSN curriculum evaluation. Based on this analysis, it is thus clearer that new curriculum developers have a benchmark of what to expect as they seek to effect new curriculum changes. As such, going forward, management of expectations of new curriculum developers becomes easier.
Finkelman, A. W., & Kenner, C. (2013). Teaching IOM: Implications of the Institute of Medicine reports for nursing education.Silver Spring, Md.: American Nurses Association.
Iwasiw, C. L., Goldenberg, D., & Andrusyszyn, M. A. (2014). Curriculum development in nursing education. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Keating, S. B. (Ed.). (2014). Curriculum development and evaluation in nursing. Springer Publishing Company.