Facilitating Learning in the 21st Century
The nursing faculty at Hartford University have developed a new BSN curriculum and
begun the work of designing and developing individual courses. You are a full-time, tenure-
track faculty member assigned to develop courses in level one-the first year of the nursing
program. Students at this level have completed all prerequisites for the BSN program.
You are asked to develop the Nursing Fundamentals course, the first clinical course
students engage in once admitted to the BSN nursing program. According to the results of
the nursing program entrance exam, the students who will be taking the Nursing
Fundamentals course were found to have an equal distribution of visual, auditory, and
kinesthetic learning styles. The Nursing Fundamentals course will introduce students to
nursing care across the lifespan. It will also provide students with the tools necessary to
perform basic nursing care in clinical settings and will provide the framework for future
clinical courses (e.g., medical/surgical, pediatric, obstetrics/gynecology, mental health, and
community nursing specialties).
Facilitating Learning in the 21st Century
UVT Task 1: Learning Outcomes (9 pages)
A. Four Competency Statements
The Nursing Fundamentals course will be guided by competency statements which are
based on contemporary professional nursing standards and guidelines. The four competency
statements that are unique to the Nursing Fundamentals course include;
i. The Nursing Fundamentals course must prepare graduates to make clinical decisions
using current best evidence.
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ii. The course must train graduates to demonstrate the ability to work efficiently with
inter-professional and nursing teams and to make clinical decisions that are aimed at
achieving quality patient care.
iii. The Nursing Fundamentals course must prepare graduates to maximize benefits and
minimize risks for patients through improved individual performance and system
iv. The course must teach graduates to use information and technology to support clinical
decisions and to minimize medical errors.
A1. Explanation of Four Competencies
The four competencies listed in part A above are aligned with the national nursing
standards and guidelines documented by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN).
Competences i, ii, iii, and iv are aligned with QSEN standards related to evidence-based practice,
teamwork and collaboration, safety, and informatics respectively. First, the nurse educator for the
Nursing Fundamentals course will have to teach learners how to use current best evidence to
make clinical decisions. This will help the institution to maintain compliance with QSEN’s
evidence-based practice standards. Moreover, nurse educator for the course will have to ensure
that graduate nurses are competent enough to function with inter-professional and nursing teams
to share knowledge that is aimed at achieving quality patient care. This way, the institution will
have observed QSEN’s standard related to teamwork and collaboration (Rosenblum and Sprague-
Additionally, the nurse educator for the Nursing Fundamentals course will be compelled
to teach graduates to maximize benefits and minimize risks for patients through improved
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 3
individual performance and system effectiveness. This will help the academic institution to
comply with the safety standards set by QSEN. Furthermore, the nurse educator will ensure that
graduate nurses are competent in using information and technology to mitigate medical errors
and to promote improved care delivery. This will enable the institution to demonstrate adherence
to QSEN’s standard related to informatics (Lewis, Stephens and Ciak, 2016).
A2. Three Learning Objectives
Clear learning objectives must be developed for the Nursing Fundamentals course to help
students to master the four competencies listed above. The three learning objectives for course
competency number ‘iv’ which is related to informatics are outlined below;
At the end of the course;
i. The learner must be able to explain the importance of information and technology skills
in promoting safe and quality patient care.
ii. Also, the student must be able to identify crucial health information that should be kept in
electronic systems to support patient care
iii. the learner must have the capacity to describe the relationship between patient safety and
effective management of electronic health information
A2a. Discussion of Criterion
The criterion that will be used to select appropriate learning resources to achieve the
learning objectives listed in part A2 is consistency. The chosen learning resources must be
consistent with educational standards set by national, state, and local agencies. According to
Burns, Noonan, Jenkins, and Bernardo (2017), an effective learning resource for a nursing course
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 4
must be coherent and consistent with the standards set by national, states, and local agencies in
the nursing education sector. Furthermore, the content of these learning resources must match the
needs of learners irrespective of the program level in which they are to be used. By focusing on
consistency when selecting learning materials for the Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse
educator will choose only those resources that highlight the specific contexts in which they are to
be used, and that explicitly explain nursing concepts that are to be covered in the course.
Furthermore, the nurse educator will be sure to select learning resources that specify the types of
learners who can utilize those resources. Also, the nurse educator should consider the appropriate
method of instruction that must be used in the classroom to ensure compliance with educational
standards set by national, state, and local agencies (Burns et. al., 2017).
A3. Approaches to Course Design
The Nursing Fundamentals course will be developed based on the principles of the
contemporary approach to course design. The contemporary approach to course design that will
be used to develop the course is the learning-centered approach. According to Ihm, Choi, and
Roh (2017), a learning-centered approach is based on the principle that the ability of a student to
efficiently acquire new knowledge is mainly dependent on the teaching process utilized by the
instructor. Here, the learner uses the information provided by the instructor to build upon a given
concept based on the knowledge that had been acquired previously. Learning-centered approach
to course design is appropriate for learners who are being taught to achieve certain competencies
which have been set by relevant accreditation bodies (Ihm, Choi, and Roh, 2017). In the Nursing
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 5
Fundamentals Course, nursing students are expected to achieve the competencies outlined by
QSEN. As a contemporary approach to course design, the learning-centered approach will help
learners in the Nursing Fundamentals Course to acquire the competencies listed in part A of this
B. Strategies to Evaluate Learning Outcomes
Role playing, as well as papers and essays, will be used to evaluate whether students have
achieved the intended learning outcomes in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. Papers and essays
is an evaluation strategy that involves the issuance of exam topics to students and asking them to
write their answers on papers in essay form. It is a form of summative assessment because it
often conducted at the end of a course and it covers all topics covered in the course. Using papers
and essays evaluation strategy, the nurse educator will judge student performance in the Nursing
Fundamentals Course based on documented standards (Harrison, Konings, Schuwirtg, Wass &
Vleuten, 2017). Role playing is an evaluation strategy in which learners are allowed to assume
the roles of practitioners and use these forged relationships to practice various activities as they
would occur in real life situations. When using role-playing evaluation strategy, the nurse
educator will allow students to interact in diverse settings which resemble those of an actual
nursing context (Quinn and Peters, 2017).
B1. Advantages of Strategies
Papers and essays form of evaluation strategy will enable the nurse educator to assess
whether students have achieved the intended learning objectives. According to Harrison et. al.,
(2017), since papers and essays mode of evaluation in normally used at the end of a course, it is a
very useful tool for examining whether students have understood the taught concepts. The main
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 6
advantage of using role playing to evaluate learning outcomes in the course is that role playing
will increase learners’ confidence thereby helping them to reduce anxiety and to understand
taught concepts effectively (Quinn and Peters, 2017).
B2. Disadvantages of Strategies
Papers and essays is a poor method of assessing learning outcomes because questions are
normally framed in a manner that does not allow the learner to integrate knowledge on specific
topics. Ideally, exam questions for different topics are often distributed throughout the paper, and
this prevents the learner from bringing taught concepts together (Harrison et. al., 2017). The
main disadvantage associated with role playing is that it may prevent the nurse educator from
evaluating the learning outcomes of all learners because some students may show the lack of
interest in participating in the organized scenarios until the end of the course (Quinn and Peters,
C1. Criterion-Referenced Tests
Criterion-referenced tests will be used in the Nursing Fundamentals Course to evaluate
student outcomes. When using criterion-referenced tests, the nurse educator will document
learning standards which students will be expected to meet for them to be considered competent.
Only students who meet the set standards after answering given tests will be deemed proficient
(Lock, McNaught and Young, 2015).
C2. Norm-Referenced Tests
Apart from criterion-referenced tests, norm-referenced tests will be used to assess student
outcomes in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. When using norm-referenced tests, the nurse
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 7
educator will compare student performance with that of an imaginary average student who will
be selected from a group of learners who had completed similar tests before. Students who
manage to perform better that the imaginary average student will have passed their exams.
Conversely, learners who score grades below that of the imaginary average student will have
failed the test (Lock, McNaught and Young, 2015).
D1. Advantages of True-False Test Items
Advantages of true-false test items will influence their use in the Nursing Fundamentals
Course. The nurse educator may choose to use true-false test items because individual test items
are easy to compose and organize. Also, true-false test items are easy to tally because they
display students’ answers very clearly. Moreover, true-false test items will enable the nurse
educator to examine students on some concepts because they allow sampling of information
from several topics (Javid, 2014).
D2. Disadvantages of True-False Test Items
Using true-false test items is disadvantageous in the sense that, a full test requires a lot of
time to construct because the nurse educator will have to search for some items to effectively
assess the knowledge levels of learners. Additionally, true-false test items are ineffective in
assessing student knowledge because they encourage guess work. Again, using true-false test
items is disadvantageous because they can only be used to measure low levels of comprehension
and knowledge (Javid, 2014).
D3. Advantages of Multiple-Choice Test Items
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One of the advantages of using multiple-choice test items of the course is that they will allow
the nurse educator to assess many learning objectives in a single examination. Also, when
multiple choice test items are used, the nurse educator will easily evaluate results of a large
population of learners. Moreover, using multiple-choice tests in the Nursing Fundamentals
Course will help to improve student performance in subsequent tests (Sutherland, Schwartz and
D4. Disadvantages of Multiple-Choice Test Items
Over-reliance on multiple-choice test items may negatively impact student outcome
because learners who are expecting to be examined using multiple-choice question often spend
less time studying as compared to those who are assessed using essay exams. Additionally,
multiple-choice tests expose learners to unacceptable answers. For this reason, wrong choices
made on previous tests may have a negative effect on memory in the future tests. Multiple-choice
test items also require a lot of time to construct. Rushing over test construction may make the
nurse educator teach wrong information (Sutherland, Schwartz and Dickison, 2012).
E. Multiple-Choice Item for a Learning Objective Developed in Part A2
The multiple-choice item below has been created for learning objective number ii in part
A2 which states that, “the student must be able to identify crucial health information that should
be kept in electronic systems to support patient care.”
Multiple-Choice Item: The following groups of information should be part of a patient’s
electronic health records except?
A. Medical history, progress notes, billing data, and vital health signs
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 9
B. Allergies, medication, laboratory tests, progress notes, and patient demographics
C. Patient demographics, dates of immunization, and diagnoses
D. Patient’s attitude towards the facility, list of doctors to handle the patient’s health
problem, and names of patient’s family members
E1. Key Considerations with Item Stem Construction
The key consideration made when constructing the stem is its meaningfulness in
addressing the specific learning objective that the nurse educator expects students to meet. In this
case, the learners are expected to know types of patient information that should be part of an
electronic health record. For this reason, the stem has been constructed in a question format for it
to guide the nursing students towards identifying information that should not be contained in an
electronic medical record (Sutherland, Schwartz and Dickison, 2012).
E2. Key Considerations with Response Options
The key considerations which have been made when developing response options for the
multiple choice item in part E are plausibility and clarity. Plausible response options have been
used to confuse learners and to enable them to think critically to identify the right answer.
Moreover, the use of plausible response options, in this case, will allow the nurse educator to
distinguish between learners who have achieved the learning objectives from those who have
not. Students who have achieved the course objectives will select the correct answer while those
who have not achieved the learning outcomes will choose a wrong answer. Furthermore, clarity
has been taken into account when formulating response options for the multiple-choice item
listed above. The use of short and specific alternatives will enable learners to go through the
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 10
options quickly before they can select their most preferred choices (Sutherland, Schwartz and
E3. Posttest Reviews
After nursing students will have completed their exams for the Fundamentals of Nursing course,
the nurse educator will guide them through a posttest review session where all learners will be
expected to have their answers with them. Posttest reviews will give nursing students an
opportunity to make improvements on similar tasks in future. It will guide students to assess the
gaps in their understanding of concepts and to develop strategies for making meaningful
improvements. Furthermore, posttest reviews will help students to understand how they can best
apply their theoretical knowledge in answering tested contents (Ierardi, 2014).
F. Cultural and Societal Factors
The ability of students to effectively learn the Nursing Fundamentals Course in the
classroom can be impacted by both cultural and societal factors. In this regard, a student’s
learning ability may either improve or decline as a result of influence from factors inherent in
their cultures (Shawwa, Abulaban, and Balkhoyor, 2015). For example, the level of
concentration of a female student who comes from a community that does not support girl-child
education may negatively be affected because such student will face rejection from the
community. Conversely, communities that encourage children to learn may positively impact
learning abilities of students from those regions. Societal factors such as insecurity and lack of
social amenities like well-maintained schools and health institutions may have an adverse impact
on students’ learning in the classroom (Shawwa, Abulaban, and Balkhoyor, 2015).
F1. Student’s Background
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As a cultural factor, being an African-American may negatively impact student learning
in a classroom that is dominated by whites. This is because the teacher may give African-
American students limited attention as compared to their white counterparts. Additionally, white
students may feel that African-American students lack learning capabilities and may, therefore,
discriminate against them. This may prevent African-Americans from participating in classroom
activities and to score low grades (Shawwa, Abulaban, and Balkhoyor, 2015). Moreover,
personal factors such as motivation to learn may have a great impact on learning in the
classroom. As Shawwa, Abulaban and Balkhoyor (2015) explain, students achievement begins
with a student’s willingness to learn as willingness is the basic foundation of curiosity. Therefore,
a student with a motivation to learn may have a better learning experience in a classroom than
those who lack the motivation (Shawwa, Abulaban, and Balkhoyor, 2015).
G. Learning Objectives and Related Activities to Facilitate Learning
Learning is greatly enhanced through relevant learning objectives and learning activities.
Before beginning the instructional delivery process, the nurse educator must first formulate
objectives that learners are expected to meet. Learning objectives will help the nurse educator to
identify the most appropriate teaching and assessment strategies for a given course. To help
learners to meet the set objectives, the nurse educator must be sure to select and use activities
which are related to the objectives (Rosenblum and Sprague-McRae, 2014).
G1. Learning Activity Development
The learning activity outlined below will assist learners in meeting objective number iii
in Part A2 which states that, “the learner must have the capacity to describe the relationship
between patient safety and effective management of electronic health information.”
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The nurse educator will ask learners to take a small piece of paper and write one private
thing in their lives that they would not want anybody to know about. The students will then be
asked to share their pieces of paper with their neighbors. Obviously, no student will be willing to
share whatever they have written with their colleagues in the classroom. The nurse educator will
then use students’ reactions to explain and help students understand the relationship between
patient safety and effective management of electronic health information.
G1a.Learning Activity for Learning Objective
The learning activity developed above effectively meets learning objective number iii in
part A2. Effective management of electronic health information is concerned with issues of
privacy and confidentiality. By providing their sensitive health information, patients always
expect medical practitioners to keep that information private and confidential. Just like students
would not wish to share their private information with colleagues in the classroom, so patients
would not wish that their health information is accessed by other people apart from those who
are directly involved in their care (Rosenblum and Sprague-McRae, 2014). This activity will
help students to understand that patient safety is directly related to effective management of
electronic health information.
G2. Learning Activity Meeting Learning Styles
The learning activity described in part G1 effectively meets kinesthetic learning style of
students in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. According to Kharb, Samanta, and Singh (2013),
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 13
students who apply kinesthetic learning style enjoy learning through movement and making
contact. These students always want to engage in activities that make them move their hands
during the lesson as this helps to break teaching boredom. The activity in part G1 will get
learners moving and will help them to break from teaching monotony.
H. Importance of Learning Activity Promoting Critical Thinking Skills
When teaching Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse educator will create learning
activities that improve critical thinking skills of learners. According to Papathanasiou, Kleisiaris,
and Kourkouta (2014), today’s nursing institutions must strive to promote critical thinking skills
of students to produce graduates who can effectively keep up with the rapid technological
advancements in the contemporary world. Therefore, learning activities that improve critical
thinking skills of learners are important because they will enable students to understand and
analyze issues more effectively, with the aim of solving complex problems that they increasingly
encounter in the ever-changing world (Papathanasiou, Kleisiaris, and Kourkouta, 2014).
H1. Critical Thinking Strategy
The nurse educator will use collaborative learning to facilitate the development of self-
reflection skills among students in the Nursing Fundamentals Course. Collaborative learning is a
critical thinking strategy that involves allowing nursing students to work in teams to solve
complex problems related to specific course concepts that they have been taught in the
classroom. This is a very effective strategy for improving critical thinking skills of learners
because it will enable students to apply their cognitive abilities to analyze ideas and opinions of
team members with the aim of generating solutions to individual problems. Students who form
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14
part of the collaborative teams will take advantage of group diversity to come up with relevant
solutions for problems identified problems (Lewis, Stephens and Ciak, 2016).
H2. Implementation of Selected Strategy
Collaborative learning strategy will be implemented in the Nursing Fundamentals Course by
following four steps chronologically. First, the nurse educator will teach students a new course
concept and allow them to ask questions. Second, the nurse educator will identify an article that
talks about a complex issue related to the taught concept. Third, he or she will ask students to
form groups. Each group will be invited to read the article, analyze its contents, identify the
problem, and come up with a solution or solutions to the identified problem. Fourth, the nurse
educator will use the solutions generated by each group to help students to understand the course
concept further (Rosenblum and Sprague-McRae, 2014).
I. Examples of a Best Practice
The nurse educator should have a system in place to provide feedback to learners in the clinical
setting. There are several acceptable approaches for providing feedback to students. For instance,
in the Nursing Fundamentals Course, the nurse educator can provide written feedback to learners
at the end of the course, that is, in a summative manner. The feedback should contain an
explanation of observed desirable behaviors as well as undesirable behaviors and actions that
students can take to improve on them (Anderson, 2012).
UVT Task 2: Nurse Education Curriculum (3 pages)
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 15
A1. Strategies to Inform Current Students
One of the strategies that the nurse educator can implement to inform students who are in
the associate degree program at the moment about the development of the new curriculum is an
internal memorandum. The nurse educator can write a memo addressed to current students and
pin it on the school notice board to allow all of them to view. He or she can also use the open
discussion to inform the students about curriculum development by gathering all of them in a
school hall and selecting leaders to facilitate the discussion (Yengo-Kahn, Backer and Lomis,
A2. Strategies to Inform Healthcare and Community Agencies
The nurse educator can use progress reports and brochures to inform community and
healthcare agencies about curriculum development. Since healthcare and community agencies
cannot easily reach the Hartford University to obtain information about curriculum development,
the nurse educator can communicate to them about the same by sending them emails with
printable brochures and progress reports to keep them informed of the development (Yengo-
Kahn, Backer and Lomis, 2017).
B1. Challenge for Faculty
During the implementation of the new curriculum, instructors who may be required to teach the
new BSN program and the current associate degree program may be faced with the challenge of
planning lessons for both classes. This is because lessons for the two classes may occur at the
same time. Suppose this occurs, the faculty will be compelled to leave one class unattended to.
Additionally, faculty that may be required to teach the associate degree program, as well as the
BSN program, may lack adequate resources to effectively teach the two groups of students. This
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 16
may prevent effective delivery of instruction which may negatively affect student outcome in
both classes (Yengo-Kahn, Backer and Lomis, 2017).
B2. Integration of Interdisciplinary Partnerships
Student learning will be enhanced by integrating partners from other disciplines in the
education field into the development of the new curriculum. Interdisciplinary integration into the
curriculum development will enhance sharing of ideas and knowledge on approaches that should
be taken to make the curriculum effective. This will eventually translate into improved student
outcome (Yengo-Kahn, Backer and Lomis, 2017).
C1. Evaluation Method
Formative evaluation method will be used to assess if the curriculum design is effective for the
Nursing Fundamentals Course. This assessment strategy involves assessment of the curriculum
design during implementation. Formative evaluation of curriculum design will enable the nurse
educator to make relevant changes that match ongoing trends in the nursing education field
(Burns, et. al., 2017).
C2. Type of Data
During the formative evaluation, the nurse educator will collect data related to; the effectiveness
of teaching materials and instructional strategies in generating the desired learning objectives.
Whether the curriculum is improving student learning outcomes, the effectiveness of assessment
strategies in meeting learner objectives, and the level of compliance of the curriculum with the
standards set by relevant accreditation bodies (Burns, et. al., 2017).
C3. Data Collection
FACILITATING LEARNING IN THE 21ST CENTURY 17
Data collection during curriculum evaluation will help the nurse educator to identify
areas of the curriculum that should be improved to maximize its effectiveness. Corrections will
be made to the curriculum based on the data collected during evaluation. Eventually, an
improved curriculum will contain appropriately selected teaching materials, instructional
strategies, and will demonstrate compliance with the accreditation bodies in the nursing field
(Burns, et. al., 2017).
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