The Importance of Curriculum Evaluation

An explanation of the importance of ongoing curriculum evaluation.Why it is important? For whom it is important?

An explanation of how pilot testing can be used, and why it is used

Examples of both short-term and long-term evaluations for process improvements. Why are both types necessary?

A description of how to apply evidence-based nursing concepts, theories, and best practices to improve curriculum development.

Include 2 peer-reviewed journals

This is the scoring guide for this paper:

1. Explain the importance of ongoing curriculum evaluation, including why it is important and for whom it is important. (25%)

2. Explain how and why pilot testing can be used in curriculum evaluation(15%)

3. Provide examples of both short-term and long-term evaluations for process improvement, and explain why both types are important to curriculum development (25%)

4. Describe how evidence-based nursing concepts, theories and best practices can be applied to improve curriculum development (25%)

5. Write effectively APA formatting (10%)

The Importance of Curriculum Evaluation

Introduction

It is often stated that “the only permanent thing in life is change”. At times this statement is used when one is rebuking those opposed to changes being made at organizational or institutional level. The real motivation behind this principle is that of progress which refers to the constant improvement or betterment of something. The field of nursing education is one area where this principle has a lot of significance. As times progress, so do teaching methods so as to keep up with the demands of the healthcare industry. In the field of nursing, this change is part manifested through the process of evaluation. This evaluation is conducted on the nursing curriculum. The purpose of this exercise is therefore to analyze the importance of this evaluation of the nursing curriculum by giving special attention to pilot programs, short-term, long-term and also evidence based programs.

The importance of On-Going Curriculum Evaluation

There are several reasons why on-going evaluation is important for nursing education programs. One of the main reasons why curriculum evaluation is important in the field of nursing is that it leads to a better understanding of what the nursing students actually accomplish through their academic studies and the different skills and competencies that are used in the determination of the grading systems applied.

Secondly, evaluation is a tool that is used in the measurement of the degree to which improvements are being made in the given curriculum. This is done through the comparison of past scenarios and those being witnessed in the present. Improvements analyzed include those being realized by institutions of higher learning and more specifically the faculties that are in charge of nursing education.

On-going evaluation of the accreditation system being applied through the analysis of parameters used in the measurement of efficiency on the part of students and the curriculum.  Last but not least, on-going evaluation plays a key role in the appraisal of the value addition being offered by a specific nursing education curriculum to an institution of higher learning (Ogborn, 2002).

Pilot Testing and the manner in which it applies to Curriculum Evaluation

The term Pilot Test refers to the carrying out of an experiment on a sample population. The aim of this experiment is to gather empirical data on something new that has been developed so as to establish the relationship between the theoretical aspect of the product being tested and the practical aspects in a real world scenario. In nursing curriculums, this refers to the testing of a section of the curriculum that has been formulated. A select group of students, often from one institution are then subjected to a practical section of the curriculum for a limited but significant period and the different parameters of their learning tested during and after the conclusion of the pilot test. The importance of this process is that it provides curriculum developers with an objective guideline on the aspects of the curriculum that need to be retained, improved, revised or modified (Billings and Halstead, 2013).

Short-Term and Long-Term evaluation

An example a short-term measure that is applied to curriculum evaluation is the use of Criterion Referenced Models which seeks to establish the nature of the linkage that exists between the assessment methods being applied and the methods of instruction being used in a specific aspect of the curriculum. In nursing, this could mean the thorough comparison between examinations (theory and practical) and how they are related to the styles teachers use. Once this has been done, specific elements of the nursing curriculum are singled out and students tested in these to find out how they are interacting with the system on a real-time basis.

Long-term nursing curriculum evaluation on the other hand refers to the evaluation of the nurses’ learning system with a view of the impact that it has on the quality of service tendered by those who have acquired their nursing education and skills through it. The stakeholders who are involved at this stage are much more than those involved in short-term evaluation. Evaluation in this instance often involves the analysis of data that has been collected over several years with a view of analyzing the degree to which the profession has progressed in light of changes that were made to a curriculum (Oermann andGaberson, 2013).

Evidence Based Nursing Concepts

This type of evaluation relies on research studies being conducted on different aspects of the actual curriculum so as to find out the dynamics which come into play between content and effectiveness. This way, the curriculum’s course content is analyzed with a view of providing a basis that will be used to guide the future development of a nursing curriculum. What this then means is that the different applications that the curriculum has in the nursing profession have to come under scrutiny so as to find out if they are relevant and actually effective in the work of future nurses who are going through it at the moment (Reiss, 2005).

Best practices on the other hand are analyzed side by side with the current practices being advocated for in the curriculum so as to aid the evaluators in finding out the differences that exist. The differences here are the elements in the curriculum that have been found to be the root causes of service-gaps in the healthcare industry. Strategies to ensure the elimination of these through the application of best practices are then designed and formulated for inclusion in the curriculum.

                     References

Billings, D. M., & Halstead, J. A. (2013). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Oermann, M. H., &Gaberson, K. B. (2013). Evaluation and testing in nursing education. Springer Publishing Company.

Ogborn, J. (2002) Ownership and transformation: teachers using curriculum innovations Physics Education, 37(2), 142–146.

Reiss, M. J. (2005) SNAB: a new advanced level biology course Journal of Biological Education, 39(2), 56–57.S

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