Curriculum analysis

Table of Content

Skill of curriculum analysis should be obtained by professional educators in order to select a precise curriculum. Analysis of the curriculum intended to tease the curriculum components to identify its commitment to developers believes and ideas (Poster, et al. ) According to Poster et al. Certain elements should be available for proper analysis such as learning objectives, philosophy statements, evaluation strategies, and teaching strategies. In this paper these elements will be discussed while analyzing Bachelor of Nursing curriculum- Basic stream in University of Share.

Below a description of curriculum analysis passed on Poser’s technical reduction framework which will be illustrated in the first part. Second part presents a situational analysis as a leader identifying possible constrains for future development. Course Analysis Curriculum Documentation Basic Nursing Curriculum in University of Share is accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CA) of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the United Arab Emirates. The program is intended for 4 years of total 137 credit hours, 125 hours compensatory and 12 elective courses (Department of nursing, 2014).

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Bachelor of Nursing was established in 1999 ND the curriculum was developed with cooperation with Mac-Master university from 1999-2004 under the guidance of Doctor Andrea Banana an Associate Dean of Health Sciences in Master (Banal Assai, 2014). To strict a balance between content and process basic nursing curriculum was in alignment with the AJAX National Qualification framework level 7 (Poster, 2004). This alignment was reflected in the learning objectives and outcomes. This nursing curriculum framework specify what the student should know and when to know it” (Poster et al. . The curriculum was modified based on national needs such as culture which reflected in providing Arabic and Islamic culture courses as mandatory ones. The curriculum also responded to the calls of nursing shortage in United Arab Emirates (AAU) which was compounded in by the perceived low status of the profession (Underworld, 2010). Curriculum course of study plan, programmer and courses disruption were obtained and reviewed from the university website. General criteria for entry is holding a scientific secondary school certificate of equivalent 80% or above.

A Toefl score of 500, or its equivalent on another standardized test, is mandatory. The study plan progressed through the master from freshman to senior presenting Banner Model (Patricia, 2001). Courses such as Biology, English, introduction to health science progressed to be a prerequisite of anatomy, physiology, and pathology, fundamental of nursing and other nursing courses. Competency development from “novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, expert, to master” levels were reflected in the process of mandatory degree requirements (Patricia et al. . The curriculum proceeded with basic concepts of anatomy physiology, pathology, microbiology, biochemistry and pharmacology for the students to acquire the Asia principles. Traditional perspective was illustrated in these courses where the student is expected to acquire a cumulative body of scientific knowledge that the curriculum assumes to be true (Poster, 2004). Teaching strategies in these courses presented through traditional lectures, self-instructional modules, and audiovisuals and supervised laboratory practice.

Nursing courses were progressed from basic nursing theory orientation course to adult fundamental maternity, pediatric, critical care, and mental health. Each of these courses were reflected in another paired practicum course in the capital field. To integrate knowledge and skill required for holistic nursing care problem-based learning approach was integrated as a learning strategy in these courses (adult fundamental maternity, pediatric, critical care, and mental health courses) to increase emphasis on critical thinking and nursing process by applying the constructivism theory.

This theory emphasis development of the mind as a central for education (Poster, 2004). A functional integration of advanced communication, biostatistics, epidemiology, introduction to research and leadership and management courses present advanced professional ramekin on research practicum stressing evidence based practice. Social learning theory was illustrated in advanced communication, and public health courses as students acquire knowledge through direct experience or by observing behavior of others (Poster et al. . To allow students to study areas of their interest 4 elective courses were addressed in the curriculum. However; having a mandatory Arabic and Islamic course can restrict some non- Arabs to choose such programmer. A remote access to medical library with a full texts of 41 ,OHO electronic journals, 80,000 electronic books, and serrations and theses providing extent resources to the required one and again emphasizing evidence based practice.

The curriculum emphasized the three domains knowledge, skills, and attitude. Emphasis in knowledge was obvious in the learning objectives and outcomes applying situational learning and constructivism theory in the degree courses such as biology, physiology and other basic nursing courses. Evaluating the clinical and field resources students apply experiential learning by practicing in AY Squeamish, AY Kuwaiti, Latvia, Rashes, AY Mammal and the University of Share Hospitals.

These experiential courses mimed to increase competence of students in areas such as “planning, finding and making use of appropriate resources; coping with new ideas and conflicting opinions” (Poster et al. ). Skills and attitude domains were clearly stated with clinical courses with each nursing course. A clinical tutor supervises students during hands on practice in the hospital field courses which considered a weakness that minimize clinical learning to some extend compared to adopting proprietorship evaluation (Happen, 2009).

It was not mentioned clearly in the curriculum documents about student faculty programmer evaluation. However; from personal experience at the end of each course an evaluation of both course design and faculty was implemented to ensure high quality of education. Responding to the socio-economic factors and shortage of national nurses in the United Arab Emirates (Haddam, 2006), program fees was discounted 50% to encourage national students enrolment. Curriculum Proper Program philosophy states that nursing is both scientific and humanistic profession unique to each client.

Concepts that are central to the philosophy are but not limited to “client, health, health promotion, healing, context, professional raring, teaching and learning, and knowing”. Aim of the programmer objectives and competencies were not stated. Curriculum goals and objectives were clearly stated meeting the AJAX National Qualification framework level 7 with an emphasis on research, community services and utilization of knowledge serving the needs of AAU Region (Qualifications Framework Emirates Handbook, 2012). Goals and objectives of the programmer are stated as below: Goals 1 .

To graduate highly qualified professionals prepared to work in primary, secondary, and tertiary health care facilities in the United Arab Emirates and the region. 2. To educate nursing professionals who contribute to humane and cost-effective health care, who initiate change and adapt to it and who will collaborate within inter-disciplinary teams. 3. To challenge and equip students to be critical thinkers and self- learners experienced in evidence-based assessment of problems, both at University and throughout life. 4.

To educate students to utilize research, within a stimulating and supportive environment. 5. To provide a high quality, intellectually challenging education in nursing that prepares our graduates to make a positive contribution to society. 6. To provide sufficient reader and depth of knowledge to satisfy the accreditation requirements. 7. To make a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in nursing science, at national and international levels. 8. To act as a focus and source of expertise in nursing for the United Arab Emirates and the region. . To introduce advanced procedures and approaches in the support of patients and disease prevention in the United Arab Emirates. Program Learning Outcomes: On completion of any of our undergraduate programs our graduates will: 1. Demonstrate a broad base of nursing knowledge as well as knowledge and understanding of health and behavioral sciences. (Cognitive comprehensive) 2. Demonstrate a comprehensive approach to nursing practice in a variety of health care settings. (Psychometric) 3. Identify internal and external influences on health. Cognitive application, evaluation) 4. Accept responsibility for lifelong learning and professional growth. (Cognitive knowledge) 5. Demonstrate a range of personal and professional skills including independent learning, critical thinking, verbal and written communication, time management, presentation skills, group and teamwork, and knowledge of information technology. Psychometric, Cognitive synthesis and analysis) 6. Demonstrate an awareness of the health care system and appreciation of the influence of recent developments in nursing and health. Cognitive comprehensive) 7. Demonstrate knowledge of the roles of other health care providers and work collaboratively with them in providing patient care. (Cognitive, knowledge and application) 8. Utilize an understanding of the ethical decisions and social issues important to the practice of nursing sciences on practice. (Affective) As the above, both administrative and educational goals were goal-oriented community. It presented the societal goals were remote and difficult to assess. Intended learning outcomes concentrate on what the student to be able to learn.

Bloom’s Taxonomy was reflected in the learning outcomes addressing the three domains “cognitive”, “affective”, and “psychometric”. However; the cognitive domain was the dominant domain in the curriculum outcomes. From learning outcomes can figure out that the central purpose of the curriculum is development of the mind knowledge (Poster, 2004). This can increase the query about nurses’ competencies. Six classes of Blooms cognitive domain were discussed in the earning outcomes which include evaluation, synthesis, analysis, comprehension and evaluation, refer to figure 1 (Poster et al. . It is suggested to rephrase some learning outcomes to provide more emphasis on psychometric and affective domains and to cover learning theories described in their courses, evidence based practice and research field. Learning Theories and Teaching Strategies Reviewing the course content; curriculum integrated lectures (as in basic biology, physiology anatomy courses), problem based learning, self-instructional method (found in nursing fundamental, pediatric, maternal, and psychiatry) ND laboratory practice.

The curriculum applied a collection of educational strategies following the SPICES model, refer to figure 2. Looking to the hierarchy of courses development, the curriculum adopted learning as an active process based on current or past knowledge with an increase in the level of difficulty while progressing in the profession. Moreover, adopting problem based learning, the curriculum reflected also learning as a social activity. Analyzing the previous nursing curriculum mirrored both Burner’s (1974) spiral curriculum and Statehouse (1975) process curriculum through the development of the courses.

For curriculum theory data were obtained from the programmer document that signify the goal, philosophy or conceptual framework and course description. The most commonly used theories in the discipline traditional, behavioral, experimental, cognitive, social and constructivist perspective. Traditional and cognitive theories were solicited from basic scientific course description were learning based on lectures strategy. Lecture has the concept to clarify difficult concepts, organize thinking, promote problem solving and challenge attitudes (Leonardo, 2007).

Behavioral, social and experimental theories were fleeted using problem based learning and laboratory practice. Analyzing these approaches learning can occur considering both concrete experiences and conceptual models by grasping and transforming experience. Poster (2004) pointed out that not all experiences are educative thus students should be supervised and a reflection on each experience should be promoted to enhance learning. Furthermore the curriculum acknowledges social aspect where individual’s attitude and environmental factors influence learning.

Androgyny assumption was paralleled to the goals and outcomes. Goals and outcomes implicitly and explicitly discussed the Androgyny elements which are self-directed learning, transforming learning and experience to acquire new knowledge and skill. Moreover, curriculum assumed that students value learning, are ready to acquire new knowledge, problem cantered and self-motivated. This illustrated in nursing fundamental, pediatric maternal, and psychiatry courses. Problem based learning adopt all these elements which are crucial to nursing education to synchronize the rapid health system change (Chance, 2013).

Hidden Curriculum One of the deeper impact of concurrent curricula is the Hidden Curricula. Can e defined as unexplored norms and values in the curricula (Poster, 2004). Harvests ( 1 980) suggested that hidden curricula term is in appropriate instead Para-curricula should be used as intangible aspects in fact is well known and obvious which is taught along with the official curricula (Allan, Smith, & Drill, 2010). There are three variables to hidden curricula; the organizational, the social system and cultural variables.

Organizational hidden curricula can include class size, breakfast and lunch along with course timing, better libraries, better access to hospital facilities, preceptor student relationship. Some researchers indicated that the smaller the class is the better facilitation of teaching, however in our curriculum this point was not indicated (Poster et al. ). When the curriculum to be delivered is an important aspect that may affect student life style. Reading and information material provided to both teacher and student through the library can influence learning.

Hospital facility accessibility to the society, rules and norms can restrict the student learning experience. Getting deeper into this aspect the University Hospital is quite a new private hospital that receives ewe number of patients, this will restrict student exposure to clinical practice. Furthermore, Share hospitals were not accredited by any standards of care which question the quality of acquired skills and knowledge. Culture and social variable can include parents and community involvement.

Haddam (2006) stated that the religious and community customs that shaped the country restricted feminine to indulge in practicum fields, which influencing students’ perception of practicing in male wards and night shifts thus influencing teaching learning strategies and students’ readiness to learn. Hospital staff nurses’ mall practice can influence students’ positive experiential learning which can mislead students from evidence based practice. Organizational and Leadership principles Julia (2010) illustrated five principles of leadership pyramid which was applied during the curriculum development.

First a vision was developed as stated “to become a leading academic institution in the Middle East and be well recognized worldwide for quality education in health professions research and community service” (Nursing department, 2014). Second nurturing collaboration where links with Mac Master University were developed. Third promote performance by recruiting experienced faculty. Fourth cultivating learning by latest evidence based practice learning approaches such as problem based learning as discussed previously.

Last curriculum has to ensure results however the results were not clear in the curriculum where enrolment and retention trends were not discussed. Situational Analysis In order to develop and incorporate strategy development process a better understanding of the existing curriculum is crucial for all stakeholders. The analysis will identify the opportunities and obstacles facing the curriculum (Hay & Castillo, 2005). Stockholders include but not limited to university decision makers, representatives from higher education, ministry of health, hospital directors, students, parents, and patients.

Strength Using Problem based learning approach Integrate basic science courses with clinical based courses Weaknesses Provide a high quality clinical sites for the practicum courses Competent preceptors Student recruitment and retention Evaluation methods were not discussed No exit evaluation exam Opportunities Having a highly equipped general hospital in Share Threats Face alt shortage Non-national clinical placement of graduates Career bath for the graduates when they are not holding a national nursing license Increase the department fund to support research and solicited changes.

Leadership approach A detailed plan of change should be discussed with constructive team. Two matters should be stressed: First, the flexibility of implementation process. If any new issues or additional data sources raised, a revised design should be built and incorporated into the implementation process. Second, the results should be reported to accommodate the special needs of the several audiences. Thus summary written in basic language for the public, an action plan presented to the school administrators, and a detailed technical report for the educational community.

Once people are able to measure the benefits of effective curriculum planning and evaluation, the public support for funding will become possible. Future research will be based on these indicators to give educational planners a more complete picture. A key to the success of any curricular program in the future is the ability of school leaders to develop awareness and understanding through the implementation of an effective evaluation program (Gladiator, Beeches, & Whitehead, 2009).

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