Students' perceptions of the use of debates in nursing courses

Hartin, Peter, Birks, Melanie, and Bodak, Marie (2015) Students' perceptions of the use of debates in nursing courses. In: Assessment for Learning in Higher Education 2015. From: Internation Conference Assessment for Learning in Higher Education 2015, 13-15 May 2015, Hong Kong.

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Background: Preparing undergraduate nursing students to be effective communicators and critical thinkers is essential in today’s health care environment. Debates have been defined as an educational strategy that fosters clinical reasoning and thinking skills and can provide a unique and targeted learning experience that promotes the student's ability to communicate confidently and effectively. There is little empirical evidence about students' perceptions of debates and their value. This study examines the use of debates from the perspective of both first and third year nursing students at one Australian regional university.

Method: Debates were included in tutorial sessions for first and third year nursing students as a learning modality. The students were then given the opportunity to complete a simple online survey asking them to evaluate the use of the debates in their learning. This paper reports on the results of the data collected.

Results: Findings from this study explore the value of debates in: aiding understanding of subject content and the profession more broadly; enhancing the students' learning experience and academic success; increasing relevance of subject matter; improving skills in scholarship, critical thinking and communication. Students were also invited to provide additional comments that reflected their perceived value of debates in their studies.

Discussion: Given its flexibility as a teaching method, debate has the potential to contribute to the achievement of professional competencies and graduate attributes. The findings of this study will be used to enhance future offerings of subjects and will provide a foundation for further research. It is hoped that outcomes of this study will encourage an expanded vision in respect of innovative use of new and traditional teaching and learning strategies.

Item ID: 39069
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 22:42
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 100%
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