Standard VI: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 3:25 PM

Laurie Bladen, PhD, MBA/HCM
Department of Nursing, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Coldwater, OH, USA

The purpose of this presentation is to describe strategies that work in assessing end of program and student learning outcomes as a measure of academic quality from a diverse curricular perspective (Horne & Sandmann, 2012; McEwen, Pullis, White, & Krawtz, 2013; Russell, 2015). Assessment of student achievement and academic quality continues to be the primary foci of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) (2015). Faculty who use a systemic approach to program evaluation increases the probability that evaluation activities will lead to program improvement (Richardson, 2015). Historically, the evaluation process at Clarion University fell short during the accreditation process as program outcomes and student learning outcomes were difficult to evaluate. As the curriculum advanced to an evidence-based practice model, measurements in the form of qualitative reflection journals were use and further revision resulted in measurements of student’s application of knowledge.

End of Program outcomes include evaluation findings from student and employer surveys. These outcomes are not used in isolation as student learning outcomes and employer satisfaction measures are obtain to measure the programs ability to meet employer’s expectations. Student-focused evaluation topics include affective outcomes relative to research and theory in evidence, based practice, health promotion, leadership, clinical thinking skills, communication, and professionalism in nursing practice. Faculty-focused evaluation topics included course redesign and determining what data is important to collect and to streamline the amount of data collected. Participants in this presentation will learn about the various methods of evaluation in the RN-BSN online program at Clarion University. Continuous efforts to align course, program, and student learning outcomes will enhance assessment activities contributing to evidence-based improvement in teaching and learning. Nurse educators continue to be challenged to determine which student outcomes are most appropriate to assess, as well as how best to assess these outcomes.

 Participants will also understand how research, faculty engagement, and teamwork is needed to plan for curriculum evaluation, establish standards, and determine data collection approaches. Examples of Student and employer outcomes instruments will be shared. A brief discussion of faculty development activities related to planning for curriculum evaluation is included.