The Cookie Experiment: A Innovative Strategy for Teaching Nursing Research in Taiwan

Thursday, 2 August 2012: 1:55 PM

Shwu-Ru Liou, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan
Ching-Yu Cheng, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan
Hsiu-Min Tsai, PhD, RN
Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Kwei-Shan, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learners will be able to understand how to apply an in-class activity in class.

Learning Objective 2: The learners will be able to design and apply in-class activities in a course.

Purpose: To examine the effects of a teaching strategy on nursing students’ understanding of research procedures, confidence in participating in research, and attitudes toward research.

Methods: The study was a quasi-experimental design. One-hundred nursing students, who were in a two-year RN-to-BSN program and enrolled in the Nursing Research course, completed both pre- and post-test. Thiel’s (1987) Cookie Experiment, which allows students to experience research designs and procedure, was applied as a teaching strategy in the class. Two weeks before the Experiment, students filled out a questionnaire measuring their attitudes toward nursing research (pretest). On the day of the Experiment, students were asked to taste cookies by following a standard procedure and complete the 17-item Cookie Assessment Tool. After the Experiment, students shared how they related the Experiment to research procedure in the class and completed the questionnaire they did in pretest (posttest). Descriptive statistics and Wilcoxon Signed test were used to analyze the data.

Results: Mean age of the students was 21.23, and majority of them were not taking research course for the first time and never employed for any nursing-related jobs. Before the Cookie Experiment, students felt they were not familiar with research procedure or interested in conducting research, and had low confidence in participating in research. After the Experiment, their familiarity with and understanding of research procedure and acceptance of the course were improved. Majority of the students felt the Experiment helped them in learning especially in research purposes, questions, designs, sampling, ethics, and presenting results. They thought Nursing Research was a course worth taking and the Experiment should be applied in the class.

Conclusion: Nursing Research can be an interesting and practical course if appropriate and creative teaching strategies are applied. More teaching strategies and activities like the Cookie Experiment can be developed to improve student learning.