Student Empowerment: Baccalaureate Nursing Students Define Components of the Course Grade

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:35 AM

Rowena W. Elliott, PhD, RN, CNN, BC, CNE
School of Nursing, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS

Learning Objective 1: Identify two strategies to actively engage and involve nursing students in course planning..

Learning Objective 2: Incorporate one evidenced-based strategy on student engagement and involvement in the school of nursing curriculum and/or classes.

Purpose: To obtain input from nursing students to determine (a) components of course grade and (b) student perceptions about the opportunity to provide input into course grade.

Methods: First day in Health Care of the Older Adult, 44 nursing students were given a survey with 5 groups of activities to determine course grade. Activities were defined.

  1. Three tests (30%), Group presentation (30%), Group written assignment (30%), Class participation (10%)
  2. Two tests (30%), Two homework assignments (30%), Group presentation (30%), Class participation (10%)
  3. Three tests (30%), Individual written assignment (30%), One homework assignment (30%), Class participation (10%)
  4. Two tests (30%), Group presentation (30%), Three homework assignments (30%), Class participation (10%)
  5. Three tests (30%), Individual presentation (30%), Two homework assignments (30%), Class participation (10%)

Students ranked each group from 1-5 (1- highest, 5 - lowest). The group with the highest ranking was incorporated into the course syllabus and calendar.

Last day of class- Students were asked their perceptions about having input in determining components of the course grade. Questions were related to (a) rating the experience, (b) preference for future input, and (c) feelings about having input.

 Results: 1. Highest rank: Three tests (30%), Individual written assignment (30%), One homework assignment (30%), Class participation (10%)

            2. Scale of 1-5 (5- highest), rate experience with having input on the class activities. (72.97% (5), 24.32%(4), 2.71%(3)

            3. You prefer to have input in future courses or prefer faculty decision? 97.30%(student), 2.70% (faculty)

           4.  Feeling about having input regarding activities that determined course grade? Six themes identified: Students felt it was a good idea, more autonomy, increased ability to succeed, and more appreciated by instructor.

Conclusion: Based on the results, the outcome was positive and can be used as a foundation to incorporate student input into curriculum and class activities.