Learning Objective 1: Understand evidence-informed curriculum development, with specific reference to BScN students' writing skills
Learning Objective 2: Consider the relevance of study methods and findings for own situation
Methods: The Model of Context-Relevant Curriculum Development was the study framework. In this descriptive, correlational study, Year 1 students completed a writing task (a short essay) at program entry. Essays were assessed and scored by English Language specialists to determine writing levels, according to a standardized marking rubric and established procedures for ensuring inter-rater scoring reliability. Essays were qualitatively analyzed to determine areas of strengths and deficits. Writing task scores were correlated with demographic characteristics.
Results: Thirty-eight volunteers (response rate 15%) participated. The mean writing score was 3.4 (maximum=6; range 1.25-5.25; SD=.73). There were no significant correlations between demographic characteristics and writing scores. Deficits in content, organization, style, and mechanics were identified in the essays.
Conclusion: Despite a low participation rate, data validated the need for a formal writing course in the BScN program. Qualitative results provided ideas about possible goals and content of such a course.
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