Thesis Title

A Quasi-Experimental Study Evaluating a Reflective Teaching Method, as Measured in the Writing of Nurses' Notes

Date of Graduation

Summer 2002

Degree

Master of Science in Nursing

Department

Nursing

Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens

Subject Categories

Nursing

Abstract

Learning to think reflectively enhances the development of critical thinking, therefore, it is important for nurse educators to be aware of methods that will help students develop reflective thinking. An innovative reflective teaching method was created that will help facilitate critical thinking. Because this method also includes reflective writing, the evaluation of this method was measured using nursing documentation. The hypotheses of the study were (a) the documentation of the experimental group will show more evidence of critical thinking when compared to the documentation of the control group, and (b) the non-traditional student will show greater evidence of critical thinking documentation than the traditional students. The sample (N = 71) consisted of traditional and non-traditional students from second year associate degree nursing students in two Midwestern community colleges. A repeated measures equivalent control group quasi-experimental study was designed to measure the effectiveness of this innovative teaching method. A Likert-like tool was developed to measure the documentation of critical thinking. The tool was tested for content validity by experts. Treatment was a reflective teaching method presented over four one-hour sessions, one week apart. Data was collected pre-treatment, post-treatment, and post-post-treatment, at one month. This study provided nurse education with an effective reflective teaching method that aids students in their development of critical thinking. A repeated measures test was used for statistical interpretation of the results. Results were significant at a .000 level for improvement in critical thinking documentation. Critical thinking documentation improvement in non-traditional students in comparison to traditional students was significant, at .156. Replication of this study is encouraged, as testing with diverse groups of students in other educational settings will evaluate this teaching method further. If this teaching method is implemented within nursing education programs, future nurses and their clients will benefit from nurses who can effectively document their critical thinking and thus effectively communicate their nursing plans for clients.

Copyright

© Ginny Mae Schroeder

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