All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2009: Valuing Complexity

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‘Getting real’: reflections on the development and evaluation of a postgraduate nursing research module using Problem-Based-Learning (PBL)
Anne Matthews, Anne Kirwan, Heikki Ellila

Last modified: 2011-12-20


In this presentation we will describe the process of developing and evaluating a postgraduate nursing research module using the Problem-Based-Learning (PBL) approach, at the School of Nursing Dublin City University. It has been our experience while teaching research at postgraduate level to practising nurses, that there is a perceived gap between research teaching and the complex and diverse practice contexts in which these nurses work. The literature proposes that PBL offers a way to bridge this gap and facilitate relevant and active learning for students. With this in mind, we developed the Research skills for practice module using the PBL approach, the first time a postgraduate module has used this approach at our School. We each facilitated one group within the module. We will describe the development of the module, the methods of assessment (self, peer and teacher assessment), the problems we developed and used and our own ongoing learning as teachers/facilitators. We will also present the results of the student evaluation of the module. Our own reflections on the development, evaluation process and  the results of the evaluation will offer further insights into whether PBL can facilitate active learning about research for practice.