PREFERENCES FOR TEACHING METHODS IN A BACCALAUREATE NURSING PROGRAM: HOW SECOND DEGREE & TRADITIONAL STUDENTS DIFFER.
It has been noted in several quarters that baccalaureate program planning should be informed by a good understanding of how those students already possessing college degrees learn. The questions that are raised in this article include which methods are most effective for those students who are holders of previous degrees and the motivation this students have towards BSN programs. In this text, for purposes of qualitative analysis, I take into consideration the article “preferences for teaching methods in a baccalaureate nursing program: How second degree & traditional students differ.”
The article “Preferences for teaching methods in a baccalaureate nursing program: How second degree & traditional students differ” is highly relevant as it is sourced from current sources. According to Peck (2008), a study should sufficiently review the existing literature so as to offer a balanced approach. The authors of this article review of literature can be said to be sufficient and the various references are relevant as they are current and they relate to the subject under consideration.
The research problem
The authors seek to know whether when compared to traditional students, second degree students happen to be differently motivated with regard to generic BSN programs. With regard to the research problem, “In planning baccalaureate programs for students who have previous college degrees, it is important to understand how these students learn”, the authors are keen to determine whether these students with previous degrees require or need methods of teaching that are particularly different. The research problem as well as questions are significant as they avail a good argument. They can also be highly relevant to the general nursing profession.
The research purpose
Qualitative study: With regard to the research purpose, the authors study the methodologies that may be preferred when it comes to teaching students with previous degrees in relation or in comparison to the traditional students’ preferences with regard to a generic baccalaureate program. It is extremely important to come up with academic programs that are highly efficient and sound which are anchored on empirical evidence. This is in the light of the prevailing trend where we are witnessing an increase in the accelerated nursing programs.
Qualitative study: The study’s purpose is to observe, assimilate and understand the preferences in terms of methodologies when engaging students who already have degrees as compared to the preferences of traditional students. All this is looked into in the backdrop of a generic baccalaureate program.
The research question
Quantitative study: In this article, the research question is stated as “Are second-degree students motivated differently than traditional students in generic BSN programs? Do they prefer different teaching methods?”
Quantitative study: In this case the research question would be “Is there a difference when it comes to the motivation of second degree students and traditional students in generic BSN programs? How can the preferences in teaching methods be explained for both groups?
Informed consent and ethical considerations
Quantitative study & Qualitative study: It is important to state that there are no substantial differences when it comes to ethical considerations as well as informed consent in either a qualitative study or a quantitative study view point.In this article, when it comes to informed consent and ethical considerations, the cover letter as well as the verbal description gave in a clear way the study’s importance, significance as well as purpose and amongst these, there were directions on the study’s anonymous return. Through verbal instructions as well as notes on the cover letter, it was made clear that the survey’s return in itself was implied consent to participate in the study. With that in mind, it is important to therefore note that participation in the study was largely voluntary and subjects were not in any way pressured or coerced to participate in the study. Also, the responses they gave were not skewed in any direction.
It might also be of importance to note that the authors got the necessary approval from the relevant authorities to go ahead with the study. Permission in this case was obtained from the institution’s Institutional Review Board. With regard to ethical considerations, Brase (2007) notes that it is extremely important to protect the rights of the human subjects in a particular study and ensure that they are not in any way forced or pressured to participate in any given study. Yin (2009) however argues that ensuring that subjects are not pressured to participate in a given study is not enough. He notes that the enhancement of confidentiality is also equally important in a given study.
Quantitative study: With regard to the design, it is important to note that the authors correctly specify the design. The authors used a descriptive survey design in this study for purposes of comparing the teaching method preferences with regard to students with degrees entering a baccalaureate program and those without. This design adequately addresses the research question.
Qualitative study: For this type of study, it would be appropriate to utilize observation interviews so as to identify the methodologies that may be preferred when it comes to teaching students with previous degrees in relation or in comparison to the traditional students’ preferences with regard to a generic baccalaureate program.
Quantitative study: When it comes to the sample, it might be good to note that its size is sufficiently adequate. The sample is made up of 129 participants, that is, 81 non degree holders and 48 students with second degrees. The age also varies within the sample with 76 of the traditional student participants being between 18 and 24 years old and the rest being above 25. For second degree holders, 28 of the participants were between 18 and 24 years old wit the rest being above 25. The samples can hence be said to be a true representative of the overall population. The procedure of including participants in the sample or the exclusion of the same thereof is also given in a clear and concise way.
Quantitative study: In this study type, convenience sampling would work best. This is because as opposed to sampling the population in totality, the study looks at a specific grouping of people or individuals. In this case, a sample would be appropriate to understand the preferences in terms of methodologies when engaging students who already have degrees as compared to the preferences of traditional students. All this is looked into in the backdrop of a generic baccalaureate program.
Quantitative study: With regard to data collection, it was implemented on conclusion of the 15 week semester. The survey underwent a refining stage and on a review of the content by worthy experts for purposes of establishing readability as well as clarity, .82 was established to be the reliability coefficient. Craswell (2003) notes that with regard to data collection, studies should address the various validity as well as reliability instruments. As noted above, this study does address them and they can be said to be adequate. The authors do not however describe the various means as well as instruments of data collection clearly. It can also be said that the methods of data collection are not sufficiently addressed. With that in mind, it may be difficult to establish whether the collection of data could have affected or influenced the findings in any way.
Qualitative study: In this case, the authors would be better off to consider extensive interviews. The extensive interviews could be carried out within the two groups being focused into i.e. those with previous degrees and those without. The preference of the extensive interviews on these two groups is informed by the ability of the interviews to offer the authors an opportunity to understand the preferences in terms of methodologies when engaging students who already have degrees as compared to the preferences of traditional students.
Quantitative study: When it comes to data analysis, the data analysis process can be said to be clear as well as sufficient for purposes of answering and addressing the research question. The research question in this case is also adequately dealt with by the results. Towards the end of the study, it is also important to note that the authors offer a logical discussion of the findings which can be said to be reasonably based on the presented results.
Qualitative study: In this study, data analysis could be gleaned from gathering data from the groups under consideration. The information sourced from this could be interpreted in conjunction with data sourced from the interviews. To add value to the interpreted information, coding is absolutely necessary in this case.
Advantage and disadvantage of each method
There exist several advantages aswell as disadvantages of each method above. With that in mind, Craswell (2003) argues that the use of any study method should be preceded by a careful evaluation of the factors at play and the assimilation of the same into a study method that will best serve the situation at hand.
Quantitative study: The majorplusor advantage for quantitative data remains its ability to produce information that is concise and easily replicable. The little number of variables used here also makes the information fairly generalisable. However, the main downside here is the limitation of the result as a result of the absence of a detailed description (Brase 2007).
Qualitative study: One of the main advantages of a qualitative study is its ability to give detailed information. However, even though it concentrates with detail, the result is a study of fewer people and hence the inherent difficulty in generalizing information. There is also a risk of an occurrence of bias as most of the interpretation is entirely a duty of the author (Brase 2007).
The findings of the study are highly relevant and useful to the nursing field. Towards the end of the study, it is good to note that the author also goes ahead to come up with the limitations of the study. Hence it may be important to note that the study’s generalisability is limited. The study does not also take into consideration different curricula as only a single school of nursing is taken into consideration for the study.
In conclusion, the authors found that there are differences which appear to be significant when it comes to teaching methods preferences for students with no previous college degree and those with previous degrees. The study went on to conclude that there were higher and well defined expectations as well as needs in the class setting when it came to those students having previous college degrees.
Brase, C.H. (2007). Understandable Statistics: Concepts and Methods. Cengage Learning
Craswell, J.W. (2003). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches 2nd Edition. SAGE
Peck, R. (2008). Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis. Cengage Learning
Yin, R.K. (2009). Case study research: design and methods, 4th Edition Sage Publications
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