By Esther Bankert, PhD, RN
Faculty Program Director, BS in Nursing Program
Course evaluations across the bachelor’s and master’s nursing programs have repeatedly shown the current discussion requirements of Wednesday deadlines followed by two posts and APA sources within the week are not realistic expectations for adult learners. Structuring timeframes limits the ability to reflect on the question and become spontaneous in conversation; focusing on empirical literature limits looking at the topic from a holistic perspective; and lack of clear discrimination across levels of performance is problematic when grading discussions.
This fall 2015, the BS and MS nursing courses are using a new discussion rubric to encourage a broader level of participation without the bounds of mid-week deadlines followed by required 2 posts to peers. Now, students are expected to reflect upon the topic/question and sharing in nursing knowledge by examining topics from Carper’s (1978) original perspective of 4 fundamental ways of knowing: Empirical, Esthetic, Ethics, and Personal Knowing. Participation is to take place within the designated time frame of one week.
The ways of knowing in nursing provides a vehicle for students and faculty to become reflective when addressing a topic; examine different viewpoints and develop a new awareness; foster a spirit of inquiry among a community of learners; share nursing stories within an academic conversation where questions are asked and thoughtful responses are created; and develop an engaging environment for fellow peers to come together and foster collegial relationships within an online environment
It is our hope this new discussion rubric that shares in nursing knowledge will assist all of us to discover new ways of understanding our personal growth and professional responsibilities; provide a vehicle to support our ideas through theory, research, and social contract as profession; give us a forum to be spontaneous and advance peer dialogue; and bring us to a new way of forming and integrating nursing knowledge into our practice.
Carper, B. A. (1978). Fundamental patterns of knowing in nursing. ANS Advances in Nursing Science, 1, 13–23
Image credit: John Birdsall MR / John Birdsall Social Issues Photo Library / Press Association Images / Universal Images Group