Case based learning in the undergraduate nursing programme at a University of Technology : a case study
Sinqotho, Thembeka Maureen
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Background The current health care system in South Africa and its diverse settings of health care delivery system require a nurse who can make decisions, think critically, solve problems and work effectively in a team. Traditional nursing education teaching strategies have over the years relied on didactic and often passive approaches to learning. In pursuit of quality, academics and students must be continually engaged in a process of finding opportunities for improving the teaching and learning process. Purpose of the study The purpose of this study was to evaluate the structure and the process in case based learning at the University of Technology. Methodology This study is qualitative in nature, governed by an interpretive paradigm. This is a case study, which enabled the researcher to merge student interview data with records in order to gain insight into the activities and details of case based learning as practised at the University of Technology under study. Most importantly, the case study method was deemed appropriate for the current study, since case-based learning as a pedagogical approach (and a case) cannot be abstracted from its context for the purposes of study. Case based learning is evaluated in its context namely, the undergraduate nursing programme, using the Donabedian framework of structure, process and product. Results The study recorded that students were positive towards case based learning though some identified dynamics of working in groups as demerits of case based learning. The structures that are in place in the programme and the CBL processes are adequate and support CBL. There are however areas that need attention such as the qualification of the programme coordinator, the size of the class-rooms and the service of the computer laboratory. Conclusion The study found that apart from a few minor discrepancies, case based learning is sufficiently implemented, and experienced as invaluable by students, at the University of Technology under study.