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RESEARCH ARTICLES

 

Evaluation of the educational process in nursing undergraduate courses

 

Sonia AcioliI; Luiza Mara CorreiaII; Norma Valéria D. Oliveira SouzaIII; Adriana Lenho F. PereiraIV
Patrícia FerraccioliV; Vanessa de Almeida FerreiraVI

IPhD in Public Health. Associate Professor, Department of Public Health and the Graduate Program in Nursing School of Nursing State University of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: soacioli@gmail.com.
IIObstetric Nurse. Master and PhD Student at Anna Nery Nursing School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Assistant Professor, Maternal-Child Nursing Department of Nursing College of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: luimara.uerj@gmail.com.
IIINurse, Associate Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing Department and Graduate Program in Nursing at the Nursing School of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: norval_souza@yahoo.com.br.
IVObstetric Nurse. Associate Professor, Maternal-Child Nursing Department and the Graduate Program in Nursing at the Nursing School of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: adrianalenho.uerj@gmail.com.
VNurse. Master and PhD in Nursing of Graduate Program in Nursing at the Nursing School of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Scholar of the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: ferracciolip@gmail.com.
VINurse. Master and PhD in Nursing Student of Graduate Program in Nursing at the Nursing School of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. E-mail: nessa_aferreira@hotmail.com.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12957/reuerj.2014.12816

 


ABSTRACT: Descriptive research with quantitative approach conducted for the evaluation of the educational process of the School of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (ENF / UERJ). To do so, we aimed at analyzing ENF/UERJ undergraduate nursing students’ opinion on the educational process by means of the evaluation of the educational process and of professors / learning facilitators. the study subjects consisted of 225 undergraduate students enrolled in the nursing school. Collection tool was a closed questionnaire on sociometric scale, from September to October, 2010. Results showed that the pedagogical process obtained modal frequency between often and almost always, which points to a positive result under course contents. It was inferred that the diversity of opinions reveals strengths and weaknesses in the pedagogical process, with prevailing positive aspects.

Keywords: Nursing; nursing education; evaluation; curriculum.


 

INTRODUCTION

the Pedagogical Political Project (PPP) of the Nursing School of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (NURSING/UERJ) expresses the relationship between the technical and political expertise incorporating features concerning the training of nurses, of which one can mention the mark of health policies, the ordinances and the legal framework of the Unified Health System (UHS)1.

Since 1992, the NURSING/UERJ experiences a rich process of discussion regarding the constituent proposals of its Pedagogical Process. thus, from 1996, the NURSING/UERJ implemented a curriculum change, and has been developing internal processes for monitoring and evaluation in order to build a dynamic and appropriate curriculum to the curriculum guidelines for health, specifically to nursing2.

the profile of NURSING/UERJ aims at strengthening the curriculum guidelines and maintaining the commitment to train nurses with a professional profile committed to life, from ethical principles, in the technical and political dimensions, while respecting the right of everyone to freedom, dignity, and promoting tolerance in dealing with differences. Exercising democracy in the conquest of rights and exercise of duties, participating as a citizen for the survival of the planet3.

Undergraduate Nursing course is divided into nine six-month periods, with the full term of four and a half years and total workload of 5850 hours. the curriculum integrates the different education sub-areas through the Critical Educational theory. the proposed curriculum of NURSING/UERJ is based on dialogic-dialectical relationship between professor and student in the construction of active, participants and solidarity citizens in different social contexts. the pedagogical proposal is committed to the collective and liberating construction in order to instigate and challenge the search for a dialogical formation of genuine and transforming-reality knowledge, from citizenship and awareness of all, both students and professors4.

Understanding the profile of NURSING/UERJ, there must be the need for continuous assessment of the educational process and facilitators of this process. the nursing education, considering exclusively vocational training, is an extremely complex object and, therefore, must be approached from different perspectives3.

this paper presents part of the results of the Research Assessment: analysis of the quality of the undergraduate program conducted in 2010, with support from the National Program for Reorientation of Vocational Training in Health (Pro-Health). It displays the following objective: to analyze the opinion of students of the undergraduate course of NURSING/UERJ on the educational process, by assessing the current educational process and teachers/facilitators of learning.

the evaluation of programs and activities in the field of health is imposed as a growing need in order to contribute to learning, the effective action and the transformation of health practices, in addition to support the formulation of public policies. the implementation of policies and educational programs depends on processes and well-structured evaluation methodologies, whether to demonstrate the effectiveness of the procedures, or to properly know the results of actions.

 

THEORETICAL

the PPP conception incorporated by actors who build it permeates the collective thinking about "what one wants, because one wants to and in favor of those who want education"5:5 through a democratic institution responsible for educating citizens workers, creative and critical to society. To meet the commitment to train citizens-nurses and break the shackles of traditional pedagogical practice, which reflects reproductive students of knowledge, observational and uncritical, NURSING/UERJ implemented in 1996 an innovative PPP6.

the mission of NURSING/UERJ, explained by its PPP5, comprises: commitment to the education of citizens-nurses, knowledgeable of their state's problems, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, through teaching, research and extension, to meet the health needs of society whose responsibility exceeds purely technical levels, requiring them to adopt positions on the world and life.

In this perspective, the idea of project permeates the intention, participation and the search for a direction built collectively. this direction assumes the pedagogical commitment of collective construction and the political commitment to be articulated to the collective interests of the population in the formation of citizens for society7.

In preparing the PPP through the systematization of ideas and political, social, educational and health context, in which it operates5, NURSING/UERJ tries to break with the traditional pedagogical practice, in which the student is considered a player of customs, uncritical and unlikely to cause significant changes in context2.

the change in the PPP and the search for breaking the traditional pedagogical practice have motivated the choice for a learning process in which teaching and learning outweigh the fragmented vision of man and enable better responses to the challenges of health practices. In this framework, education is seen in a perspective of building active subjects in a social and supportive and not individualistic and competitive sense. this proposal is based on the dialogical-dialectical relationship between educator and student, in which both learn together7.

thus, this option is based on problem-solving methodology of Paulo Freire, in the search for the "achievement of a critical, dialectical and dialogical education - which has the student as the subject of learning, recognizing their characteristics and their life history in its socioeconomic and cultural context”2:653.

the commitment to evaluate the graduation of NURSING Course/UERJ is a continuous activity from both students, as professors, accompanied by a collective that is called Permanent Commission for Monitoring Course. Assessments are developed in a procedural way through seminars and workshops for qualitative assessment of the educational process.

the evaluation is presented as a need for reflection on the process of teaching, reconstructing and making reality the proposed curriculum along with the philosophical basis that sustains it. Even though there is a Permanent Commission for Monitoring Course, there is clearly the need for further work on evaluation in its many dimensions8, through the analysis of all factors that affect the teaching-learning process, i.e. administrative issues relating to infrastructure, the organization of the work process, among others.

 

METODHOLOGY

this is a descriptive study, with quantitative approach. the methodological route was based on the protocol for the evaluation of public health programs developed by the Pan American Health Association9. the study subjects consisted of 225 students enrolled in the Graduate Program in Nursing/UERJ, distributed between the 2nd and 9th period, respectively: 2nd (33 students), 3rd (23 students), 4th (31 students), 5th (23 students), 6th (33 students), 7th (26 students), 8th (24 students) and 9th (32 students). Data collection was performed between the months of September and October 2010.

the data collection instrument corresponds to a closed questionnaire in socio-metric scale, applied in two sections of collective conferences. Socio-metric questionnaires are a common option because they allow observing a large number of subjects in a short time. Since it guarantees the confidentiality of the data and its filling is done individually, it allows sincere expression of subjects10.

the instruments for data collection have been validated by the Director of the Nursing Course, by the students represented by the Academic Board, by the professors represented by the Permanent Commission for Monitoring Course. the validation process was a pilot test of the survey instruments. Students responded fully to the questionnaire and were asked to highlight issues that deserve review. In addition to the content of the questions, students also made some suggestions about format changes. the instrument was considered, after validation, suitable for evaluation of the course. It should be noted that all students involved in the study agreed to participate and the questionnaire was considered by the students a training process, in which reflection on the process experienced in the undergraduate course was stimulated.

this excerpt of the study appropriated elements of the first part of the questionnaire for the assessment of the degree course; sub-items 5 (educational process) and 8 (professors/facilitators of learning). the questionnaire suggested six levels of answers, according to a socio-metric scale: one corresponds to never; two, almost never; three, sometimes; four, often; five, almost always and six, always. For treatment and data analysis, we followed the sequential coding procedures, tabulation, organization and statistical treatment, so that the results reveal the measures of central tendency, the absolute frequency and percentage regarding arithmetic averages. the evaluation of the responses of each sub-dimension in relation to their respective dimension was worked according to the percentage distribution of the frequencies observed in the sample.

Analysis of the data emphasized modal relative frequencies, understanding that they represent a typical value, or a largest number of values concentrated at one point for a set of data approximately symmetrical. Results were expressed in tables and graphs supported by the data processors Word and Excel type for Windows.

that survey, conducted in 2010, fulfilled the requirements of Resolution 196/96 of the National Health Council11 attested by the Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Pedro Ernesto of the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro under Nº 2770/2010 protocol. It was obtained the approval and signature of the Consent and Informed Form by the subjects.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

As a first step of interpretation of the data, after treatment of the responses in socio-metric scale, the profile analysis of students consolidated that most students of NURSING/UERJ are female, a result that confirms the historical trajectory of the profession. It is worth reflecting that some occupations and professions have been associated with category of care, and the most traditionally known are the professions in the health area. Nursing stands out among these professions, because care is considered its essence12. the element or category of care has been appropriated for nursing as something that guarantees the identity of the profession and takes structural aspect in its work process13. By expanding this vision of care linked to values and the maintenance of life, revealing, moreover, the need to consider and participate in the construction of human projects, it can be said that, "to take care, there is a need to sustain, over time, a certain relationship between matter and spirit, body and mind, molded from a way of life that wants to oppose the dissolution, that wants to ensure and enforce its presence in the world”14:16. the continuity of life, closely associated with motherly care, strengthens the relationship with the female gender. the woman was given the responsibility of giving birth, sustain life and postpone death. therefore, we see the importance of the influence of female care in the history of humanity and the organization of certain professions, especially nursing.

After this brief reflection, the result of this research showed that most students of NURSING/UERJ is young, between 18 and 28 years old and female. this result is reaffirmed by the average obtained in relative percentages found for male students, participants of the 2nd to 9th grade, equivalent to 27 (12.62%). therefore, it is clear the frequency of mostly female participation. It is noteworthy that the care is regard to men and women, but the division of labor led to a social construction, in which tasks that involve sensitivity, affection, and warmth are considered feminine.

As an example, it is shown part of the questionnaire about the educational process (sub-item 5), the items: consistency between the content of the biological sciences and the needs and problems experienced in practice; range of undergraduate course objectives propitiated by offered content; construction of strategies of coping with problems and needs of society made possible by content, as the template shown in Figure 1. the responses obtained modal frequency between the opinions often and almost always, which indicates a positive result in the assessment of the content.

the opinion of the students about the coherence of content of biological sciences taught presented values 9 (27.27%) and 10 (41.66%) among students from 6th to 8th periods for the answer often, and the values 14 (42.42%) and 12 (52.17%) for the answers almost always among the students of the first two periods evaluated. the predominance of the answer often lies between students from 6th to 9th period with a variation of 9 (27.27%) and 15 (46.88%). Results showed positive linearity of students’ opinions in all periods. this analysis showed differences between modal frequencies on the reviews often, almost always and always, related to the consistency of the theoretical and practical content taught, as strategies for coping with problems and achieving goals. No answers never and do not know were identified for that matter. It is suggested, from the results presented and as a recommendation to the students, continuous update on critical and transforming education and reflection towards integration of professors, so that they can effectively contribute to curriculum integration4.

Students spoke about the achievement of course objectives, through the content offered in the educational process. Most students felt positive aspects to review this item. the modal relative value was 12 (52.17%) for the answer almost always among the students of the 3rd period, however, this same opinion decreased 9% compared to the students of the 9th period. It seems that as students become more active in college, they become more demanding in the pursuit of achievement of the course objectives. No student revealed do not know about the questioned issue. It is noted that the modal frequency of 12 (36.36%) of the responses obtained by the students of the 2nd period, refers to the always, as shown in Table 1.

As to the possibility of the contents in building strategies for addressing the problems and needs of society, the result was affirmative, especially for students in the first period, which had 15 (45.45%) and 10 (43.46%) of modal frequency for the answer always on the 2nd and 3rd periods, respectively. In the remaining periods the opinions showed variations between the responses often and almost always. It is noteworthy that opinions never and do not know were not identified.

the evaluation of professors as learning facilitators (sub-item 8), as to the pedagogical methods and the environment, permeated the following general directions: professors' mastery of the course content; application of teaching methods; appropriate use of teaching resources. the highest values appear in items often and almost always; to professors' mastery of the course content - 16 (69.57%) almost always (in the 3rd period), application of teaching methods - 14 (53.84%) often (in the 7th period) and appropriate use of teaching resources - 10 (41.57%) almost always (in the 8th period).

the evaluation of professors as facilitators of learning, as to the student-professor interaction during the educational process, presented issues such as: are professors accessible to the questions of the students? Do they promote dialogue and interactivity? Do they value the knowledge brought by the students? this assessment brought a wide range of results. Given these considerations, teaching is considered a complex activity, that is, full of uncertainties, ambiguities, coming and going movements, which makes use of the experience of people (professors, students) involved in the teaching-learning process15. “It is necessary a faculty able to transcend the traditional pedagogical approach rooted, improving and encouraging new forms of teaching and learning, thus transforming social reality.”16:212
the answer on the accessibility of professor to students’ questions: 2nd and 3rd periods presented modal frequency of 13 (39.39%) and 10 (43.48%) for the item always; 4th, 6th and 9th periods with values between 11 (35.48%), 11 (33.33%) and 12 (37.50%), respectively, for the answers almost always; 12 (50%) for the item often in the 8th period, and between 6 (26.09%) and 13 (39.39%) in item a sometimes to 5th and 6th periods, respectively. these conflicting results for the periods, also hit the other questions, however, with mostly positive responses. It may be noted that no results for the item never and the higher appearance frequency computed in item almost never refers to 05 (21.74%) responses in the 3rd period, with a variability of results between 01 (3.03 %) and 05 (21.74%) in less than half of the periods. this represents a good accessibility, according to students, to the learning facilitators, as shown in Table 2.

Students questioned believe that professors favor dialogue and interactivity: sometimes - 14 (42.42%) (in 6th period); often - 08 (34.78%) to 12 (37.50%), in the 5th, 7th and 9th periods; almost always - 07 (30.44%) and 12 (38.71%), in the 3rd and 4th periods; and always - 10 (30.30%) to 09 (39.13%) in the 2nd, 3rd and 8th periods. It was verified that the relative modal values were below 43% in all periods. there was no response never and do not know.

As to the classification of professors in the educational area and quality of education, students showed positive responses, as indicated attributes often, almost always or always in all periods, with relative modal value approximated between 32% and 50%. With the exception of the 5th, 6th and 7th periods, which indicated attribute sometimes - 07 (30.43%) to 18 (54.54%). On average, 4% of the 2nd, 3rd, 4 and 9th periods opted for the answer do not know if the professors/facilitators have qualification in the pedagogical area and didactic teaching. there was no answer never.

Finally, questions about the areas of knowledge and teaching practice in nursing area: in your opinion do professors work in an integrated way? In your opinion, do the preceptors of the practice fields collaborate successfully with your training? Regarding the question about working in an integrated manner and the preceptors of collaboration, the results obtained higher percentage frequencies, with approximate variation between 27% and 45% in items a sometimes and almost always. As to the classification of the professor in the educational area, there was disparity of responses; it is worth noting the higher frequency - 17 (51.51%) of answers revealed in the 2nd period for the item almost always, and, higher frequency - 15 (57, 69%) to answer a sometimes on the 7th period. this represents the approval of the students as to the qualification of professors/facilitators of learning of the researched institution.

 

CONCLUSION

Evaluation of Project Political revealed the need for reflection, considering the student insertion in the collective construction of the project and its political commitment with a view to nursing education. From a closer look at the results, both the evaluation of the educational process, and of the facilitators of this process, we observe the predominance of diversity of opinions, mostly positive.

In accordance with the initial goals for the formation of critical, reflective and participatory nurses, and the results presented in this study, it seems necessary coordination between the results and the evaluation of professors to strengthen the shared construction of the educational process, developed in undergraduate nursing course/UERJ.

It is therefore necessary to expand the reflections on the teaching-learning process, enhance the positive and negative aspects found, and promote new studies to deepen the theme.

thus, we present the indication of continuity of curriculum evaluation with the students, in order to understand which way to experience the Pedagogical Policy Project in their university education. In addition, this research aims to contribute to the strengthening of a curriculum that aims to train professionals capable of mobilizing skills and competencies necessary to the working world.

 

REFERENCES

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