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Undergraduate student's perception about the academic monitoring


Thuany Oliveira AbreuI; Thelma SpindolaII; Maria Regina Araujo Pimentel ReicherteIII; Maria Lelita XavierIV; Araci Carmen ClosV; Agatha Soares de BarrosVI

IGraduated from the Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Nurse Lieutenant of the Army Central Hospital. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.E-mail: thu_mbpak@hotmail.com
IIPhD in Nursing.The ssociada Professor, Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Brazil. E-mail: tspindola.uerj@gmail.com.
IIIPhD in Nursing from the Graduate Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. E-mail: mymypimentel@uol.com.br
IVPhD in History. D Associate Professor Faculty of Nursing, University of the State of Rio de Janeiro.Brazil. E-mail: lely108@hotmail.com
VMaster of Philosophy.Assistant Professor, Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Brazil. E-mail: araciclos@yahoo.com.br
VIUndergraduate Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro.Scientific Initiation Scholarship from the FOUNDATION for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro.Electronic message: enf.agatha_barros@yahoo.com.br

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is the perception of nursing students on academic monitoring. The research aimed to know the reasons for quest by the academic monitors; describe the experience of the students in this activity and analyze their contributions to the education of nursing students. Descriptive and quantitative-qualitative research conducted in 2013, at the Faculty of Nursing at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. 11 ex-monitors participated and responded to semi-structured interview. The reports were submitted to content analysis, having identified four categories: activities developed during the monitoring, the monitoring exercise in view of the monitor, encouragement to pursue the academic monitoring, contributions of monitoring to professional education. It can be concluded that the experience of monitoring promoted in students overcome personal difficulties, the deepening and broadening of knowledge and social relations.

Keywords: Academic Monitoring; nursing education; higher education; nursing students.



The object of this study is the perception of nursing students at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) about academic monitoring. As a nurse formed by this institution and former monitor of the Subarea Nursing Research 2, from September 2011 to August 2012, a proximity existed to the subject in conjunction with the monitors. The experience as a monitor and the guidance of teachers strengthened the interest in deepening the theme, considering that the act of teaching makes up the process of nurses' work, and covers both the training at different levels as health education in various areas of their performance.

In this context the following study questions were defined: What reasons led to pursuing academic monitoring? What were the experiences in monitoring and their contributions to the professional training?

The study is relevant considering the importance of monitoring for the training of nurses in relation to the study process and the development of educational activities among the population, as well as the encouragement to insertion in teaching.

As study objectives were defined: to know the reasons that make nursing students to pursue academic monitoring; describe the experience of the students in this activity, analyzing their contributions to nursing education.

The contributions of this research are related to the role of the educator which the nurse develops the spaces in which it operates, whether in training other professionals, in the development of scientific studies and the assistance activities in its various spaces.


Nationally, the institution of academic monitoring was regulated by Law No. 5540/1968, which mandated the creation of the monitor function by universities, aiming at the selection of scholars to demonstrate performance capability in technical and didactic activities of curriculum subjects. It was complemented with payment and titration for posterior inclusion in a university teaching career, since stricto sensu graduate programs were not yet a reality in the country1. In the current legislation there remains a prospect of achievement in teaching and research tasks, keeping those benefits2.

At UERJ, this quality of monitoring was introduced in 1986 with the purpose of stimulating students interest in the teaching activities and provide opportunity to develop it. Opportunity to strengthen the relationship between faculty and students, to assist teachers in learning tasks, preparing and realizing practical work as well as assist other academics directly under the supervision of the supervising teacher. This activity allows also to further improve "the process of training to improve the quality of teaching, creating conditions for theoretical approaches and the development of skills related to teaching activities." 3:1.

For the practice of monitoring, the institution established as requirements: be enrolled, must have been approved for the raw object of the selection, not have any disciplinary sanction and to undergo the selection process (written and practical tests), the coordinating teacher may add other criteria of interest. The period of initial monitoring is two semesters and may be extended for two more4.

The Faculty of Nursing UERJ (ENF / UERJ) considers it crucial to encourage the participation of students in extracurricular activities, understood as those that will complement the process of formation of students as indicated by its political-pedagogical project (PPP). Scholarships are offered to participate in projects to supplement internal training, extension, and monitoring of scientific initiation.

The reform of its PPP was characterized by changing the curriculum so it’s divided into three areas of knowledge: two related knowledge and practices of nursing and facing the biological and social bases that support this practice and which are subdivided into subareas, developed in nine periods, and for the expansion of the boarding school, which became mandatory.

The Pedagogical framework has adopted a problem-based education5 model. In this framework, education is seen in the perspective of building active subjects in a social and supportive sense, not individualistic and competitive. This proposal is based on dialogical-dialectical relationship between educator and student, where both learn together.

These changes were necessary in view of the mission as defined by ENF/UERJ - the training of nurses able to intervene in the health / disease process generator, categorizing risk groups and proposing actions for health care that result in improved well-being of people based on technical expertise, education, policy and knowledge production6.

As a field of knowledge, nursing covers activities of care, the managing, the research and education efforts in different scenarios in which they exercise their professional practice, not restricting to watch subjects in situations of disease7.

Nursing has in the educational activity one of its main guiding principles which is realized in several areas of achievement of nursing practices, whether developed in communities, health services linked to primary care, schools, kindergartens, and other places8. Through health education, necessary information is brought to the customer to enable him to achieve self-care7.

The pursuit of knowledge in nursing practice approaches the profession to education, the extent to which the nurse provides education, uses the teaching / learning process in all its caregiving actions, those regarded as directed not only to the patient and family, but also to students, the nursing staff and the technical procedures9.Unquestionably, therefore, the role of nurses as health educators, as nursing has been occupying a key role in the activities for the comprehensiveness of care.

Thus, the reflection on the pedagogical training of nurse faculty is essential due to the complexity of professional practice inserted in the task of education10.

Monitoring has been an educational support service offered to scholars interested in deepening content as well as resolve difficulties with respect to matters crafted in class11.

By having experiencing the situation of the student, the monitor can capture not only the possible difficulties of the content or discipline, as well as display more sensitivity to the problems and feelings that students may face. Thus, the monitoring has become a space in which the academics can discuss their questions, make or redo exercises, experiments, developing their learning mediated by the monitor12.

The monitor, as a student from a more advanced class, collaborates with the teacher in the teaching and learning of other students by developing their learning while teaching. This practice favors a space in academic life that enables creation of different links to the university, with the knowledge and educational issues12.

Studies on academic monitoring have already been developed at the ENF/UERJ, between 2002 and 20074,13-15. Furthermore, there are few Brazilian studies available on this type of monitoring, although on the internet frequently appear selection processes conducted by universities.


This is a descriptive study with a Quantiqualitative approach, in which we sought to describe and analyze aspects of a given phenomenon16, valuing the frequency of occurrence and the universe of meanings and values ​​that permeate the space of relations17. In this study, the phenomenon refers to the experience of academic monitoring.

The ENF/UERJ was the research site as per the consent of its directorate. It counted with the participation of 11 subjects, nursing students from the 7th to the 9th period of the institution, with interviews conducted between April and May 2013. They exercised academic monitoring of the 2th to the 7th curricular periods and were regularly enrolled.

The research was conducted in accordance with Resolution No. 466/2012 the National Health Council18, and its project was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Pedro Ernesto / UERJ, under protocol number 221 717, after prior consent of the interviewees be informed about the objectives of the research, obtaining the signature of the informed consent. In order to preserve anonymity, respondents were identified by the letter E, followed by sequential Arabic number as the order of the interview.

Data collection was conducted through interviews with a semi-structured route, organized with six closed questions to characterize the subjects and four open ones exploring the theme.  After the interview, data saturation occurred - colection of unique answers -indicating the end of the collection, to avoid repetition of information.

On the data, thematic analysis was conducted based on the following steps: Pre-analysis, material exploration and processing of the results, interference and interpretation19. For systematization of findings brief readings were held, log units were clipped, verification of context units carried out; classification of units of record (UR) and encryption done to add them, with generation of the categories20. The UR were submitted to statistical analysis by the calculations of absolute frequency and percentage.


Of the 11 participants, nine were female and two male, aged between 21-31 years attending the 7th, 8th and 9th periods during the study and acted as monitors when studying 2nd to 7th periods. Scholars exercised this role in the Subareas Nursing Education, Nursing Research 1, Health, Work and Environment 2, Health Policy, Microbiology and Immunology, and Parasitology.

From analysis of the testimonies, four categories emerged, namely: activities during the monitoring; exercise of monitoring in view of the monitor; incentive for the exercise of academic monitoring; and contributions of monitoring to professional education.

Activities during the monitoring

The description of the practices developed by the students in the Monitoring Programme recorded 98 (34%) UR:

I went to the lab during practical class when I was there; and it was the period in which we make vaccination campaigns in college, and so I was in the organization of these campaigns and went on campaigns with students to guide them, it was practice class and class in the field [...] (E6)

[...] I was more in the formulation / planning of directed studies and correcting them [...](E3)

Guidance to pupils about the work, about discipline, aid classes [...] (E10)

[...] Because we have to organize, plan, make lesson planning, conduct the evaluation [...] (E11)

Develop, coordinate and correct work, exercises and guided studies were the most developed activities followed by practical classes implemented in the laboratory and with the population. Other activities often performed by the monitors in the classroom or informally were collaborative lecture, monitoring of academics to clarify the theoretical and practical questions in tutoring or co-orientation of papers to be presented. Finally, also conducting subarea planning and Frequency Control, part of the pedagogical and administrative activities were reported. Such activities were also described in other studies4,6,13,15. The incompatibility of schedules due to course load, the former monitors could not be present in all classes and seminars and had difficulty performing meetings with academics. Therefore, some proposed guiding work outside the classroom, on the topic of the subarea related to academic production as replacement of the workload.

Exercise of monitoring in view of the monitor

This category refers to the interpretations of scholars about the monitoring and recorded 75 (26%) UR. There was a perception of monitoring as a positive experience, presenting difficulties of various natures. Other studies confirm these results4,6,13,15. In the reports of youth, monitoring positively influenced things, as was also relevant in learning and living.

It was a really cool process ans I learned a lot [...] and for me it was great. (E2)

It was a very good experience, I learned a lot. (E6)

Among the most difficult aspects, shyness and insecurity were identified. They also mentioned mismatched schedules of extracurricular activities of the current period with the activities of monitoring. In addition, they report high demand for activities to exercise the same, meaning overwork.

Some students refer clutter during the monitoring, as regards counting the presence and orientation of the marker and tasks. Lack of interest of the class and low demand were cited by one respondent as just another difficulty in the course of monitoring.It is understood that these perceptions are unique.

Difficulty teaching because I had a hard time expressing myself [...] (E5)

[...] A lot of work, it is a lot of planning,one has to read a lot, [...] so it was somewhat difficult to reconcile with my time, with my stuff [...] (E11)

Another point raised was the relationship between academic advisor and monitor. This can be perceived in a positive or negative way as access to this and is classified as easy or difficult according to the testimony:

Ease, she gave the texts to us; she took questions; at the time she was there, she was asked for; gave tips on how to speak in public. (E1)

[...] I also did not have much access to my supervisor because she was always busy and never had time to be with me, in fact I think she didn’t even know me right. (E7)

Incentive for the exercise of academic monitoring

This category describes the motivations of undergraduates to develop monitoring and had 52 (17.9%) UR.

Ease, I like to talk, so I had a lot of contact with students in previous periods [...] and had a good interaction with them. (E7)

[...] The interest was also the scholarship, because it is a great incentive, [...] I did not have any kind of financial aid from the college [...]. (E2)

[...] The question you need to have academic production for you to put in the Lattes Curriculum, everyone knows that college pressures on this. (E1)

[...] It has the issue of titles, when you monitor is you have titles, and when you become Residentthis means a lot.(E6)

[...] It was curiousity to know how these things were, where these materials come from, where the lessons com from, from what book, these things I wanted to know. (E5)

In the opinion of the students, the good relationship between advisor and graduate and affinity with the subarea were incentives for the exercise of monitoring, as well as the interest in developing didactics or improve them. These findings were also valued in other studies4,6,13,15.

The stipend for students in graduate and the certificate for students that have at least 75% of achievement for the scheduled activities are factors to promote the exercise of academic monitoring.

Some students see monitoring as a chance to personally identify themselves with nursing, as many enter the course without clarity about the space in which they intend to operate. Also the possibility of approaching educational institution and the fact that they feel pressured by the same, were considered incentives for linking to the Faculty, especially regarding the academic literature for enrichment of the Lattes Curriculum.Finally, curious ity about the ways and means of structuring the content of the materials was also a motivator for entry into monitoring.

Although monitoring is an excellent exercise aimed at teaching in the future, only 1.0% of respondents voiced this concernment.

Contributions of monitoring for vocational training

This category presents the contributions of the monitoring exercise for the formation of the scholar, reaching 64 (22.1%) UR.

It helped me to develop teamwork, because of the living with different people, and even helped me to get along with my class [...] get along better with people, being more tolerant, more respecting differences, plurality, you improve in everything in your life, you have a good relationship with people. (E9)

[...] I was also forced to study, find articles, to search for texts, reading texts that I hardly read in the same degree as I passed the subarea, so I could help others and so I could meet the objectives of monitoring .(E10)

[...] to be able to acquire this skill of being a teacher, the role of a teacher.(E2)

The extension of knowledge arises due to the requirement of guiding by the orientator towards a lot of reading into theoretical study, but also the need of the monitor himself in order to bring colleagues to discuss ideas and new answers to solve problems. Thus, further reading and reviewing the contents of the subarea activities were performed by the same and also they reinforced the improvement on the form of studying, generating facilities in the learning of content in other subareas.

The monitoring exercise revealed the impact on the development of interpersonal relationship, when the academic-monitor shows a better relationship with his classmates and other groups, from the development of group work, interaction with diverse people, becoming more tolerant, respectful of differences, and plurality. The relationship with teachers is also included in this item. Through monitoring, scholars approached the teaching / teaching status, taking a more realistic view of this performance.T hese results are also highlighted in other publications4,6,13,15.

The incentive for scientific production and participation in academic events were also contributions that were generated by the opportunity to experience the planning, execution and evaluation of these works with the major professor, the stimulation of formatting text and preparation of research reports and the summaries to be presented at conferences and similar meetings.

Although teaching is not the initial reason for the monitoring application, what was perceived was positive impact of this activity on the formation of academic-monitor in the research institution. The preparation for the teaching profession, through monitoring, promoted overcoming difficulties, personal or otherwise, either with other scholars, either with the teacher, because of the social relations arising from the activity, by widening them15.

The improved performance was due to two articulated factors. In the first, the facilitator position, the monitor acted in view of the role of teacher, whether through collaborative  planning and of exposure by teaching lessons, or the need to clarify doubts, overcoming egocentrism and directing towards the expectations of the others21. This led to the second factor: the quest to expand the knowledge itself. This demand demanded one to be prepared to support the other through self-regulating their learning, resulting in autonomy and responsibility in the conduct of their common learning projects22.

In this perspective, the function of monitoring encourages the development of research, critical analysis of theoretical information to be selected as support to the monitor and the student to be guided. Such information is available in different sources, the teacher tacking important aspects: theoretical knowledge, technical, critical attitude23.

Furthermore, the monitoring activity has been complemented by research that enriches the knowledge4.11. Even as it is planned to meet a weekly timetable, and due to the difficulties presented by the students to commit to a course with full-time strategy, the teaching-research relationship is propagated by the PPP forming unit, fulfilling one of its purposes.

This way, the monitors develop the role of agent of teaching and learning in relation to the guiding teacher, from analysis and reflection on the educational planning process undertaken and the lessons taught evaluating them, these actions that are relevant to the role of the teacher10.


This study described the perceptions of nursing students about academic monitoring, allowing to reveal the importance of this activity in the training of these young people. In the descriptions by the students it can be seen that to be a monitor is a unique opportunity to encourage teacher training, and an important point to be considered by teachers to prepare future professionals.

The social relations established during monitoring, with teachers and peers, an inspiration for personal development and the monitor can be an incentive for the future practice of teaching.

The expansion of theoretical and practical knowledge and integrating the academic community were learning opportunities and skills development for young people. We conclude that monitoring constitutes an important tool in university education, the opportunity to expand the experiences that contributes to college training.

This study has limitations as to its realization in a single academic unit and the small number of participants, which prevents generalization of findings. It is necessary its expansion to other campuses.


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