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April 21, 2013


Safety in Numbers: Paper 4

by safemedicate

The relationship between exposure to authentic and didactic environments and Nursing Students’ learning of medication dosage calculation problem solving knowledge and skills.

Advancing the art and science of education practice requires a robust evaluation of the relationship between students’ exposure to learning and assessment environments and the development of their cognitive competence (knowing that and why) and functional competence (know-how and skills). Healthcare education translation research requires specific education technology assessments and evaluations that consist of quantitative analyses of empirical data and qualitative evaluations of the lived student experience of the education journey and schemata construction (Weeks et al., 2013a). This paper focuses on the outcomes of UK PhD and USA post-doctorate experimental research. We evaluated the relationship between exposure to traditional didactic methods of education, prototypes of an authentic medication dosage calculation problem-solving (MDC-PS) environment and nursing students’ construction of conceptual and calculation competence in medication dosage calculation problem-solving skills.

Empirical outcomes from both UK and USA programmes of research identified highly significant differences in the construction of conceptual and calculation competence in MDC-PS following exposure to the authentic learning environment to that following exposure to traditional didactic transmission methods of education (p < 0.001). This research highlighted that for many students exposure to authentic learning environments is an essential first step in the development of conceptual and calculation competence and relevant schemata construction (internal representations of the relationship between the features of authentic dosage problems and calculation functions); and how authentic environments more ably support all cognitive (learning) styles in mathematics than traditional didactic methods of education. Functional competence evaluations are addressed in Macdonald et al. (2013) and Weeks et al. (2013e).

This paper can be accessed at

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