Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Systematic Assessment and Evaluation of Diversity Content Presented in Classroom Lectures: The FRDC Tool

Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

Systematic Assessment and Evaluation of Diversity Content Presented in Classroom Lectures: The FRDC Tool

Article excerpt

Abstract: The Fair Representation of Diversity Content (FRDC) Tool was developed to systematically assess and evaluate both qualitative and quantitative dimensions of diversity content incorporated into lectures in an undergraduate nursing course addressing basic nursing concepts and has relevance for other disciplines as well as Nursing.

Key Words: Diversity, Classroom Lectures, Systematic Assessment

Teaching content that incorporates relevant diversity issues is the responsibility of instructional staff in a school of nursing. The role of the faculty in achieving this is twofold. First, teachers in institutions of higher education are expected to demonstrate that course content and learning experiences underscore the institution's and school's philosophies and mission statements. Second, faculty members are expected to identify and teach relevant diversity content areas guided by a curriculum plan that commonly integrates demographic characteristics such as age, gender, socioeconomic status/lifestyle preferences, race/ ethnicity and religion. Delivering lectures that expose students to accurate, typical and objective diversity content is extremely important for students to gain knowledge required to meet the health care needs of our diverse society. However, little has been reported on how to systematically assess and evaluate diversity content presented in university lectures.

No tool with adequate psychometric properties was available to assess and evaluate the content, extent, and overall impression of diversity content presented in lectures. The lack of methods for guiding assessment and evaluation strategies often resuited in the failure of faculty members to clearly document what and how diversity content was taught. Thus, a valid tool was needed which would include a multidimensional matrix for coding major diversity content areas, extent of elaboration of each diversity factor, and overall usefulness of the entire lecture for enhancing cultural awareness, increasing sensitivity, and resolving human conflict. The intent of this paper is to describe the development and testing of such a tool that is useful for systematically assessing and evaluating whether diversity content presented in lectures is consistent with expectations of the curriculum as well as with the institution's philosophy and mission. The development and testing of this tool will serve in the future as: (a) a format to facilitate faculty members in preparing lectures incorporating the role of diversity in health care, and (b) a non-threatening method for faculty self-evaluation to determine the quality and quantity of content, extent, and overall impression of diversity content presented in lectures. Conceptual Framework and Relevant Literature

Conceptually, this work was guided by the assumption that salient features for underscoring theoretical themes in higher education can provide a rationale for organizing teaching of diversity content in the classroom (Scisney-Matlock, 1998). These themes have been drawn from several theories including cognitive/intellectual and moral/ethical development (Perry, 1981) and social learning and identity development (Tatum, 1992). Conventional wisdom suggests that these fundamental, theoretical themes can describe how students learn, what they value, how they make decisions about self and others, and the effects of learning experiences on their social and moral development.

Researchers have explored these themes in order to provide a rationale for methods to effectively teach students diversity content (Adams, Bell, & Griffin, 1997). However, less work has been directed toward examining how these themes are related to knowledge gained and associated with social justice and diversity. Empirically derived tools that have the capacity to measure both quantitative and qualitative aspects of global diversity content presented in lectures can aid faculty to systematically design and implement models to assess and evaluate such content. …

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