Academic journal article Journal of the Medical Library Association

Reimagining Information Literacy Instruction in an Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Course for Undergraduate Students

Academic journal article Journal of the Medical Library Association

Reimagining Information Literacy Instruction in an Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Course for Undergraduate Students

Article excerpt

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This case report describes the redesign process for an undergraduate evidence-based practice (EBP) nursing course, for which the nursing liaison librarian has served as both co-instructor and co-instructional designer. The course is part of the undergraduate, outcomes-based core curriculum and teaches sophomore nursing undergraduates the principles of the research process; teaches students to identify the strengths and limitations of research articles in relation to EBP; and builds student confidence in their abilities to execute competencies in information literacy, data management, and scholarly communication. Course enrollment typically ranges between sixty and sixty-five students per semester, and the course is offered in both the spring and fall semesters.

Six years prior to the redesign detailed in this report, the course had undergone a redesign in the IMPACT Program. IMPACT, a campus-wide initiative [1], aims to incorporate student-centered teaching practices and learning technologies into courses [2, 3]. Faculty work with a support team of instructors from the libraries, the Center for Instructional Excellence, and campus Information Technology: Teaching and Learning Technologies. In courses that have gone through IMPACT redesigns, faculty report significant increases in student activity and engagement and perceive an improvement in students' critical thinking skills [2]. The nursing liaison librarian had been co-teaching the course for one academic year. Prior to her involvement, the previous nursing liaison librarian was involved with the course and advised on its initial IMPACT redesign.

After the undergraduate EBP nursing course's initial IMPACT redesign, a curriculum shift occurred. The information literacy-based competencies taught in the course were considered better suited for sophomores, who are just beginning research projects, as opposed to seniors, who are preparing to graduate. Though the course would be taken by less-experienced students, course learning objectives were set in accordance with accreditation standards and remained fixed. These objectives were numerous and wide-ranging:

1. describe the principles of research and the process of EBP;

2. use information and information technologies ethically, legally, and proficiently;

3. explain the purpose and methodology of various types of quantitative and qualitative research designs;

4. evaluate the quality of research evidence to determine scientific merit, strengths, and limitations relevant to clinical practice;

5. examine the economic, legal, and ethical issues related to conducting research;

6. discuss the process of translating research evidence into practice; and

7. demonstrate the characteristics of an innovator that are necessary for EBP, including leadership, a sense of inquiry, flexibility to change, awareness of self and the environment, effective communication, critical thinking, lifelong learning, and professionalism [4].

The original course curriculum assumed that students had already mastered basic information literacy competencies, and while appropriate for an audience of seniors, that assumption did not hold true for sophomores. Another redesign was needed to achieve all the aforementioned course learning objectives using activities and assessments that were appropriate for sophomore-level undergraduates.

Additionally, the faculty and librarian coinstructors observed a decrease in the sophomore students' engagement in the course. We hypothesized that this was because many students failed to complete the required readings and other nongraded prework, possibly because they concurrently took other difficult courses and the heavy course load challenged their timemanagement and study skills. This was especially evident as the student-focused course design required students to lead and propel course discussions. …

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