My face, a window to communication: Using creative design in learning
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Creative art as part of assessment in nursing is a powerful alternative to traditional methods of promoting engagement for students who have different learning styles, and who value engagement in creative activities. This paper describes an innovative assessment approach for first year nursing students which addressed the development of a beginning knowledge base in therapeutic communication as well as critical thinking and writing skills. Each student was asked to design a wearable mask to display an abstract interpretation of the therapeutic communication skills required as a nursing student, followed by a discussion about therapeutic nursing communication. Results from an evaluation of the assessment are described using Bigg's (1995) structure of observed learning outcome (SOLO) taxonomy. Seventy percent of students (n = 35) found the new assessment to be an effective learning strategy. As a creative exercise, 82% (n = 41) found the assessment to have engaged them at a personal level. More effort is needed for innovative assessment strategies to promote student engagement. Use of a creative assessment approach that incorporates art creation shows much promise in bridging the gap from a superficial understanding of concepts to an understanding characterised by deeper learning.
Nurse Education Today
Nursing not elsewhere classified