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School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems University College Dublin Scholarship of Enquiry Lauren Burns Student Number: 19743155A submission to the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems for the module NMHS10360 Scholarship of Enquiry 12th November 2019 IntroductionIn this discussed paper (Redmond et al., 2018) a cross-sectional study was carried out in an Irish university on a portion of students’ in their first semester of their Nursing, Midwifery and health systems programme. The aim was to explore what part of the programme was giving the most learning gains and to see what parts of the programme could be improved. A quantitative data analysis design was used as a research design in this study. This would allow the tutors of the programme who were carrying out this study to see what the outcome would be using the intervention of The Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) questionnaire to collect data from the target university students.  Article summary and findingsThe tool used to collect the information needed, and the feedback from the target audience who were mostly young Irish females in the first semester of their undergraduate nursing degree, was called SALG which was a series of questions give that were then answered after their first semester. Questions used were both open and closed questions. The purpose of the study was to see what parts of the course the students found were their biggest learning gains and what other areas could use improvement. ‘’Students feedback on this experience is essential information when designing future curricula’’ (Redmond et al., 2018, P.242). The University used to carry out this survey was a large university in Dublin and the students were mostly young Irish post leaving certificate females participating in the nursing undergraduate programme. A total of 226 students from the four majors who had just completed semester 1 of the first year of their degree at the university were invited to participate, 206 of which successfully took part and completed the study. The SALG tool used has been proven to be reliable before by comparing it to other evaluation methods ( Gutwill-Wise,2002, as cited in Redmond et al., 2018), but to their knowledge this was the first time it was used on students doing their primary nursing degree, the questionnaire was split up into different categories using both open and closed questions and used a scoring system. Learning gains is a new concept being explored by higher education bodies in Ireland and the UK and studies related to learning gains rather than student evaluation of teaching (SET) are needed (Redmond et al., 2018). The study allowed faculty to understand the student’s perception of their learning gains and helped identify any areas that could be improved on. The questions were split up onto different tables on the questionnaire and focused on demographic, student perception on learning gains, areas of study, student perception on supports provided, teaching and learning approaches skill developed, assessments, attitudes, information is given, understanding development, students perception on the impact the semester had on them and the integration of learning. The results of this study were presented on separate graphs, each with a different category and overall suggested that Clinical skills labs came out on top for students as a strong learning gain. Clinical education is a fundamental component of undergraduate nurse education, whereby students apply both theory and learned skills (McCutcheon et al., 2014 as cited in Redmond et al., 2018). Clinical skills laboratories (CLS) are carried out in small groups of students and the Article acknowledges this may have contributed to CLS being found to be the strongest learning gain and the area that improved confidence and enthusiasm for students. Online learning, such as video clips, was also seen to be a Favourite learning enabler along with multiple-choice questions found in the results of this study.Conclusion and CritiqueThe study findings give great feedback to educators when reviewing curriculum content over the first semester but give no insight into the student’s experience and outcomes over a whole academic year. semester but is limited in offering insight to their experience over a whole academic year which may offer educators in the whole academic year as there is no long-term element. As aforementioned, data collected in this study relied on only one demographic of the entire student first-year student population which was young post leaving certificate female students. This leaves out Male, mature, international and other access students. Considering Mature students, it can be disputed that their experience in higher education may be very different from that of a young post leaving certificate student. An exploratory study carried out on Mature nursing students returning to higher education, highlighted the many aspects in their lives that could make their experience very different to that of a traditional post leaving certificate student (Steele et al., 2005). The study gave no insight as to the experiences of these other student demographics. There is an opportunity for more long-term studies to be carried out which may help Tutors when reviewing curriculum content over a longer period. Word Count: 806References McCutcheon, K., Lohan, M., Traynor, M. and Martin, D. (2014). A systematic review evaluating the impact of online or blended learning vs. face-to-face learning of clinical skills in undergraduate nurse education. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 71(2), pp.255-270.Redmond, C., Davies, C., Halligan, P., Joye, R., Carroll, L. and Frawley, T. (2018). Nursing and midwifery students’ perception of learning enablers and gains in the first semester of their BSc programmes: A cross sectional study. Nurse Education Today, 65, pp.242-249.Steele, R., Lauder, W., Caperchione, C. and Anastasi, J. (2005). An exploratory study of the concerns of mature access to nursing students and the coping strategies used to manage these adverse experiences. Nurse Education Today, 25(7), pp.573-581.