Evaluating the use of developmental action inquiry in constructing a problem-based learning curriculum for pre-registration nursing education in Hong Kong: a student perspective


Samantha Pang,
School of Nursing,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,
Hung Hom,
Hong Kong,
China. E-mail: hsspang@inet.polyu.edu.hk


Background.  Developmental action inquiry (DAI) was chosen as the change strategy for introducing problem-based learning (PBL) in a pre-registration nursing programme. The central task was to transform the tutor and student participants to become collaborators in this curriculum reconstruction project.

Aim.  This paper expounds the way in which the action inquiry was constructed and in light of students’ feedback analysis, the way in which PBL has made a difference in student learning was evaluated.

Design.  Taking into consideration the change context and different group characteristics, the DAI was conducted in terms of two dynamically interlinked circles that formed partnerships between PBL core group members and tutors, and between tutors and students in coconstructing knowledge useful for PBL curriculum development.

Findings.  The findings of the student evaluation questionnaire reveal that the majority of students felt PBL made a difference to their expectations of self, the student group and the teacher role in creating a facilitative environment to enhance learning. However, there was a significant difference among individual student group responses. The students’ positive and negative PBL experience in self-learning, tutor–student interaction, and group-learning were identified as crucial factors contributing to these group variations.

Conclusion.  The evaluation findings show that a paradigm shift from teacher-centred to student-centred learning, from valuing self-learning to co-operative group-learning, and from theory-based to practice-based learning occurred among the students. DAI was found to be an effective change strategy for transforming participants to become collaborators in searching for useful knowledge and coconstructing the PBL learning context.