Curriculum Development, Essay Example

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Essay

Curriculum development paper

One fundamental principle of success remains constant and that is the need for communication. How to nurture and maintain effective intercultural communication between employees and outside the boundaries of the organization is now becoming an area of increasing concern for business. Communicating effectively in the workplace is one of the basic challenges to organizations, especially in this global age where intercultural differences abound.  The way personnel communicate in an organization can further spell “the difference between efficiency and ineptitude, success and failure, making money or losing it” (Winnet).

In the nursing profession, effective communication is critical both in dealing with patient and with colleagues as well in order to facilitate a good working relationship and avoid misunderstandings (Chapman 2009). In communicating with patients, it is important to initially identify barriers that would impede communication. This could include language barriers (if the patient speaks in a foreign language and has limited grasp of the English language), medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia, cognitive function, and such.

Learning Outcome: Communication Techniques

Aim: To learn about the various techniques in communication

Objectives:

  1. To demonstrate understanding of modes of communication
  2. To demonstrate understanding of barriers to effective communication
  3. To recognize implications of miscommunication

Plan of Action and Resources:

  1. Preparation of a lecture on communication techniques
  2. Demonstration of effective communication techniques
  3. Video demonstration of effective communication
  4. Lecture on barriers to effective communication
  5. Group activities that utilize communication skills

Planning is an important first step in conducting an oral presentation. Objectives must be developed and considering the audience is also essential in order to assess their level of knowledge and ensure that the topic presented can be understood..The use of visual aids should also be considered as this will focus the audience’s attention and emphasize the speaker’s message (Bourne, 2007). Microsoft Powerpoint can be used to deliver the presentation as it allows the speaker to illustrate important points within the topic and emphasize critical information. In addition, a powerpoint presentation allows graphical illustrations that would draw the audience’s attention. Music files and video clips can also be incorporated in the powerpoint presentation as necessary in order to facilitate understanding of the topic better. However, in a powerpoint presentation, visuals should be used sparingly in order to maximize its effect as too many irrelevant effects can diminish learning (Bartsch & Cobern, 2003). Human beings generally file away information through various methods, namely: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. It is said that adults often comprehend, retain and understand 10% from the information they read, 20% from the information that they hear, 30% from reading and hearing information, 50% from hearing and seeing and 90% from doing (Mayer, 2009). Itis also said that learning from experience is more meaningful compared to learning within the walls of the classroom (Quinn, 2000) so practical demonstrations are essential during the teaching session

Evaluation of Learners

  1. Through individual assessment of communication skills
  2. Assessment of group activities undertaken during the course of study
  3. Through writing a reflective essay on the topic.

Authentic assessments emerged from the growing national disenchantment with traditionally used standardized tests. As teachers, we long for an assessment that will truly evaluate our students’ abilities and help us pinpoint their individual needs. We long for an assessment that would rely on more than just written problems or that could capture the more diverse skills visible in the classroom and valued in the workplace. We are, in fact, differentiating our instructions to meet the needs of all our students; hence the need also to differentiate the kind and quality of tests we give them.

Authentic assessment is “a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills” (Mueller, 2006). Experience tells us that simply testing an isolated skill or a retained fact does not effectively measure a student’s capabilities nor does it prepare him or her for the demands and needs of the real world. A student must know how to apply all relevant skills and knowledge learned when presented with real-world challenges or “tasks that are either replicas or analogous to the kind of problems faced by adult citizens and consumers or professionals in the field” (Wiggins, 1993).

Traditional assessment work on recall and recognition so is typically less revealing about what students really know and can do than when they are asked in authentic assessments to “analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner, creating new meaning in the process as well” (Mueller, 2006).  Traditional assessments are also teacher–centered. In contrast, authentic assessments are student-centered and provide more direct evidence of application and construction of knowledge.  Students are informed ahead of time what specific characteristics make up good performance, thus can better develop the skills and understanding necessary to perform well on these tasks.

What we are driving at is that when we teach our students to perform well in certain skills, say for instance in speaking, we do not give them a multiple choice test.  What we would do is ask them to perform certain tasks where we should be able to assess the level of mastery or performance they are at certain skills relative to speaking.  So we teach them specific subjects not just to know them but to be able to do them. For what good is knowledge acquired if the student is unable to apply that knowledge in the real context. For instance, the use of portfolios as form of assessment in the disciplines of art and writing is not merely a demonstration of the growth of the students’ talents but is also a showcase of their skills through a collection of authentic performances. Educators are thus expanding the use of portfolios as a form of assessment to other disciplines such as physical education, mathematics and the social sciences.

The benefits and advantages of authentic assessment vis-à-vis traditional standardized tests are best summarized in the following:

  1. It requires students to be effective performers with acquired knowledge and presents the student with the full array of tasks that mirror the priorities and challenges found in the best instructional activities: conducting research; writing, group discussions, oral analysis, collaborating with others on a debate, etc. (Wiggins, 1990).
  2. Authentic assessments attend to whether the student can craft polished, thorough and justifiable answers, performances or products(Wiggins, 1990) and can be successfully used with students of varying cultural backgrounds, learning styles, and academic ability (Hart, 1994).
  3. Tasks used in authentic assessment are more interesting and reflective of students’ daily lives where ultimately a more positive attitude toward school and learning may evolve (Hart, 1994).
  4. Teachers assume a larger role in the assessment process which is more likely to assure that the evaluation process will reflect course goals and objectives (Hart, 1994)
  5. Educators and business leaders are one in saying that it is essential for modern students to learn creative thinking, problem solving, cooperative teamwork, technological literacy, and self-direction. We have taken up the challenge and are moving towards this end with the use of various forms of authentic assessments supported by an appropriate curriculum and instruction, professional development, and leadership practices.

According to McAllister et al. (1997), positive feedback aids in the development of interpersonal skills as well competence in clinical skills. Thus it is important to acknowledge the learner’s contribution to the teaching session and affirm positive behaviour and good performance. Another method of evaluating the learning of students is through the ability to formulate questions that require elaboration on a particular topic area. Consequently, the ability to answer review questions of the topic presented will also demonstrate the learning achieved by the student.

References

Approaches to authentic assessments.North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, Retrieved Nov. 26, 2011, from http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/assment/as800.htm

Bartsch, R.A & Cobern, K. M. (2003) Effectiveness of PowerPoint presentations in lectures. Computers & Education.  41:1, pp. 77–86.

Bourne, E. (2007) Ten Simple Rules for making Good Oral Presentations. PLoS Comput Biol. 3:4, p. 77

Hart, D. (1994). Authentic assessment: a handbook for educators. . Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

Mayer, R. E. (2009) Multimedia learning. 2ND ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA (2006). Preparing an Oral Presentation. Retrieved Dec. 1, 2011 from http://umanitoba.ca/student/u1/lac/media/Preparing-an-Oral-Presentation-06.pdf

McAllister, L. et al. (eds.) (1997) Facilitating Learning in Clinical Settings.Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes.

Mueller, J. (2006). Authentic assessment tool box. Retrieved Nov. 26, 2011 from http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/

Quinn, F. (2000) Principles and Practice of Nurse Education. 4th edition. Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes.

Wiggins, G. (1990, December). The case for authentic assessment. ERIC Digest, Retrieved Nov. 27, 2011, from http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-9218/case.htm

Winnet, A.Communicating effectively in the workplace. Retrieved Dec. 1, 2011 from http://www.hodu.com/business-communication.shtml

Zon, C. et. al. (1998). Standards For Improvement. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 28, 14-18.

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