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Student-faculty partnerships are a win-win experience

Jun 18, 2018

Maria Pratt and students 

Above, left to right:  Carmen Fang (Level 4 Basic-Accelerated), Maria Pratt (Lead, Basic-Accelerated Stream), Hannah Alconcel (Level 4 Basic-Accelerated)

On April 13, Dr. Maria Pratt and two nursing students presented their poster at the Student Partners Program Symposium (SPP). This event was hosted by the MacPherson Institute in Gilmour Hall and was attended by students and faculty involved in the Students’ Partners Program in many departments across campus. Pratt and the students provided information about their experience in this exciting student-faculty collaboration.

Background on the initiative:

The Basic-Accelerated BScN Stream is a fast-tracked 20-month nursing undergraduate program at McMaster University. As the faculty lead of the Accelerated BScN Stream, Pratt is responsible for coordinating the Nursing Concepts in Health and Illness (Problem-based Learning) and Professional Practice courses for the first three semesters of the incoming Basic-Accelerated students.

When Pratt learned about the Student-Consultant Partnerships with faculty offered by the MacPherson Institute through SPP, she jumped at the opportunity to apply for this initiative during the first year of her teaching track appointment.

Maria Pratt: “I value students’ feedback so I thought that having a student consultant for the courses that I am coordinating would ensure that students’ voices are taken into account when I’m submitting my proposed course revisions to our curriculum committee.”

Hannah Alconcel: “In this project, I represented the student voice in recommending curricular and/or course delivery changes as group sizes changed from 20 to 40. One of my tasks was to evaluate formal feedback provided by students who completed the course in Spring/Summer 2017; I extracted themes of feedback and specific areas that required growth. In addition, I made suggestions based on what I heard from my peers throughout our experience in the Accelerated Nursing program.”

Carmen Fang: “As a university student, I have taken many courses. Inevitably, with every completed course, I would come across a student feedback form where my voice was limited to small boxes of space to write my concerns. When Dr. Pratt introduced me to the SPP for nursing professional practice course N2J04, I was intrigued. In collaboration with her, we updated the course manual, and piloted a project of using educational videos, and suggested post-conference activities as a resource in professional practice. The videos made developing clinical skills less stressful and consolidated learning.”

Benefits of the initiative:

Hannah Alconcel: “We created positive change with respect to the N3V03 course, helping students be involved in nursing education, and fostering collaborative relationships between the faculty and student partners.”

Carmen Fang: “During our collaboration, I felt that I was a partner in the course design project. SPP gave me insight into the mechanisms involved in a course revision, perspectives of teachers on instructing professional practice, and so much more! I developed many skills that will make me a better nurse and educator.”

Maria Pratt: “I knew from the start that this partnership would be a win-win experience. I was fortunate enough to have collaborated with two bright students who are passionate about the nursing profession and about improving the quality of their lived curriculum for incoming cohort of accelerated students.”

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