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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 124-129

Group work: Facilitating the learning of international and domestic undergraduate nursing students


Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith Health, Griffith University, QLD 4222, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Julie Shaw
Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery - Gold Coast, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, QLD 4222
Australia
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Source of Support: Griffith University Learning and Teaching grant., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.170123

Background: Devising innovative strategies to address internationalization is a contemporary challenge for universities. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) project was undertaken to identify issues for international nursing students and their teachers. The findings identified group work as a teaching strategy potentially useful to facilitate international student learning. Methods: The educational intervention of structured group work was planned and implemented in one subject of a Nursing degree. Groups of four to five students were formed with one or two international students per group. Structural support was provided by the teacher until the student was learning independently, the traditional view of scaffolding. The group work also encouraged students to learn from one another, a contemporary understanding of scaffolding. Evaluation of the group work teaching strategy occurred via anonymous, self-completed student surveys. The student experience data were analysed using descriptive statistical techniques, and free text comments were analysed using content analysis. Results: Over 85% of respondents positively rated the group work experience. Overwhelmingly, students reported that class discussions and sharing nursing experiences positively influenced their learning and facilitated exchange of knowledge about nursing issues from an international perspective. Discussion: This evaluation of a structured group work process supports the use of group work in engaging students in learning, adding to our understanding of purposeful scaffolding as a pathway to enhance learning for both international and domestic students. By explicitly using group work within the curriculum, educators can promote student learning, a scholarly approach to teaching and internationalization of the curriculum.


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