Building academic numeracy in a first year nursing course using an evaluative model of program development

Linda Galligan, Birgit Loch, Jill Lawrence
Numeracy is a key attribute in nursing. At the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), a large regional university in Australia, numeracy has been embedded in a course in the first semester nursing program. This chapter identifies the numeracy needs of these nursing students and outlines the model of learning improvement, based on that of Keimig, chosen to target the students' learning within a course. It also describes the method of evaluation and development guiding each of the course
more » ... f the course design, delivery, and improvement stages. These include both quantitative and qualitative strategies designed to investigate students' and staffs' reflections on curriculum design and assessment. These data collection strategies enabled the design team to incorporate a number of features specifically designed to engage and empower student nurses' numeracy skills in the delivery stage. The program conclusions in the first stage revealed the need for a number of improvements, including more targeted testing and increased flexibility. Three cycles have now been concluded with improvements continuously made as the stages evolve. This chapter includes examples of our evaluation data and it suggests that our approach assists students develop numeracy nursing attributes and allows the design team to respond quickly and effectively to students' needs.