Developing an Evidence-Based Caring Science Course
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: The purpose of this project was to explore teaching strategies designed to create authentic presence and engage students in online learning through integration of a caring science framework. To humanize an online course caring science and Nodding's four ingredients of a caring curriculum will be reviewed: modeling, practice, authentic dialogue and confirmation/affirmation. Infusing online education with four ingredients amplifies student connection and engagement beyond levels they normally experience in an online environment. Together, online education best practices, caring science, presence and engagement, encourages students to remain open to what is emerging by allowing for vulnerability and humanity that supports recovery. Participants will explore persistent, intentional openness that supports authentic presence and creates a healing environment by forming a safe space for students to explore where they have been, where they are, and where they want to go in their practice. Methods: The development phase of the project included: course mapping, identification of research-based learning activities, integration of quality norms, and evaluation strategies congruent with a caring science curriculum. The instructor created a mind map to visually represent the course description, theoretical orientation, readings, and learning activities. The course emphasized learning through engagement, understanding, action, reflection, judgment, and commitment. The reflective learning approach to knowledge growth incorporated the following learning activities: online dialogue and discussions, 5-minute video segments, written reflective papers, and a written commitment to change assignment. Evaluation modeled Nodding's four components of a caring curriculum including: modeling, practice, authentic dialogue and confirmation/affirmation. Results: Student feedback through video and written evaluation suggested the online course balanced structure and freedom, captured quality norms for online learning, critical reflection, and the spirit of the content. Courses created in this way can challenge and authentically engage students in learning. Conclusion: Both students and instructors benefit when courses are developed with intention-- where maps and frameworks guide course development, quality norms support instructional design, and reflective pedagogies and learning activities support presence and engagement.