Assessment Strategy for Achieving excellence in care demands


Achieving excellence in care demands a culture of continuous improvement. Just because we used to do things a certain way, doesn’t mean that’s still the best way to do them. Research is a fundamental part of informing how practice evolves, and improving the quality of care we deliver. As such, an understanding of what research entails is essential for all registered nurses. In this module, we would like you to apply the knowledge and understanding you have gained about research to show how it could inform improvements in nursing care.

The assessment strategy falls into two parts: formative assignment and summative assessment. The formative assignment occurs in week 6 of the module, and is designed to help ensure you are on the right track. Your summative assessment, which determines whether you pass the module, will be due at 11am on Monday 9th January 2023.

1.1  Formative Assignment

The essay title for the summative assessment is: “Discuss how research evidence can inform improvements in the care of people within a particular area of practice”. For your formative assignment, we would like you to spend time in class developing a search strategy to find contemporary research articles that you can use in your summative essay.

Your first task will be deciding what ‘particular area of practice’ you are going to concentrate on. This might be your chosen field of nursing, or perhaps a particular illness or condition that interests you. Alternatively, maybe you are interested in a particular location where care is delivered, such as the care of people in schools, operating theatres, prisons or residential homes. Whatever you choose, try to choose something that interests you – it will make writing your essays more enjoyable! Your group facilitator will be available for advice and guidance.

After that, we would like you to devise a search strategy to find primary and/or secondary research articles on your chosen topic. We will work as a class on this in your week 6 seminar, as even though you will have chosen different topics, parts of the search strategies you develop will be universal to all. Also, collaboration and team working are core nursing skills, and are important to develop in clinical and non-clinical environments. Your facilitator will be available for questions and feedback throughout the session, and to guide you in the right direction. As a formative assignment, there is no formal ‘mark’ for this element, but the work you do will help when it comes to writing your summative essay.

Importantly, please try not to worry about the formative assignment. It is a task that will be conducted during class, with the support of your group facilitator. Feedback will be given at the time, and as there is no formal mark for this element, you can’t ‘fail’. Formative assignments are to help your learning, summative assessments are the test of what you have learned.

1.2  Summative Assessment

The summative assessment for this module is a 2000-word essay. The title of the essay is:

“Discuss how research evidence can inform improvements in the care of people within a particular area of practice”

You should follow the guidance below for how to structure your essay. Try to stick to the suggested word counts as closely as possible, as they align to the marks available for each section.

Front SheetPlease complete the summative assessment front sheet and submit this as the first page of your assessment.Not included in the word count
IntroductionWhat is research and why is it important?   This section should define research, demonstrate your knowledge of different types of research, and highlight the importance of research to evidence-based practice. Make sure you use references to support the points you make (research textbooks, peer-reviewed articles about research etc.). You should also briefly introduce your chosen area of practice, providing a rationale for your choice. This should be one or two sentences at most.Approximately 400 words
Main BodyHow can research help improve the care of people within your chosen area of practice?   The main body is where you address the essay title. We want you to illustrate the practical importance of research by discussing at least 4 primary and/or secondary research studies that focus on your chosen area of practice. Try to include studies that relate to each other (are broadly on the same topic) so your writing has a clear focus. We will think about this a little more in week 6. Make sure you also clearly demonstrate how the research is relevant to nursing practice – how might the findings of the research studies be used to improve the nursing care we deliver?   In second year, we want to start seeing you move away from just describing what you read, to developing discussion that begins to offer some critique. Therefore, in the main body we expect you to:   Think about the ways the research studies were conducted, and discuss any potential sources of bias. The seminars in weeks 1-5 will help you with this, in addition to your wider reading (see the resource list). Try to compare and contrast the different studies, rather than simply describing them one after the other. What do they have in common? Are there any differences in what they found?     When writing this section, the key is to clearly (and critically) demonstrate how research findings can inform improvements in nursing care in your chosen practice area.Approximately 1000 words
Barriers to Using Research in PracticeWhy don’t nurses always fully utilise research evidence in their practice?   This brief section should consider why nurses find it hard to use research to inform their care. This isn’t just your opinion – make sure you draw on contemporary research and research textbooks to support the points you make. The work we cover in week 7 will help you here.  Approximately 300 words
ConclusionBringing it all together.   Your conclusion will very briefly summarise the key points of your essay, and make evidence-based recommendations for practice. These recommendations should clearly link back to the research you discussed in your ‘main body’.  Approximately 300 words
ReferencesYour essay should be fully referenced, using in-text citations appropriately. A reference list should be included at the end, using Cite Them Right Harvard style. Your reference list should be in strict alphabetical order.Not included in the word count
  • Presentation: You should use a font that is neutral and easy to read. We recommend Calibri, Arial, Georgia or Gadugi. Font size should be 11 or 12, and your writing must use line spacing of 1.5 or double. Please number your pages, and only submit .doc or .docx files. Your essay should be written in the third person.
  • Word Count: Your word count includes everything from the first word of your introduction, to the last word of your conclusion. It does not include your reference list. Overall, there is a 10% leeway in word count so your final essay should fall between 1,800 – 2,200 words. For submissions that exceed the maximum word count, your marker will stop reading at 2,200 words, and your work will incur a penalty of 10% of the final mark. There is no direct penalty for submissions that fall below the minimum word count. However, failing to use the word allocation you have been given limits your ability to fully engage with the essay question.
  • Marking Criteria: Your essay will be marked using the rubric available to you on the GCU Learn module site. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with what your marker will be looking for. Your marker may be your group facilitator, another member of the module team, or a member of the wider school faculty.
  • Assessment Due Date: Your essay must be submitted before 11am on Monday 9th January 2023.
  • Submission through Turnitin: In accordance with the University’s Digital Assessment Policy and Online Similarity Checking Policy your summative assessment will be submitted online through Turnitin. Support and guidance on similarity checking on Turnitin and reducing the risk of plagiarism can be sought from your Learning and Development Centre courses and resources (see below), and also through this link. Where plagiarism is detected, this will be dealt with under the Code of Student Conduct.

There will be a Turnitin box available to submit your essay well in advance of the submission deadline. This box can be used as a draft similarity checker prior to submitting your final version. Turnitin can take up to 24 hours to produce a similarity report, therefore we caution against leaving it too close to the submission deadline if you want to use this facility. You may use Turnitin to check similarity as many times as you wish prior to submission. However, the Turnitin box will close on the submission deadline, and will not accept late submissions.

Please, therefore, make sure you leave sufficient time to upload your final essay and plan ahead for potential computer, internet and/or life emergencies.

  • Feedback and Results: Feedback and your provisional (unratified) mark should be available to you within three working weeks of the submission deadline. In this case, that means your results should be released by 11am on Monday 30th January 2023. For more information on feedback, please refer to the module handbook. Marks will be internally moderated, reviewed by the module external examiner, and ratified at the Programme Assessment Board.
  • Extension Requests: In the normal course of life you may occasionally experience minor illness, unexpected or adverse events which coincide with preparing summative assessments. These are part of normal life experience, and you are expected to manage and organise your university work in a way which anticipates that events will not always run smoothly.

That said, there may be occasions when you face unexpected and exceptional difficulties which are beyond your control. In these circumstances you may wish to seek an extension to the submission date from the module leader. Extensions will usually be granted for no more than 5 working days, and the module leader may ask you for supporting documentary evidence with your extension request. All extension requests should be made by completing the extension request form and emailing it to the module leader in advance of the submission deadline. Further details are available in the University Assessment Regulations. Extension requests received too close to the deadline may not be able to be processed.

  • Fit to Sit: In the normal course of events, the University operates a ‘Fit to Sit/Submit’ approach to student assessment, with a default assumption that any student undertaking a piece of assessment, is declaring that they are fit to do so. Any mark and/or attempt at

assessment will stand, unless a student has indicated that they were not ‘Fit to Sit/Submit’. A student can declare themselves unfit from 5 days prior the date of assessment, and up to 2 days after they sat/submit. The Fit to Sit policy can be found on the university ‘policies and procedures’ webpage. If you have any queries about the Fit to Sit policy, we encourage you to speak to your personal tutor, or seek guidance from the GCU Students Association advice centre. Please note, the module leader and module team do not deal with Fit to Sit applications.

The timeline for Fit to Sit applications for this trimester is given below. If you have an extension granted, the timeline moves with your new submission deadline.

Please note, that if a student sits/submits and subsequently declares themselves unfit, it will result in their work not being marked and no feedback given, with an NS (non-submission) recorded. Further details are available in the Module Handbook and at the relevant webpages.

2.  Assessment support

In addition to receiving support from the module team your school has a Learning Development Centre (LDC) which provides academic writing support, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support, advice on study skills and other academic support and guidance.

The LDC is inclusive and is committed to providing support for all students including those with disabilities or specific learning and teaching needs. The centre provides face-to-face and online academic support through a combination of workshops, small group sessions, one-to- one appointments and tailored teaching within modules. The support available to students is provided in a professional and supportive environment enabling them to develop the skills required to succeed at university.

There are 7 Academic Development Tutors (ADTs) in the team for the School of Health and Life Sciences. If you would like to make an appointment with any of the ADTs, please go to Simply Book Me.

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