Students struggle with the concept of osmosis and fluids and electrolytes.
Fluids and electrolyte is essential for nursing school. Over half of the students do not understand osmosis.
We created a pre-test (file attached) to assess where the problems in understanding the concept of osmosis may lie. Our pre-text had 8 questions, some were taken from Bio 156, some from Bio 202, and some from NCLEX practice tests. The results show that: Bio 156 scored 51% (n=36) on the pre-test; Bio 202 students scored 49%(n=72) on the pre-test(file attached). The result surprised us. How did students who took more biology classes do worse on the pre-test?
With the results, we questioned how we are teaching the topic. Dr. Parmiter and I compared our class notes and noticed that we use different terminology. In physiology and medicine, we use numbers and units of measurements to compare the fluid and electrolytes in osmosis. We realized that misunderstanding comes from students mis-defining the variables, numbers, and terminology.
Our next steps:
1. meet with nursing faculty. 2.align our courses with the nursing pathway. 3. Designing modules for pre-nursing students
Introductory Biology for Allied Health, Bio 156, is a course many students take for the nursing major. This course teaches a number of concepts that are important and repeated throughout other biology prerequisite courses (Bio 201 Anatomy and Physiology I, Bio 202 Anatomy and Physiology II, and Bio 205 Microbiology), nursing block 1-4 courses, and the NCLEX, nursing certification exam. The purpose of this CATS is to question whether the concepts we teach are retained through the courses. We decided to pick one topic and study this process. Osmosis is a concept that is taught throughout the sequence of courses and program. We made a pre-test and assessed students’ understanding of osmosis. The result was surprising, the students in Bio 202 (49%) did slightly worse than Bio 156 (51%). The results have generated useful conversations and initiated changes to our pre-nursing course content/alignment.