Nursing DepartmentSalus Infirmorum of Cadiz (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5153-5156
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Undergraduate research has gained further national prominence as an effective educational strategy given the changing demographics of our students, the expanding scope of institutions providing undergraduate education, and the enhanced appreciation for active-learning strategies (Carroll, 2005). The present research, in according with the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), focused on developing and testing new strategies to improve the implementation of a research program in the nursing students. This study is structured to meet the special needs of undergraduates for opportunities to build their professional and research identities and for interdisciplinary contexts in which to participate with the scientific researcher of the department.

Our proposal has been created a research area within the Virtual Campus of Cadiz University, based upon the Moodle e-learning platform to increase the cooperation between teachers and students.

Four aims guided the research:
1. To encourage the use of reading, critical thinking and problem solving (state standards and assessment skills) as the tools to explore relevant topics that contributes to better understanding of research content.
2. Enhancing communication/interaction teachers-students using a virtual platform for improving collaborative teaching.
4. To design and implement alternative educational tools achieving research and creative outcomes in the nursing students.
5. Creating opportunities to lead reflection focused on a critical reflection – thinking to face reality and to be able to propose new solutions for everyday problems of daily practices.

Sample: This study used 100 undergraduate nursing students from Salus Infirmorum department who ranged in age from 18 to 45 years old.
- Exhibition sessions: explanatory sessions and introduction to the project or exposure of specific research projects by teachers and researchers.
- Hands-on sessions: Students conducted activities in small groups (participation in meetings, data collection, data analysis, papers preparation, literary reviews);
- Virtual activity of the student: a) Development of a hypothesis and a research objective, critical reading of scientific papers, critical reading of tables and self-assessment exercises (crosswords, word games, quizzes, etc.); b) Participation in the discussion forums and virtual mentoring.
- Data collection and analysis of information: pre-post test, self-assessment questionnaires, reports and opinions expressed in the forum and in the satisfaction survey.

This study emphasizes the key role that faculty teachers can play in supporting and maximizing the impact of undergraduate research experiences. The collaborative teaching process is instrumental in inviting students to take part in undergraduate research. In addition, the results of this study have shown that research interest only takes place when research activities are assigned frequently enough that students can exercise and develop the essential skills of critical thinking, and presenting ideas and opinions with a purpose. These activities must be related to student interests about their objectives, as like the final career project and provide the opportunity for them to develop their own ―reasoned opinions and future plans. In addition we have shown as the use of The ICT tools and virtual platform are a valid complement to the classroom part, improving research skills and abilities in the students.
Teaching innovation project, nursing research, supportive collaborative learning.