Midwifery is one of the core subjects in the four-year Diploma in Nursing Science at a Gauteng Nursing College. The high failure rate in midwifery theoretical assessment results has been of great concern. By developing students’ reflective skills, students might be able to understand and learn midwifery theoretical knowledge better and the academic performance in midwifery theoretical results might improve.
The purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of reflective sessions on the academic performance of midwifery students, enrolled for the four-year Diploma in Nursing Sciences at a Gauteng Nursing College.
A quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design was used to guide the study.
Students in their second academic year were introduced to and thereafter attended midwifery theoretical classes in two separate groups. The theoretical material was divided into three block weeks, which was spread over a year. During the block weeks, they were exposed to conventional methods of education. In this study, reflective sessions in education were added to the one group (experimental group – 137 students) from the second midwifery block onwards, which was expected to enhance their academic performance. Randomised selection was used; Group 1 (137 students) was selected as the experimental group and Group 2 (141 students) as the control group.
The academic performance of both groups at the end of the first block was used as baseline data for the respective groups. Their academic performance (assessment marks) during the following two blocks was compared to the baseline data by means of statistics. Data analysis was done using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) to compare the progress of the midwifery students over time. The results were presented in graphs, tables and charts. Ethics committee approval was obtained from the Faculty of Health Science University of Pretoria Ethics Committee, Gauteng Provincial Department of Health and study site authorities.
In the research study, assessment results of a large group of participants (by estimation 278 students) was used to enhance validity. The purpose and significance of the study was explained to students and the researcher adhered to ethical principles such as respect, beneficence and justice. Students had the right to withdraw from the study at any time. All data is regarded as confidential and will be kept safe for 15 years by employing computer passwords.
The study findings contributed to the existing body of scientific knowledge regarding the application of reflective sessions in nursing education. Students have realised the benefit and importance of reflective session, which allowed them to understand learning content better. And to academically perform well.
Midwifery students improved their academic performance, which will allow them to complete their studies in the allocated time and be incorporated in the country’s workforce. The results will be shared with educators at different nursing colleges.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2019.