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Title: Building life-long learning capacity in undergraduate nursing freshmen within an integrative and small group learning context
Authors: Chiang, VCL 
Leung, SSK
Chui, CYY
Leung, AYM
Mak, YW 
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Nurse education today, Oct. 2013, v.33, no. 10, p. 1184-1191
Abstract: Background: Life-long learning involves the development of skills in critical thinking (CT), effective group process (GP), and self-directedness (SDL). Recent studies have shown that small group learning with active interactions is effective in enabling students to develop themselves as independent learners beyond graduation. With a view to integrative learning, the purpose of this study was to evaluate life-long learning outcomes through the work of small group teaching and learning for a class of undergraduate nursing freshmen during one academic year.
Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used to evaluate the CT, GP and SDL of 99 freshmen with a selfassessment questionnaire before and after their learning activities in three nursing courses, and to identify themes from a total of six focus group interviews with the students and teachers.
Results: The CT, GP and SDL results obtained from self-assessment did not indicate significant differences. Four themes emerged from the qualitative analysis.
Discussion: Many factors contributed to the results on life-long learning skill development of students in this study. The qualitative analysis provided good insights for future teaching and learning development.
Conclusions: With a developmental perspective, life-long learning may be better developed and evaluated over a longer period of time in the nursing program.
Keywords: Group process
Nursing students
Problem-based learning
Small group learning
Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
Journal: Nurse education today 
ISSN: 0260-6917
EISSN: 1532-2793
DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.009
Rights: Nursing education today © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. The journal web site is located at
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Nursing education today. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Nursing education today, Oct 2013, v. 33, no. 10, p. 1184-1191. DOI: 10.1016/j.nedt.2012.05.009
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