By WILHELMINA ZARAGOZA-ATOZ, PhD, RN
College Secretary, College of Nursing

Evaluation is a management function carried in a systematic means of assessing the extent by which the program was carried out and the program objectives were attained.

The program evaluation seeks to find answer to the question, "Is the training program valid?" To answer this, two elements need to be explored. First, did the program accomplish what it set out to do? Second, is the design right with the real requirements of the job clearly in mind? In other words, did the program achieve the specific objectives of the training and were these specific objectives the right ones?

The Summer 2011 Curriculum and Faculty Development Program had for its theme "Achieving Synergy between classroom teaching and related learning activities for Quality, Excellence and Responsive Nursing Education."

The program consisted of two parts. Part i dealt on curriculum assessment and direction-setting. Part II included the short-term training designed to enhance the knowledge, skill and competency of the College of Nursing faculty of instruction in the area of instructional design, specifically, WRITING of CASES.

The program was planned and consciously designed bearing in mind the principles of relevance, cooperation, feasibility and manageability. Reactions, learning, job behavior were evaluated using the daily evaluation forms designed by the committee.

The Program Objectives

Participating in the conference-workshop were 32 faculty members, three office staffers and seven student representatives. Participants were expected to (1) identify the strengths, plan for areas for growth and development after the SWOT method, and (2) develop cases within the course following the guidelines, to synergize classroom teaching and RLE activities; in the process, a compassionate and energized team is developed.

The Strategy

A conference-workshop was held at the UERM amphitheater and spilt over to a venue outside Metro Manila (Oasis Hotel & Resort in San Fernando, La Union) to ensure the proper focus and concentration to finish the tasks expected.

A facilitator by the name of Dr. Annabelle R. Borromeo, Vice President for Nursing Service of St. Luke's Hospital, very ably walked the participants through with writing the cases. The dynamism, evocative approach and personal journey shared by our facilitator exemplified the "case strategy" bridging of theory to practice.

All the participants were tasked to provide input for the achievement of the workshop output. Prof. Ma. Luisa Uayan facilitated the critiquing of cases, adding humor along the way. The witty Mrs. Belinda Capistrano facilitated the SWOT sessions and our demure Mrs. Norma Nastor facilitated the group in the clustering of all the SWOT output.

Issues and concerns brought out in the SWOT sessions were given clarification by our dynamic "shepherd" Dean Carmelita C. Divinagracia, who also gave a lecture on "Managing Change" as an off-shoot. Dr. Wilhelmina Z. Atos, the Curriculum Chair, engaged the group in resolving the issues and concerns brought out in the workshop and ensured that the realistic, relevant, doable plans and directions done by the committed, passionate and responsible participants were ready for implementation. Never a dull moment, indeed!

Was the training program valid? did it accomplish what it set out to do? Was the design right?

The evaluation committee was headed by Ms. Maria Santa "Ara" Portillo, a junior faculty member of not so many words but so many deeds. The evaluation was carried out daily along with one general evaluation, "to gain an in-depth analysis of its implementation," as Ara said. This daunting task was ably, singlehandedly done and yet fully accomplished to the letter using descriptive statistics. The evaluation was on the "reaction" level and the learning level was extended to the actual use of cases and its utilization on plans for SY 2011-2012.

An overall rating of 99% was given to the invited facilitator, with the participants expressing that the program objectives were more than adequately explained and attained. More than half (58.33%) rated the methodology used as very effective, with 91% feeling high energy throughout the session on case Writing, though 69% felt that too much time was provided for the case "write-shop" which spilled over to the second day.

Level 2 faculty members followed the guidelines to the letter regarding determining the number of cases per concept per semester, having identified six cases per semester. All levels presented their sample casework, oneper level. (See sample Titles). "More 'hands-on', please"! Our response: Wait for every first Wednesday of the month come SY 2011-2012!

The SWOT was rated by the participants as a good to excellent (92.4%) methodology in identifying the points for growth with the least friction. Usefulness of the topics and appropriateness for teaching-learning to the faculty was rated by 92% as excellent.

Factors considered as strengths were: excellent and well-equipped skills laboratory facilities, e-lab, collaboration, harmonized teaching strategy, faculty qualification.

Opportunities to be explored were strong camaraderie among the faculty, strong alumni linkages, faculty development programs (internal and external) participation in extension programs, work opportunity at the base-hospital, attractive to international schools, and the CHED pronouncement on substandard nursing schools.

Weaknesses were clustered into: Faculty (benefits, clinical expertise, promotion, relationships between and among groups, professionalism); communication (protocols, discrepancy in implementation); research productivity; Marketing strategy; and Students (coping, academic counseling protocol).

Threats identified: continuous decline of employment opportunities, increasing cost of tuition, decreasing number of applicants, bad publicity (such as the government pronouncement not to take up nursing), faculty loading, to mention a few.

Plans for Academic Year 2011-2012 were focused on the weakness and opportunities. The participantswere able to design specific measures to address: 1) Optimizing Student Learning, 2) Strengthening Student Profile, 3) Faculty Development and Productivity, and 4) Administration of Service and Community extension.

The team-building exercises bridged the seeming social gap within the faculty and between the groups of participants. This was ably handled by the junior faculty members, namely Jenny Cariaga, Raiza Libo-on and Ara Portillo. Not to be outdone were the "RLE sessions" by the swimming pool that became a de-stressing session after the SWOT. The lovely beach at the "white house, the sunset by the shoreline, the "lighted bancas" of the fishermen and the "videoke serenade" while having a healthy meal of fresh veggies, fruits and lutong bahay were dreams come true. What a wonderful world for wonderful people! Such is our gratitude for the growth opportunity provided and supported by the administration.

The training program was made complete by a side trip to Our Lady of Manaog, with faculty members braving the heat just to offer the event to our July 2 and 3, 2011 board examinees. This Summer 2011 Development Program did a magnificent job of demonstrating how leaders can best care for their people.

We would like to thank the Administration for giving us the opportunity to appreciate some "management secrets" such as with regard to instilling loyalty and commitment. What could we do in response? We can spread the word and teach our young students what was taught to us by this experience. SPREAD THE WORD!

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