Addressing the Needs of Underperforming Learners

Addressing the Needs of Underperforming Learners

Learner Challenge

I currently teach a first quarter fundamentals nursing course. This is the introductory course to nursing basics. The student population can be very diverse. Many students have not been in school for many years and are not sure how to study and prepare for exams. Each week I use a formative evaluation to assess student learning. Formative evaluation involves assessment throughout the course, such as weekly exams (Laureate, 2013e). The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning and provide the instructor with feedback to improve learning as well as teaching (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, 2015). Formative assessment can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and areas for improvement. Formative assessment can also help faculty to recognize those students who are struggling and problems can then be addressed early on (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, 2015). By offering weekly exams I am able to clearly identify those students who are struggling.


When a student fails an exam I think it is important to meet with that student immediately to find out why they struggled. There are several factors that can lead to student performing poorly. These factors include poor study skills and possible personal problems (Cleland, Ross & Lee, 2010). Many students may not recognize their own struggles and fail to seek support (Cleland et. al., 2010). This is why it is important for educators to intervene early. We need to be alert to these cues and clues so that we can offer the appropriate resources for the students (Laureate, 2013e).

Cleland, Ross and Lee (2010) suggest the remediation process for students who are struggling. Remediation is the process of correcting a deficiency. The process involves diagnosis, remedial activities, and retesting (Cleland et. al., 2010). One we have addressed the student and diagnosed the problem we then offer a remedial activity to assist the student. In order to see if the process has worked we retest and evaluate the strategy.

Does remediation work? I have found it to be very successful. When my students fail the first test I make them meet with me to discuss why. Many times it is lack of preparation or poor study skills. We discuss the resources available to them. I usually send them to the learning assistance center for help with study skills and test taking strategies. I then look at their performance on the following weekly exams. I have found that by the next test they have improved. If they continue to seek assistance by the time the midterm and final exam come around I see great success. Midway through the quarter and at the end of the quarter I use summative evaluation in the form of midterm and final exam. I usually see great success if the student has used the resources. The summative evaluation evaluates the student at the end of the quarter and helps me to assess whether or not they are ready to move on (Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, 2015).



Nursing school is not easy by any means, and students are going to struggle. As educators, it is important that we identify and address those students early on, so we can provide resources and strategies to help them be successful.


Cleland, J., Mackenzie, R. K., Ross, S., Sinclair, H. K., & Lee, A. J. (2010). A remedial

intervention linked to a formative assessment is effective in terms of improving student

performance in subsequent degree examinations. Medical Teacher32(4), e185-e190.


Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. (2015). Whys and hows of assessment. Retrieved from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013e). Identifying and managing learner performance [Video

file]. Retrieved from MyMedia Player. (NURS 6351)






  1. 1 page only
  2. Put APA format citations
  3. At least 3 references (APA format)… Articles must be 2011 to 2016.

Required Readings

Palmer, P. J. (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Chapter IV, “Knowing in Community: Joined by the Grace of Great Things” (pp. 91–116)


This chapter focuses on the cultivation of community in education.

Adeniran, R. K., & Smith-Glasgow, M. (2010). Creating and promoting a positive learning environment among culturally diverse nurses and students.Creative Nursing, 16(2), 53–58.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article describes strategies for addressing learning needs in culturally diverse nursing education settings.

Bednarz, H., Schim, S., & Doorenbos, A. (2010). Cultural diversity in nursing education: Perils, pitfalls, and pearls. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(5), 253–260. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


The authors examine how increasing diversity creates a complex educational environment, which can lead to difficulties for students and teachers. They also explain the need for strategies to address these issues and promote effective educational experiences for a diverse student body.

Davis, S., & Davis, D. (2010). Challenges and issues facing the future of nursing education: Implications for ethnic minority faculty and students.Journal of Cultural Diversity, 17(4), 122–126.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


The authors examine the recruitment and retention of faculty and students from ethnically underrepresented groups in nursing education programs. They focus specifically on the imperative to cultivate a technologically savvy workforce that can compete in the global economy.

Duke, J., Connor, M., & McEldowney, R. (2009). Becoming a culturally competent health practitioner in the delivery of culturally safe care: A process oriented approach. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 16(2), 40–49.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article examines the development of cultural competence, referencing Benner’s novice-to-expert continuum, to promote health outcomes of marginalized cultural groups.

Carr, S., & DeKemel-Ichikawa, K. (2012). Improving communication through accent modification: Growing the nursing workforce. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 19(3), 79–84.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


As the authors note, the presence of accents and dialects among nursing students can lead to communication barriers that can adversely impact student performance and patient safety. This article examines the effectiveness of a pilot program enacted to address this issue.

Revell, S., & McCurry, M. (2010). Engaging millennial learners: Effectiveness of personal response system technology with nursing students in small and large classrooms. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(5), 272–275.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


The authors describe the use of technology to engage students, drawing from knowledge of learning preferences for different age groups.

Oldenburg, N., & Hung, W. (2010). Problem solving strategies used by RN-to-BSN students in an online problem-based learning course. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(4), 219–222.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


This article examines problem-based learning within an online context to promote nursing students’ development of essential skills.

Ierardi, J., Fitzgerald, D., & Holland, D. (2010). Exploring male students’ educational experiences in an associate degree nursing program. Journal of Nursing Education, 49(4), 215–218.