Short Communication

Introducing Case-Based Learning in Decentralised Nursing Programme

Sindisiwe Zamandosi Mthembu


Background /Context:
The approach to teaching and learning in rural decentralised settings has predominantly been didactic. To introduce a more student-centred approach, a case-based learning programme focussing on primary health care was undertaken.

This project aimed to facilitate the introduction and implementation of case-based teaching and learning approach in a decentralized primary health care programme at the school of nursing.

An exploratory descriptive needs assessment survey was administered to 65 primary health care programme facilitators. The survey canvassed their perceptions on case-based learning and their ability to construct cases and facilitate case-based teaching in the classroom. It also explored their resource(s) constraints.

Results and discussion:
The participants were positive towards case-based learning approach however, acknowledged limitations in their skills to design cases and facilitate teaching sessions. They also identified a lack of resources which would hinder the successful implementation of the programme. Two capacity development programmes were conducted to facilitate the construction of cases and enhancing facilitators with the skills to facilitate case-based classrooms culminating with drafts of case study booklet and facilitators’ manual. A mobile suitcase library was introduced with all the necessary resources for the primary health care programme.

This project will help the school to produce a different kind of graduate who will be in possession of transferable core skills. Effective mechanisms for close monitoring of students’ learning and early identification of students with problems will be enhanced. Continuous support is needed for facilitators to gain confidence in cased-based teaching.

Author's affiliations

Sindisiwe Zamandosi Mthembu, SAAHE

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case studies; case-based learning; decentralised nursing programmes; innovative teaching

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2011;3(1):25.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-05-14
Date published: 2011-06-17

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