Free Custom «Didactic Course and Clinical» Essay Sample
Education is a reciprocal and active process through which students acquire skills, knowledge, and understanding when attending an educational institution. A didactic course, or classroom education, refers to providing skills and knowledge to students via teaching them in a classroom setting. On the other hand, a clinical course, or practicum, involves practical work in a certain field in which students utilize the skills and knowledge acquired during the classroom teaching. This paper will expound more on the differences between a didactic course and a clinical or practicum in nursing.
A classroom course is different from a clinical course in several ways. The differences between the two mainly exist regarding the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of learning. A didactic course is economical in the use of time as the instructor can deliver much information to all learners at the same time (Larson, Landers, & Begg, 2011). This method also uses a single lecture theater to teach students in a given time. Another advantage of this learning approach is that students achieve more as only experts in a particular field deliver the information to learners in the most effective manner (Larson, Landers, & Begg, 2011). However, despite the benefits of the classroom course, it also has several drawbacks. One of these demerits is that some students may be left behind as the method does not respect individual pace. The didactic method does not take care of those students with a slow pace, and hence they gain less as compared to fast learners (Larson, Landers, & Begg, 2011). The method has also poor students’ involvement, because learning is teacher-centered. This approach does not address personal or individualized learning needs of each student. Hence, most learners lose concentration, which affects their academic achievement (Larson, Landers, & Begg, 2011). Lastly, the method does not assist students to learn how to solve problems, which affects their practicum performance (Larson, Landers, & Begg, 2011). Instructors should look for new ways to overcome the challenges of a didactic course for the benefits of learners.
Practicum, or a clinical course, encourages students to perform tasks. This method has many advantages and a few drawbacks. First, it provides better understanding of the lecture content, because students understand more when they do a task rather than when they merely cram information (Hartigan-Rogers et al., 2007). This method also leads to creativity on the part of students as they learn new ways of performing nursing procedures. The clinical course is effective for stimulating independent thoughts and changing students’ attitudes towards nursing profession (Hartigan-Rogers et al., 2007). Practicum is a good way of achieving the desired level of competence. The method also provides immediate feedback on teacher’s performance based on the students’ academic achievements in the clinical area (Hartigan-Rogers et al., 2007). This method helps to meet individualized learning needs of each student through instructors’ assistance. It also provides an opportunity for the development of interpersonal relationships between teachers and students. However, this method also has some disadvantages. The method is not economical regarding the usage of materials as its implementation requires utilization of numerous human and non-human resources (Hartigan-Rogers et al., 2007). This method also requires much time to conduct practical work. A practicum also needs administrative staff for the preparation and maintenance of materials (Hartigan-Rogers et al., 2007). Apart from these challenges, a practicum course helps students to practice what they learned in the classroom in a real-life situation.
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In conclusion, the paper has revealed differences in both didactic and practicum courses. Evidently, each course has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, classroom education has less value to learners without clinical experience. In the nursing profession, students cannot become good practitioners if they are only learning concepts and ideas without implementing the acquired knowledge into practice. These concepts and ideas should be experienced both practically and clinically in order to enhance the learning process. Hence, instructors should combine both didactic and practicum courses to ensure students become competent nursing professionals.
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