Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Barton Herrscher


Texas Health Studies (THS), a non-profit education service organization, serves hospital-based educators as a primary client group. These educators traditionally come from a health services educational experience which emphasizes the provision of patient care rather than education. However, this educator is expected to provide quality education services to a wide variety of groups within the hospital setting. With the increase in accountability throughout the hospital, the hospital-based educator may experience an increase in pressure to demonstrate competency. Since Texas Health Studies is interested in providing both relevant and quality educational services to its client groups, the primary purpose of this study was to develop a model system for meeting the adult education theory and methods needs of the hospital-based educator. In order to collect the necessary data to design a model system, a three-phase case study method was used. Review of literature, expert opinion, and survey data from current practitioners were utilized to answer six research questions. The recommended content in educational theory and methods according to the current literature and expert opinion was researched. The level of preparation in adult theory and practice gained through both higher and continuing education among hospital-based educators in Texas was determined through survey procedures. The perceived level of importance for content areas of theory and method was also determined in the survey. A demographic profile of the hospital-based educator in Texas was determined through the data collected. Finally, the data from all sources was used to design a model system for inservice education for hospital based adult educators. Participants were asked to provide demographic data such as age, gender, professional affiliation, and employment experience on a questionnaire. They were asked whether they were taught 14 areas of theory and content (i.e. andragogy, synergogy, lecture and role play methods) through higher education or continuing education. Respondents ranked the importance of each of the 14 items with respect to their current position using a scale of one (of little importance) to five (essential). The survey procedures included randomly selecting a 30 percent sample population of educators from the 586 hospitals listed with the Texas Hospital Association. A telephone survey determined the names of the 176 educators who were included in the sample. Two mailings were necessary to achieve a 51 percent return rate (90 respondents). Data were tabulated and frequencies and percentages were computed. The data collected were also used to determine the content for a model inservice program using a modular design. Based on the research questions posed and the data collected in this study, several conclusions can be made. According to the review of literature, there is a need for a multi-methud, broad-based, learner-centered approach to adult education programming. The experts demonstrated a difference of opinion with experts in hospital settings favoring lecture and job-related knowledge of theory. Adult educators recommended a base in theory and a wide variety of methods for effective teaching. All experts indicated a need for providing inservice to hospital-based educators in this area. Practitioners (90) indicated that, with the exception of andragogy. synergogy, and computer-assisted methods, they had been taught adult education methods in higher education. Lesser numbers of respondents reported experience with these methods through continuing education. With the expection of andragogy and synergogy, all of the methods were ranked as important to essential in relation to their current position. The profile of a hospital-based educator was determined to be a female registered nurse with six months to three years in her current position and five years in adult education. She is employed in a non-profit hospital with less than 100 beds. Finally, it was concluded that a design for providing information on adult theory and practice can be developed with a modular format. Recommendations include the: 1. implementation of the model design as an inservice for THS. 2. initiation of a plan to market the design to hospitals. 3. implementation, evaluation, and updating the model design as needed. 4. initiation of further research to determine which methods are most often used in current practice.

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