The value of course evaluations has been debated since they frequently fail to capture the complexity of education and learning. Group Concept Mapping (GCM), a participant-centred mixed-method was explored as a tool for evaluation and development in nursing education and to better understand students' learning experiences, using data from a GCM-based evaluation of a research training assignment integrating clinical practice and research data collection within a Swedish university nursing program. Student nurses (n = 47) participated in a one-day GCM exercise. Focus group brainstorming regarding experiences from the assignment that the students considered important and instructive yielded 98 statements that were individually sorted based on their student-perceived relationships, and rated regarding their importance/instructiveness and need for development. Quantitative analysis of sort data produced a 2-dimensional map representing their conceptual relationships, and eight conceptual areas. Average cluster ratings were plotted relative to each other and provided a decision aid for development and planning by identifying areas (i.e., "Research methodology", "Patients' perspectives", and "Interviewer role") considered highly important/instructive and in high need for development. These experiences illustrate the use and potential of GCM as an interactive participant-centred approach to evaluation, planning and development in nursing and other higher health science educations.
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