Development and testing of an instrument (HeSoEduCo) for health and social care educators' competence in professional education

Kristina Mikkonen, Anna-Maria Tuomikoski, Tuulikki Sjögren, Meeri Koivula, Minna Koskimäki, Marja-Leena Lähteenmäki, Hanne Mäki-Hakola, Outi Wallin, Marjorita Sormunen, Terhi Saaranen, Monika Koskinen, Camilla Koskinen, Leena Salminen, Arja Holopainen, Maria Kääriäinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health and social care education is highly important for preparing future professionals for their future roles in sustainable health and social care. However, previous studies have emphasized that health and social care educators' competence is complex and poorly defined. Thus, there is a clear need for a psychometrically validated instrument to enable clarification and assessment of the required skills. Objective: To develop and psychometrically validate an instrument (the HeSoEduCo) for assessing health and social care educators' competence in higher and professional education. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: A HeSoEduCo instrument, with items inviting 1–4 Likert scale responses, was developed, based on one systematic review and one qualitative study, then validated in terms of face, content and construct validity and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha values). All health and social care educators based in all 21 universities of applied sciences in Finland and seven vocational colleges were subsequently invited to participate in a largescale application of the instrument in fall 2018. In total, responses of 390 of these educators are analyzed here. Results: The face and content validity of 71 newly developed items were assessed by experts in two evaluation rounds. The final content validity showed high scores for the instrument's relevance and clarity. Confirmatory factor analysis (to test construct validity) yielded eight factors (43-items remaining), defining the following competence areas of educators: evidencebased practice, digital collaborative learning, student-centered pedagogy, collaboration & societal, leadership & management, cultural & linguistic diversity, mentoring student into professional competence development and subject & curriculum. Cronbach's alpha values for the factors ranged from 0.70 to 0.89. Conclusion: The instrument can be used to obtain self-evaluations of educators' competence when assessing their general competence levels and help human resources departments and managers to identify suitable continuous education programs for their staff.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104239
Pages (from-to)
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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