Annotation in nurse education : towards a hermeneutic understanding
Aim: To explore the meaning of annotation in nurse education within higher education\ud \ud Background \ud Annotation is a common practice in higher education pedagogy aimed at communicating the lecturer’s comments about an assignment back to the student. A literature review identified a dearth of research available to inform annotation and its use in nurse education was generally inductive and learnt from experiences of giving and receiving annotation feedback. \ud \ud Method/methodology \ud The research methods included one focus group interview with nursing students (n=20), individual interviews with nursing students (n=5), individual interviews with lecturers (n=8) and a selection of annotation extracts from one hundred essays, with digital annotation (n=50) and handwritten annotation (n=50) from two universities. The research data was analysed using Ricoeur’s textual hermeneutics. \ud \ud Findings: Research themes\ud Four research themes explore the meaning of annotation in nurse education. The first theme, the “hermeneutic self” explores the hermeneutic process of reading and writing, and making sense of discourse. The second research theme, “rhetoric” explores Ricoeur’s new rhetoric in the form of temporal action called mimesis1-3. The third research theme called “individualism” explores social justice, negotiating the political labyrinth, and the annotator’s sense of moral autonomy to act on behalf of society. The fourth research theme, the “reflective consciousness and slippage” develops the transference hypothesis and memory recall (Ricoeur, 2006). \ud \ud The original contribution to current knowledge\ud A Ricoeurean textual hermeneutic contributes to a better understanding of the gaps in current nurse education knowledge. Ricoeur’s organising principle of temporal action informs the processes of student misrecognition, misunderstanding and the reading self interpreting the work of an-other. Ricoeur’s new rhetoric can be seen in the instinctive use of suasory discourse that shapes annotation in nurse education. Annotation is advisory, judgemental and powerful. The annotator as a citizen aims to promote a “defence of nursing” against the effects of the political labyrinth, disembodiment and technology. However, with an essay considered a safe space to think in preparation for the rigours of clinical nursing practice, the recall of past events refigured for the present may lead to something useful or not being communicated to the student.