Collaborative Design of a Novel Electronic Platform to Support Innovative Teaching Strategies in Nursing

Concurrent Session 3

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Collaborative design of a novel electronic platform to support innovative teaching strategies utilizing unfolding case studies in gateway courses to support knowledge transfer.

Extended Abstract

Presentation Description

This presentation will highlight the process used to create an innovative electronic platform for enhancing student success through online content engagement. An interdisciplinary design team will present discussion of project steps from conception to implementation. A discussion of the pedagogical decisions applied to standard software engineering will show how this project influences student learning, supports retention of knowledge and encourages students to transfer knowledge between courses. Special emphasis will be on the collaboration between a diverse team of nursing faculty and the University’s distance education creative team to create an interactive teaching tool. A discussion of navel software design vs. commercial product implementation will look at benefit and pitfalls of each pathway. The audience is engaged with interactive questions, electronic platform demonstrations and audience contributions. Pilot data will provide evidence to demonstrate improvements to student success after implementation of this program. 

Project Purpose and Goals Statement 
The purpose of this project is to design a flexible software platform to host interactive electronic case studies engage different types of student learning styles in an attempt to increase retention of students in two gateway-nursing courses in the College of Nursing and Health. This platform is used in active learning classrooms and as an individualized supplemental resource. The platform will use information, videos and media from undergraduate Pathophysiology and Assessment courses to engage all types of learners and facilitate learning transfer. Additionally, the platform will integrate large amounts of supplemental and reference information such as a talking medical glossary and video tutorials throughout the case to enhance the students’ learning process. The initial project will build two case studies with multiple decision pathways, but the software platform will allow for future expansion. 

Innovations Include:
1.    Inter departmental collaborations bringing software engineers, animators and educators working together to inspire technology use in the classroom to increase student success.
2.    Creation of a single, flexible, software platform for interactive case studies that will be used online, in active learning classrooms and as a stand-alone review platform. 
3.    Application of multiple teaching/learning styles to engage multisensory learners.
4.    Incorporation of content and concepts from multiple courses to enhance learning transfer. 

Project Description
We designed and implemented a novel, interactive electronic case study platform for use with first semester nursing students. Nursing faculty developed clinical content for the unfolding case studies while an instructional designer, software engineer, motion graphics artist, and a user interface designer collaborated to bring the case studies to life using a robust and scalable platform which delivers content using widely available technologies including HTML5 video and JavaScript.  A rapid application development model was used to build a collaboration between the College of Nursing and Health (CoNH) and Distance education (DE) in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to allow cutting-edge technology to be combined with clinical expertise to produce a product that will benefit students by bringing timely, innovative learning experiences into the classroom. 

Initially, two scenarios were developed on the electronic platform. As the cases unfold, students were able to review assessment skills, interview skills, decision-making, and review medical terminology as well as incorporate pathophysiology content related to the disease process. Based on their choices, students are presented with different responses from the system that serve to reinforce the scenario’s learning outcomes and objectives.  These responses may be text alerts, video explanations, or entirely new narrative branches of the scenario to encourage deeper learning. In future versions, students will have the opportunity to interact with a virtual patient, 3D objects and make critical decisions affecting the outcome of the case.

The interactive case studies used real-time event based multimedia to engage students through visual video instruction and in-browser strategic challenges to provide a more personalized and memorable learning experience (Doyle, 2011). 

The case study engaged visual learners with compelling animations, video interviews and high-resolution images. Auditory learners benefited from realistic assessment sounds (heart, lung, etc.) and recorded voice interactions including a talking glossary of medical terminology. In addition, the talking glossary and multimedia interviews benefited non-native speakers of English and students who need additional learning resource to be successful in the courses. Kinesthetic learners interacted with the software through virtual skills performance, selecting answers to questions and receiving immediate feedback. All students benefited from learning transfer that was stimulated through critical thinking questions and activities that integrated content from both pathophysiology and assessment classes along with knowledge gained in prerequisite coursework.

Future vision for this technology
The team envisions this platform will be used for development of multi-step unfolding case studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels where students have the opportunity to interact with the virtual patient and make critical decisions affecting the outcome of the case. In addition, this platform will be used for standardization of critical skills instruction for competency-based evaluations, such as head to toe assessments and medical procedures with expertly produced video demonstrations, animation overlays, and 3D objects interaction. These modules will be used to supplement the active learning classrooms by providing a cost-effective remediation and teaching support that is nimble and reusable.