• Enhancing Critical Thinking for Students in the Undergraduate Bachelor Program

      Melchior, Lynne; Evans, Jennifer; Doerner, Mary
      Focus/Problem State: Critical thinking for nurses involves the ability to logically connect ideas and evaluate evidence to systematically identify irregularities and problem solve to support optimal patient outcomes. These skills are often difficult for the novice nursing student to obtain. Critical thinking requires students to use the information they have previously learned and connect to relevant patient scenarios.  The inability to do this, may hinder the student’s progression in the nursing curriculum. Promoting critical thinking skills involves faculty to employ teaching strategies requiring students to be actively engaged and involved in decision making. Context: Analysis of the early undergraduate medical/surgical nursing courses, revealed a need to improve teaching strategies than would enhance the development of appropriate critical thinking skills. The extensive amount of content delivered in an eight week course limited students' ability to develop strong critical thinking skills. Students reported some content was difficult to apply in clinical scenarios, which hindered their ability to critically think through those particular exam questions. The revelation of a knowledge deficit regarding appropriate study habits and test taking skills reinforced the need for more active learning strategies to be demonstrated within the classroom. Approach: Three nursing course coordinators strategized on how to incorporate multimodal learning styles into the classroom setting to enhance critical thinking skills. Using the Constructivism Theory faculty developed active learning experiences allowing students to connect course content to clinical scenarios. Examples included concept mapping to deliver class content and enhance critical thinking. Another strategy was a kinesthetic activity engaging students in hypothetical urgent situation requiring them to respond and problem solve to ensure “patient” safety. This modality allowed the learners to analyze their knowledge and apply it to the experience/scenario.  Building upon these activities, a Venn diagram was utilized to reflect the similarities between the two types of diabetes, and differentiate the pathophysiological processes.  Reflection/Discussion: Utilizing different teaching methods within the classroom setting has fostered the development of students’ critical thinking skills. In addition, it was fascinating to see the students "become a nurse" during the kinesthetic activity. During the kinesthetic debriefing students realized how much they knew and were able to unknowingly apply in the scenario. Reflecting on these strategies, faculty recognized a need to continue and further develop methods actively engaging students in the classroom promoting critical thinking.
    • Student Learning Perceptions During the Covid-19 Pandemic

      Theuri, Sarah; Evans, Jennifer; Schaar, Gina
      Context: The purpose for this study was to determine the perceptions of students towards learning, after 15 weeks of modified strategies in course delivery. In the fall 2020 semester, students in 3 large nursing courses (NURS 358, NURS 465 & NURS 468) and one nutrition course, (NUTR 396.001) attended classes with modified teaching strategies due to Covid-19 safety measures and classroom seating limitations.  Teaching modifications included live lectures at different times for the same course, or live lectures in one classroom and livestream in adjacent overflow classroom enhanced with virtual chat software. Pre-recorded lectures with flipped class delivery mode were also used. Grounding: Covid-19 forced schools to rapidly move from face-to-face to online delivery mode globally in 2020. (Sahu, P, 2020).  Instructors implemented technologies and innovative teaching strategies to provide solutions for delivering live in-person lectures. Several studies have examined student perceptions and satisfaction for learning during Covid-19 for insightful feedback on designing teaching strategies for the new normal. Keri A 2021; Mathuprasad 2021; Dios and Charlo 2021; Gherhes et al 2021, Serhan 2020. Regardless of the teaching strategy, the learning environment played a major role in student experience. Alqahtani and Rajkhan 2020. Methods An anonymous questionnaire on Qualtrics was distributed among students enrolled in in 3 courses in nursing and one course in nutrition taught using modified online and in-class strategies to accommodate Covid-19 safety guidelines.  The four-part questionnaire was adopted with author permission from the Baczek et al (2020) study. There were no exclusion criteria.  All students enrolled in the four courses were provided with the online consent and Qualtrics link via email.  The Qualtrics survey included an informed consent with the option for students to accept or refuse participation.  The satisfaction and level of acceptance of course delivery methods were analyzed using descriptive statistics.  This study was approved by the USI Institutional Review Board (IRBNet #2021-038-NH). Discussion: Feedback responses were obtained from 65 students.  Of these students, 70% were nursing, 17% were nutrition and 13% declared neither major.  About 87% of students reported being engaged or extremely engaged during traditional face-face learning compared to 46% of students engaged or extremely engaged during the online learning.  Access to online materials, learning at one’s pace and comfortable surrounding were cited as advantages of the modified teaching and learning strategies.  Only 37% were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the modified learning strategies.  Lack of interaction with teacher, poor learning conditions at home, lack of self-discipline social isolation and technical problems were identified as disadvantages of teaching strategies with technical problems ranking at the top. Low satisfaction with course teaching and learning strategies during the pandemic need further investigation to provide more insight in course planning for future semesters. References Sahu P (April 04, 2020) Closure of Universities Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on Education and Mental Health of Students and Academic Staff. Cureus 12(4): e7541. doi:10.7759/cureus.7541 Keri A. (2021) Online Teaching Methods and Student Satisfaction during a Pandemic. International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Sciences. 15(4). 369-375. Muthuprasad, T., Aiswarya S., Adiitya, K.S., Girish, K.J. (2021). Students’ Perception and Preference for Online Education in India During Covid-19 Pandemic. Social Sciences and Humanities Open. 3;100101. Dios, M.T.C., Charlo, J.C.P. (2021) Face-to-Face vs. E-Learning Models in the Covid-19 Era: Survey Research in a Spanish University. Education Sciences. 11,293. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11060293 Gherhes, , V.; Stoian, C.E.; F˘arcas, iu, M.A.; Stanici, M. E-Learning vs. Face-To-Face Learning: Analyzing Students’ Preferences and Behaviors. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4381. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084381 Serhan, D. (2020). Transitioning from face-to-face to remote learning: Students’ attitudes and perceptions of using Zoom during COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science (IJTES), 4(4), 335-342. Baczek, M., Baczek-Zaganczy, M., Szpringer, M., Jaroszynski, A., Kaplon-Wozakowska, B. ((2020) Student Perception of Online Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Survey Study of Polish Medical Students. Medicine. 100 (7) e24821.  DOI: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-41178/v1 Alqahtani, A.Y., Rajkhan, A.A. (2020) E-Learning Critical Success Factors During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Analysis of E-Learning Managerial Perspectives.  Education Sciences. 10:2-16