• Civility Begins With Clear Expectations

      Bonham, Elizabeth; Bonham, Elizabeth
      Topic/Problem statement: Incivility is a phenomenon found in many contexts (Phillips, 2016), including the classroom. Incivility is a disregard and insolence for others, causing an atmosphere of disrespect, conflict, and stress whereas civility is an authentic respect for others requiring time, presence, engagement, and intention to seek common ground (Clark, 2018). Online learning can breed an anonymous platform for rude behavior. Setting expectations of appropriate behavior and communication sets the stage for a safe classroom. Context: NURS 602, Evidence Based Practice for Advanced Nursing, is one of the first courses of the core curriculum in the Masters of Science in Nursing Program and delivered online. Two course objectives relate to engaging in civil, professional, and collaborative teams…. that improve patient care outcomes and to demonstrate effective leadership and interpersonal collaboration. Module learning objectives include demonstrating effective teamwork to manage conflict and problematic behavior and apply collaborative principles in small group work. Approach: As an initial assignment, students read an article by Dr Molly Worthen (2017) professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her article informs students what is appropriate classroom communication behavior. Using discussion board in Blackboard, students write a 150-200 word response to the article citing one other scholarly reference and then read and respond to at least one other students posting. All aspects of these points are included in a posting that gets full credit: Provides professional, insightful response that relates directly to the topic of the article; provides one scholarly reference which supports response; responds to at least one other student’s posting; and uses correct language conventions (i.e. spelling, APA formatting). Reflection/Discussion: Students appreciated reading the article but were surprised they were asked to do so. Their reason was that incivility was not an issue in their view but with further reflection realized the helpfulness of the assignment for setting the tone of the class. Students discussed the deconstruction of civil communication beginning in elementary school and actually lamented the demise of polite conversation. Students do a large amount of course assignments in NURS602 via small groups and find that this early assignment facilitates civil communication. This assignment is easily replicable for faculty in other disciplines and courses to raise student sensitivity of civility using discussion board technology. References: Clark, C. (2017). Sustaining civility in nursing education, 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: STTI Honor Society of Nursing. Phillips, J. (2016). Workplace violence against health care workers in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine, 374(17), 1661-69. Worthen, M. (2017). U Can't Talk to Ur Professor Like This. New York Times, May 13, 2017.