Following the most recent CPLC session, I continue to think about ways to incorporate learning, in the meta sense, into nursing education. In other words, how to encourage nursing students to move away from a narrow focus on content and exams toward learning for the sake of being a well-informed and skilled nurse who can solve clinical puzzles in a compassionate and patient-centered manner. I believe that much of the responsibility for promoting this mindset rests with me, as most students have little experience with such a learning process. I also believe that students will learn better, and earn higher grades on exams, with this deeper and broader focus because they will know how to learn and think.
So, my thoughts as I head into fall semester, with a new cohort of nursing students, are aimed toward promoting more student exploration and discovery within the realms of physiology, pathology, and clinical reasoning. A beginning point will be to focus discussions on real and potential outcomes and the various pathways for achieving them: the what-ifs and hows. I do this already in clinical settings, but I want to bring more of this thinking process into the classroom. I also plan to address more explicitly the Habits of Mind that students encounter in TWP, as the HoM are closely tied to the kind of learning and thinking that I want to encourage. I also plan to attend the Ungrading Workshop in September.
As a department, Nursing faculty are slowly adding more OERs for students as a means of decreasing the cost of their books and making available useful resources. I will encourage students to share some of their own tools as OER: clinical brains (tools for organizing care during a clinical shift), study tools, or materials they create for peer education assignments. In this way, students can own a bit more of their own learning.
I welcome feedback and look forward to postings from other CPLC participants.