Update from Team Nancy

The members of Nancy’s team (Barrinton, Brian, Josie, and I, plus of course Nancy herself) met last week to plan for the coming semester.

Throughout the semester, Nancy has her students take part in simulations, where they play the roles of nurses and parents in pediatric care scenarios. Her plan is to film the sessions, post the videos online, and have the students respond to prompts on a Blackboard discussion board. The challenges for this project included some technical issues — e.g. camera angles and video storage — and pedagogical issues — e.g. maintaining student privacy and eliciting meaningful reflection from the students. (More background on her project and its challenges can be found in this update from last semester.)

After some meetings and experimentation last semester, Nancy settled on Blackboard as the best place to store the simulation videos. There were two main reasons for this:

  • Blackboard makes it easy for Nancy to keep the students in their simulation groups, since they register for for separate sections of the course as their sim groups. This ensures that students won’t be able to view videos from other groups. This is important to maintain student privacy, which is especially crucial in this context as students sometimes make errors in the simulation scenarios. (Nancy will also ask students to sign an agreement stating that they will not disseminate or share the videos with others.)
  • On Blackboard, Nancy can embed the video in the discussion board, making it easy for students to respond to the reflection prompts in the same environment where they are viewing the videos.

Nancy was able to pilot this system with her class last semester. After some initial difficulties with video conversion, she and Justin Owen (Director of Medical Technologies at NHS) have worked out a few kinks and are all set for recording. (One lesson learned: it’s better to stop and start the recording for each group rather than letting the camera run and editing the video later!)

Nancy developed her reflection prompts based in part on a rubric she found that was designed for clinical situations. (To read more about this, see this entry on her blog.) In her pilot last semester, she found that the prompts worked well overall, though she did discover that students found one of the questions to be redundant, so she’s planning to revise that.

Nancy plans to comment on the students’ posts, though she’s not quite sure yet how she will keep up with the volume of posts. One possibility might be to involve graduate students from a nursing education class as mentors who could comment on the discussion board.

Now that she’s ready to put the plan in place, Nancy’s also thinking about assessment. She is considering a survey or focus group, if time allows. Her team will consult with Mindy McWilliams for some ideas on how best to gather student feedback on the project.

Another challenge lies ahead – how to scale up this project for the summer version of this class, which enrolls almost twice as many students. So Nancy and her team have been careful to streamline the workflow as much as possible.

All in all, Nancy made great use of her planning time last semester and is ready to go! The first simulation will take place in early February, so look for an update soon.



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