Nursing Educators at CUNY

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Innovative Pedagogy 2013

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    Use this thread to discuss any and all thoughts or reflections relating to Innovative Pedagogy (workshop and accompanying learning module).

    Our accompanying learning module is available at

    Helena Meiri

    Hi All, will be digging into the reading this weekend. Look forward to seeing all on Monday. Helena


    Hello all, after completing the readings I agree that,”Teaching is an art, as well as a science….” Teaching is complex. I am presently teaching an online course, out of the realm of the “traditional classroom environment.” It has been a learning experience for me, as well as the students. One comment I have is that online the students are much more open in sharing personal and professional experiences, compared to a classroom setting. I also agree that schools do not have adequate criteria for evaluation of faculty in new forms of pedagogy.

    Inna Popil

    As described in “Learning Environments: Where Space, Technology, and Culture Converge”, “capabilities such as visualization, simulation, or computer-controlled musical performance offer new alternatives in teaching academic disciplines”.

    I agree that the topic could be controversial in some saying that basic skills need to be learned before the student can interact with a computer and master a skill. From my work and teaching experience, the same could be said about educating nursing students. Certain basic skills and knowledge are required before a student can handle simulated scenarios.

    On the other hand, by promoting technologically advanced environments, so much more can be achieved, for example, giving students experiences that are not readily available in the real world.

    Technological learning environments not only enhance learning, they may be the only way for some students to be able to participate as reported recently in AP article:

    Margarett Alexandre

    I really enjoyed reading this article and it affirmed some of the lecture and clinical practices that we are integrating with our students at the School of Nursing/ York College. We have incorporated many several interactive teaching methods (Youtube videos,gaming, polling), all as means to keep the students engaged and still focused on the lecture content. While change is difficult for all of us, often the students are somewhat reluctant to try something new; it is important as faculty, that we create an atmosphere that is respectful, supportive, nurturing, engaging and non threatening so that our students can experience optimal learning.

    lynette hope

    I agree that teaching is an art ,I incorporate many interactive teaching methods, share real life experiences and this helps to keep students focus on various topics,.The students become engaged and learning becomes exciting. Learning is enhanced by being in a supportive and respectful learning environment.


    I sympathized with the discontent over inconsistent and sometime poor teaching preparation of faculty discussed in the article by Lerret and Frenn (2011). The minimum requirement for many teaching positions in nursing is commonly a Master’s degree. However, core content relating to the development and implementation of educational materials varies across degree programs. This results in inconsistent baseline knowledge regarding pedagogy. I suspect that many of us are committed to lifelong learning and will be able to offer the perspective of both student and teacher during discussion. As a student I value those educators that meet the four categories identified in this article (know and honor students, enthused, knowledgeable, and student centered) and as an educator strive to these standards (Lerret & Frenn, 2011).


    I was pleasantly surprised to see this assignment refer to the work of Chickering and Gamson (1987) as one of the” classics” and after reading them again (It had been awhile) I agree. One might consider these seven principles “old school” or even “retro” but remember the saying, “everything old is new again”? I think it applies here. As I familiarized myself again with these Seven Principles for Good Practice, I couldn’t help thinking to myself…this is common sense. Then on page three, the authors clearly stated they are! Why is it that we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be? Here are seven easy-to-remember, evidence-based guidelines to improve teaching and learning that have stood the test of time.

    After I finished the article I started to reflect on how my good practice encourages active listening. This is one of the seven principles I decided I emphasis in my clinical teaching. During the semester each student is expected to complete an on-line journal with weekly entries. I feel this is one way students have an active role in their learning. They have to “talk” to me about their experiences not just record what happened. I use leading questions like “The thing that disappointed me most today was…”; “Today I learned…”; “I was so surprised today when…”; “I wanted a ‘do over’ today when…”; or “Today I felt like a ‘real nurse’ when…” I don’t want a list of what happened when. My goal is for each student to think about what they learned and write about it.

    Unfortunately what I have found is that my attempt at good practice as clinical faculty has produced more work for me. For on-line journaling to be effective, as the instructor I have to thoughtfully read and respond to each student’s entry for the learning to occur. This takes time. Time that some weeks I don’t think I have. It is at those times I remind myself of how the exercise of writing about and reflecting on one’s experience really does enhance learning. It is a great tool that illustrates the progress the student makes during our clinical rotation together.

    There is a saying that states “Practice makes perfect”. If you apply this saying to the principles of Chickering and Gamson you might say “Good Practice makes perfect”.

    Roxanne Reid

    After I finished the article by Lerret and Frenn (2011) I couldn’t help but feel that there is no longer the traditional learning environment. It means that we have to engage our students in active participation using interactive methods and understanding student expectation and motivation in the classroom. The four categories identified in the article (know and honor students, enthused, knowledgeable, and student centered) speak on my goals in the classroom as an educator.

    susan mee

    I very much enjoyed the multimedia presentation from USC. I have begun to adapt some of the suggested techniques and with good results. Creating a warm environment for student learning is a win-win.

    Warger et al. ( 2009) raise a fundamentally important concern regarding the institutional culture of support that can enhance student learning environments. Too often, faculty are asked to teach a traditionally seated class and modify it to teach online. Adapting the content is not terribly difficult; developing pedagogical innovation, however, is quite another matter.

    Frequently, faculty are discipline specific experts, and may lack training in pedagogical matters. Pedagogy is not always intuitive. There is a danger of the presumed assumption that because one is a content expert, they are also an expert educator. This is not always the case, regardless of how honorable ones intention may be. Thankfully, stategies to enhance the learning environment can be learned. In my experience, faculty need substantive support in order to develop innovative pedagogy. This is a gap that can be addressed by the institution by providing support as suggested by Warger et al. “IT should have a cadre of staff, largely academic in background, who can coach, encourage, and support faculty as they develop their pedagogy in new directions.”


    I found the article by Valian, “Solving a Work Problem” very interesting.
    How she articulated her definition between ” work” and a “job” and her honest discussion regarding tenor. I identified her use of a program to get through dissertation I used a similar one myself but I do have difficulty now trying to be as productive with scholarship. I think I am going to try Program 2 and collaborate with other colleagues to produce more scholarship in a timely manner.



    I also agree that the traditional learning environment is a thing of the past. New technology and active teaching, learning methods provide many opportunities for innovative pedagogy. Sometimes all of the options seem overwhelming, but I am trying to experiment with new teaching techniques. My current interests are electronic documentation systems (and how to educate students about safe and effective use) and portable technology (such as iPads). I find that because the students are so tech-savvy, they provide invaluable input regarding use of technology in the clinical and classroom setting.


    The research report by Lerret and Frenn (2011) demonstrated the value of adequate preparation for the educator role. Currently, I am in a guest lecturer role; however, I would like to pursue a part-time faculty position. The themes (know and honor students, enthused, knowledgeable, and student centered) revealed in the qualitative research done by Lerret and Frenn will provide a framework for my development as a nurse educator.
    Lerret, S. & Frenn, M. (2011). Challenge with care: Reflections on teaching

    excellence. Journal of Professional Nursing, 27(6), 378-384.


    The major lesson learned from the chapter by Valian (1985) is to apply the technique used to facilitate scholarly writing to achieve goals:
    Find an ally or allies (fellow scholars) to gain additional expertise, feedback, and support to promote effective pedagogy (form a community of practice).


    Valian, V. (1985). Solving a work problem. In M.F. Fox (Ed.), Scholarly writing and
    publishing: Issues, problems and solutions (99-110). Boulder, CO: Westview


    I read all these articles prior to our last Face-to-Face (F2F) session, though had not posted any replies here. I will make a few comments, though cannot determine how to reply directly to a post already here (as opposed to replying to all the posts; this is unfortunate as it is hard to have threaded discussions focused around individual articles or themes.

    I am posting a few items that puzzle or otherwise challenge me in the readings for this session:

    1. Skiba (2011) mentioned, “Game-based learning and augmented reality appear once again on the second horizon. Games as educational tools are not new, but the dynamic use of electronic support for games is new. The increased use of gaming in military and industry training has heightened awareness of these tools in higher education” (p. 45), and I am wondering how many people in our group have learned via games. In other words, there seems to be hype in the media about this, though I have not seen any of these in practice and wonder what the experiences of others have been regarding games in learning.

    2. As Warger and Dobbin (2009) state, “Adjunct faculty have a different perspective on technology in learning. Their willingness to devote time to technology development increases their value to current and potential employers. Because many institutions now rely heavily on adjunct faculty, their importance in the learning environment is
    increasing, and they figure heavily in the cohort of faculty working with technology” (p. 10). As an adjunct myself, I know that basic Learning Management System (LMS) training is often offered, but not as much support in the vast array of other technologies that are often associated with electronic learning environments. While I spend a lot of my time in the teaching and learning space, I do tend to be a bit open to technologies, though know that many of the other adjuncts I have worked with are not as readily inclined. With increasing reliance on adjuncts, I am wondering what result this may have on learning, given there are not many ongoing requirements or supports for continued learning and use of learning environment tools, especially given how compensation models are based on teaching time, and not continuing learning time or expectations?

    3. In the Chickering & Gamson (1987) article, I am wondering what some of the practical implications are for their notion of “Good Practice Communicates High Expectations” (p. 2). I understand having high expectations for students, though I am less clear what this may mean for one’s self. What do others make of this notion?

    Is there a way that we can have threaded discussions perhaps for each article in future modules?

    Looking forward to our next steps.

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