ronment and provide students with immediate feedback, allowing for self-correction and remediation if needed.2,3,5

Students learn

from their own mistakes, which is a powerful way to learn, in a safe environment. When well-designed simulated experiences are followed by debriefing on what went well and what could be done better, students learn to manage common clinical issues before they care for real patients.2,3,5

Problem-based learning and flipped classrooms Problem-based learning is another educational process that engages students actively. With problem-based learning, the teacher pres- ents a patient scenario to a small group of students and asks the group to decide what information is needed to address the patient’s issues. Group members pair off to conduct an independent inquiry that they later share with the group. A faculty member serves as a learning facilitator and guide.6 To increase student engagement, some faculty use a “flipped classroom” (time allotted for lecture and homework is reversed).7


a flipped classroom, students learn content online before coming to school, and then they do homework in class, with teachers and students discussing and solving questions together. Teacher interaction with students is more personalized, and guidance is used instead of lecturing. While some teachers believe the flipped classroom is more engaging, school’s still out (pardon the pun) on how well it works. A study that aimed to determine the effects of a flipped classroom found that examination scores were higher for students in flipped classrooms than those in traditional lecture classes. But students in flipped classrooms indicated lower satisfaction with learning than those in the lecture classes.7

You can find informative YouTube videos on how to flip

the classroom by entering “flipped classroom” in to the search field at

More diverse than ever Classrooms today are full of students who are ethnically diverse. Faculty must know how to reach out to all their students equally. There are also more men in nursing than ever before. Because of their socialization, some men may have a different, but valid,

approach to particular elements of nursing.3

For example, some

men have a harder time expressing emotion and may not establish therapeutic relationships with patients in the same way that most female nurses do. Men may be more likely to use humor and less likely to use touch. Based on their female expectations for com- munication, women may view this way of relating as inattentive and nontherapeutic.3

You can learn more about issues facing

men in nursing and education on the American Assembly for Men in Nursing website. The organization provides a framework for nurses as a group to meet, discuss and influence factors that affect men as nurses. Faculty members also face the challenge of meeting learning

needs of students from different generations. A generation refers to a group of people who share birth years and have lived through the same significant events. The beliefs, culture and values of each generation are shaped by historical, political and social events that occur during the formative years of its members.6


there are individual differences, members of one generation tend to view the world differently than members of other generations. For example, members of the baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, grew up in a time of post-World War II optimism and unparalleled economic growth. Baby boomers are sometimes described as “living to work,” and work has significant meaning in their lives. In today’s nursing programs, baby boomers are mature students who may be returning to college or completing a second degree.8

Because baby boomers didn’t grow up with

technology, they may prefer to learn through more traditional teaching methods.6 Generation X, born between 1964 and 1981, had different life

experiences as children. Generation Xers grew up during a time of rising divorce rates, rapid movement of women into the work- force and a faltering economy. Many members of this generation were “latchkey” children while both parents worked. As a group, members of Generation X are self-reliant and resourceful, and are sometimes described as “working to live.” In general, they want to learn content in a quick and direct way.8

Most faculty members

are baby boomers or Generation Xers, and are familiar with the learning styles of students from these generations.

The newest generation Meeting the learning needs of nursing’s newest generation, the Millennials (those born after 1981), is a challenge.8

They have

characteristics different than those of students of previous gen- erations. Millennials share two key life experiences that affect how they view the world: intensive parental involvement during their formative years and the technology revolution that occurred during their childhood. Members of this generation have led highly structured lives that were organized and supervised by adults. As a result, they may need support in balancing the demands of a nursing program. Technology is their native language; they are comfortable with multitasking and switch easily from completing an assignment, listening to their iPods, writing or reading a blog, texting friends and talking on their cell phones.8

As children,

they participated in interactive computer activities and are often more comfortable getting information from the Web than from a library. In general, they prefer active and engaging activities, such as simulations and group work, rather than lectures.8

26 Visit us at • 2016

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