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3 Ways Healthcare Educators Can Leverage Technology to Enhance Learning

by  Daniel Weberg     Jun 1, 2022
3WaysHealthcareEducatorsCanLeverageTechnologytoEnhanceLearning_blog_1200w630h

In the future, health care will be delivered with the increasing support of technology, and our health education programs should also leverage technology to enhance learning. In general, healthcare education has underutilized technology to enhance learning, leading to siloed, passive, and inconsistent experiences for students. Educators and students want experiences that are customized, connected, coordinated, and personalized. Educators need to enhance their teaching to meet these needs.

This article will provide three ways educators can leverage technology to level up the educational experience.

 
 

Tip 1: Enhancing content with virtual or augmented reality

I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. It’s very simple and sometimes free to incorporate interactive learning into your course. Many of these solutions have free versions and a smartphone a faculty or student can explore the human body in 3D. That means that the student can view a virtual cadaver in the room look through their phone's camera. Imagine the ability to use live anatomy when teaching across your curriculum. In pathophysiology classes, you could show the 3D model and point to where issues originate. You could isolate the virtual muscles and anatomy in the skills lab to share the “behind the scenes” of injections, catheters, and more. You could even take these simple tools into clinical to reference against patient imaging and diagnoses. With a simple tool like augmented anatomy, you can enhance your students learning by 10x. A study from Case Western University demonstrated that using virtual anatomy helped students learn concepts 6 hours faster than traditional methods. While augmented reality may seem scary, you can do similar content immersions using free content on the web or with links in your textbooks.  The goal is to bring the 2D into a more immersive experience than we have previously had.

 

Tip 2: Use interleaved learning to slow drip content every day

Many of our curricula only deliver content for three hours a few times a week. That leaves much of the learning, discovery, and absorption of content to self-directed learning and study habits. Technology can now enhance this time away from the classroom and give students neuro-science-based slow drip repetition on content from your courses. Imagine if you took your syllabus and linked it directly to board-style questions that prompted students daily for answers.  This would take the learning from a 3-hour block to a daily habit of relevant content and assessment. Many Jones & Bartlett Learning textbooks have question banks or end-of-chapter quizzes that could be digitized and sent through the Learning Management System frequently.  Some commercial solutions support this type of work for nursing students.  The bottom line is, by using this type of interleaved learning, you have turned every day into a learning opportunity, and without creating more content, you can enhance your courses to improve learning and content retention. 

 

Tip 3: Using Video to Enhance Clinical Experiences

One challenge nursing educators have the ability to assess, coach, and teach while students are embedded in clinical experiences. Using video chat technology, you may enhance your ability to be present for some of the most important experiences for your students. Consumer technology like Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and others have security measures that meet or exceed HIPPA guidelines and create the ability for faculty to assist their students virtually. While there may be some policy hurdles to negotiate with the facility, the opportunity to live coach students or even beam the experience to others might enhance learning. Too often in clinical experiences, some students are left to sit at the nurse’s station while others get the opportunity to start IVs, deal with complex situations or work with new equipment. By leveraging video conference technology, we would allow all students to see and participate in the experience. Some research from simulation labs suggests that observers learn just as much as the person in the actual scenario. Imagine the opportunity to take that impact from the sim lab into the clinical setting.

 

Each of these tips is a provocation to challenge your thinking as it relates to enhancing your curriculum and teaching. Too often, we enter the comfort zone and don’t level up as the world around us does. Each technology discussed here is low cost, and if needed, can be accomplished with small hacks to try before you buy. For example, you could link content to YouTube-free videos rather than purchase an Osmosis account. Whatever your tolerance for technology, simple enhancements using existing tools will ultimately benefit your students to become the best nurses on the planet!

 

About the Author

Daniel Weberg, PhD, MHI, RN - Head of Clinical Innovation, Trusted Health, Nursing Faculty, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Dan Weberg is a nurse leader and expert in human-centered patient design and simulation and healthcare innovation with extensive clinical experience in the emergency department, acute in-patient hospital settings, and academia over the past 10 years. Dan has held a variety of leadership roles, including nursing director, clinical faculty director, consultant, and has worked in settings such as direct nursing care in emergency departments, academic medical centers, large colleges of nursing, and private educational firms. Dan has extensive experience developing nursing technology strategy, collaborating with executive sponsors and key stakeholder groups, doing ground-up collaborating with frontline nursing and care delivery teams, and leading and influencing teams at the unit level, hospital-wide, and across health systems to lead and sustain innovative technology, informatics, and education change initiatives.

He earned his Bachelors in nursing and was in the first cohort to graduate from the Masters in Healthcare Innovation and PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Leadership from Arizona State University.  This makes Dan a chronic Sun Devil.  Dan’s clinical background is in Emergency and Trauma nursing at level 1 trauma centers in California and Arizona.  Dan is also faculty at Ohio State University College of Nursing and taught previously at Arizona State University in the subject of Innovation, Nursing, and Leadership.  

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3 Ways Healthcare Educators Can Leverage Technology to Enhance Learning

by  Daniel Weberg     Jun 1, 2022
3WaysHealthcareEducatorsCanLeverageTechnologytoEnhanceLearning_blog_1200w630h

In the future, health care will be delivered with the increasing support of technology, and our health education programs should also leverage technology to enhance learning. In general, healthcare education has underutilized technology to enhance learning, leading to siloed, passive, and inconsistent experiences for students. Educators and students want experiences that are customized, connected, coordinated, and personalized. Educators need to enhance their teaching to meet these needs.

This article will provide three ways educators can leverage technology to level up the educational experience.

 
 

Tip 1: Enhancing content with virtual or augmented reality

I know what you are thinking, and you are wrong. It’s very simple and sometimes free to incorporate interactive learning into your course. Many of these solutions have free versions and a smartphone a faculty or student can explore the human body in 3D. That means that the student can view a virtual cadaver in the room look through their phone's camera. Imagine the ability to use live anatomy when teaching across your curriculum. In pathophysiology classes, you could show the 3D model and point to where issues originate. You could isolate the virtual muscles and anatomy in the skills lab to share the “behind the scenes” of injections, catheters, and more. You could even take these simple tools into clinical to reference against patient imaging and diagnoses. With a simple tool like augmented anatomy, you can enhance your students learning by 10x. A study from Case Western University demonstrated that using virtual anatomy helped students learn concepts 6 hours faster than traditional methods. While augmented reality may seem scary, you can do similar content immersions using free content on the web or with links in your textbooks.  The goal is to bring the 2D into a more immersive experience than we have previously had.

 

Tip 2: Use interleaved learning to slow drip content every day

Many of our curricula only deliver content for three hours a few times a week. That leaves much of the learning, discovery, and absorption of content to self-directed learning and study habits. Technology can now enhance this time away from the classroom and give students neuro-science-based slow drip repetition on content from your courses. Imagine if you took your syllabus and linked it directly to board-style questions that prompted students daily for answers.  This would take the learning from a 3-hour block to a daily habit of relevant content and assessment. Many Jones & Bartlett Learning textbooks have question banks or end-of-chapter quizzes that could be digitized and sent through the Learning Management System frequently.  Some commercial solutions support this type of work for nursing students.  The bottom line is, by using this type of interleaved learning, you have turned every day into a learning opportunity, and without creating more content, you can enhance your courses to improve learning and content retention. 

 

Tip 3: Using Video to Enhance Clinical Experiences

One challenge nursing educators have the ability to assess, coach, and teach while students are embedded in clinical experiences. Using video chat technology, you may enhance your ability to be present for some of the most important experiences for your students. Consumer technology like Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and others have security measures that meet or exceed HIPPA guidelines and create the ability for faculty to assist their students virtually. While there may be some policy hurdles to negotiate with the facility, the opportunity to live coach students or even beam the experience to others might enhance learning. Too often in clinical experiences, some students are left to sit at the nurse’s station while others get the opportunity to start IVs, deal with complex situations or work with new equipment. By leveraging video conference technology, we would allow all students to see and participate in the experience. Some research from simulation labs suggests that observers learn just as much as the person in the actual scenario. Imagine the opportunity to take that impact from the sim lab into the clinical setting.

 

Each of these tips is a provocation to challenge your thinking as it relates to enhancing your curriculum and teaching. Too often, we enter the comfort zone and don’t level up as the world around us does. Each technology discussed here is low cost, and if needed, can be accomplished with small hacks to try before you buy. For example, you could link content to YouTube-free videos rather than purchase an Osmosis account. Whatever your tolerance for technology, simple enhancements using existing tools will ultimately benefit your students to become the best nurses on the planet!

 

About the Author

Daniel Weberg, PhD, MHI, RN - Head of Clinical Innovation, Trusted Health, Nursing Faculty, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Dan Weberg is a nurse leader and expert in human-centered patient design and simulation and healthcare innovation with extensive clinical experience in the emergency department, acute in-patient hospital settings, and academia over the past 10 years. Dan has held a variety of leadership roles, including nursing director, clinical faculty director, consultant, and has worked in settings such as direct nursing care in emergency departments, academic medical centers, large colleges of nursing, and private educational firms. Dan has extensive experience developing nursing technology strategy, collaborating with executive sponsors and key stakeholder groups, doing ground-up collaborating with frontline nursing and care delivery teams, and leading and influencing teams at the unit level, hospital-wide, and across health systems to lead and sustain innovative technology, informatics, and education change initiatives.

He earned his Bachelors in nursing and was in the first cohort to graduate from the Masters in Healthcare Innovation and PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Leadership from Arizona State University.  This makes Dan a chronic Sun Devil.  Dan’s clinical background is in Emergency and Trauma nursing at level 1 trauma centers in California and Arizona.  Dan is also faculty at Ohio State University College of Nursing and taught previously at Arizona State University in the subject of Innovation, Nursing, and Leadership.  

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