KAHOOT – Fun, Learning, Teaching, Assessment – It’s All That!

Are your student’s phones out in your class? Are they more interested in texting on their phones and looking things up on their phones rather than participating in class? Well, put their technology to work in their learning – Kahoots! Nope, not a sneeze! And nope, nothing to sneeze at! Students LOVE this. They get to use their phones, they get quizzed and find out what they know and don’t know, and the teacher finds out what they know and don’t know as well. It is not only a learning tool, but an instructional tool that faculty can use to reinforce information, or revisit information that their students are not understanding.

Continue reading

Clever, Quick Vocabulary Assessment

Recently, while reading the latest issue of the STAR (STudent Achievement in Reading) newsletter I came across an idea for a vocabulary activity that could be done with…wait for it…no prep! What? It didn’t seem possible, but it really is a clever little activity that allows instructors to assess students’ depth and breadth of understanding of a particular vocabulary word with virtually no prep. Even better, it can be used in any discipline area on the spot (when you have a few extra minutes) or as part of your planned lesson delivery. If you are intrigued, click the link and read on…WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THIS WORD?

Tell me what this “pill” is…………………………….

Introduction to Clinical Practice is the first nursing clinical that students will encounter in either the Practical or Associate Degree Nursing programs.  The setting for this clinical is the long-term care environment and often where students will encounter clients who may take a numerous amount of medications.  Nursing Pharmacology is taught in the first semester as well—–students will start with pharmacology and then move in to clinical once they have some information under their belts.  As instructors, we strive to bring the “classroom into the clinical”!  Last semester, I had the pleasure of taking over a Pharmacology classroom for a colleague while teaching the clinical associated with the pharmacology class.  LIGHTS BULBS WENT OFF! I knew students were struggling with pharmacology in the clinical setting as well as the classroom setting; how could I remedy this?  Well, let me tell you what I did!

While watching “Maleficent”, I decided to get my scrapbooking material out.  I had BRIGHT colored paper, my circle cutters, AND GLITTER GLUE!  Shiny object syndrome was in full affect for me.  I tend to recall things better with color and shininess (is that a word?), so maybe my students would too!  I began cutting multiple circles of many many different bright colors.  I grabbed my marker and started writing medication names on those circles.  Before I knew it, the glitter glue was on those circles as I traced the medication names with the glitter glue and my table was FULL of “pills”.  Once they dried, I punched holes in the top and put a ring through them.  I now had a “wheel of pills”.  So you are probably wondering, “what in the world are you going to do with those things?”  Well, let me tell you………………………………….

I carried this “wheel of pills” in my scrub pockets at clinical.  Randomly throughout clinical, I would pull out the “Wheel of pills”, approach a student and ask them to “pick a pill”.  I would then proceed to ask them to tell me what the medication was and what they know about that medication.  At first, students were panicked.  HOWEVER, eventually, the students started asking me to pull the “Wheel of pills” out and to ask them questions.  Towards the end of clinical near the end of the semester with a Pharmacology FINAL exam looming over them, students would play games with the “Wheel of Pills”.  It was great to see them accept this strategy so readily as was watching them bring that classroom learning into clinical AND clinical learning into the classroom!  It has been a HUGE success and I will for sure continue with it!

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

PRACTICE MAN! PRACTICE!

The same thing can be said about learning something new. In order to get good at most things it takes a certain amount of practice. That’s why I provide students with comprehensive constructive feedback on their assignments, and an opportunity to improve their performance prior to periodic quizzes or exams.

Map Locating Carnegie Hall

Continue reading

So What???

frustration 

One of my strategies for stimulating critical thinking is the relentless use of two questions: “So what?” and, “Why do you care?” These two are closely followed by a third: “Why?” They also serve as a classroom assessment to see that the students are actually with me during discussion.  

In teaching nursing, I am often explaining a particular clinical finding and trying to help students link it to the underlying physiologic process or pathology. I find it is not the questions alone, but rather my almost obnoxious pursuit using these questions that pushes the student to connect the dots. Often, the final answer will be almost desperately …”because if I don’t, the patient could die!”

Yes! NOW you’ve got it!

I ve got it

Rubrics That Encourages Individuality

In Wikipedia, a scoring rubric is defined as “a standard of performance for a defined population.” Unfortunately the phrase “standard” equates to students following the confines of the rubric and often receiving assignments that appear to come from the same cookie cutter. Then we wonder why the student hasn’t taken the initiative to go above and beyond the requirements.  Wouldn’t it be great if they took the initiative?

So give students the permission to be creative and take the initiative in making the knowledge their own…

5 Ways to Blow the Top Off of Rubrics