For my project I used EdPuzzle in the NUR411 Geriatric Nursing class to give students a different perspective on loss, how difficult loss can be, and to help them experience some feelings their patients or patient’s families are experiencing. The essential idea is that, by incorporating EdPuzzle and changing how learning activities are presented, students will engage more in learning activities and increase their course learning. The provocative question is “Will presenting course activities in a different format result in increased student engagement and learning?” With this activity students should be able to display increased knowledge for the topics being covered.
When considering a project for Tech Fellows, I was in the midst of revising the NUR411 course and wanted to continue incorporating death and dying in the course. The course was becoming heavy in topics and there was a lot of reading then answering questions involved. I wanted to change that and give the students an activity that they could complete that did not involve reading articles or websites while being interesting and resulting in students learning about the topic. I had an idea for an activity to incorporate into the class and EdPuzzle was the best way to do this. EdPuzzle allowed me to present a scenario to students that they could immerse themselves into and experience the feelings that accompany a loss at the end-of-life. I could not find a video for this specific type of activity so I wrote a script and recorded a video myself allowing for the question/answer segments in the video to help guide the students through the activity.
While planning for this project I considered the type of activity to incorporate in the class, how long the activity should take, the potential outcomes of the activity, and any follow-up that might be needed from the activity.
This activity was not incorporated to meet any specific course or learning objectives. The activity was designed to help students engage in a class activity and gain knowledge from the activity.
Once the video was made and the EdPuzzle was created, incorporating the questions as appropriate, directions were written and all was inserted into the course shell. Several colleagues were asked to trial the EdPuzzle, using the directions as written in the course, to ensure quality of the EdPuzzle as well as the activity students were required to complete. Once all was in place the activity was open for the students as appropriate in the class.
A Plan B was not in place as all trials indicated that the EdPuzzle would work in the class. If the technology did not work I was planning to offer students journal articles or other readings to complete on the topic. If, after the students completed the activity, the students did not like the activity another method to approach this course material would need to be decided on.
After students completed the EdPuzzle activity in the course they completed the weekly discussion forum. One of the questions in the discussion forum focused on the topic of the activity: “Each of you were required to complete the Loss Exercise using EDpuzzle. I know this was a difficult exercise to complete and if you need/want to debrief contact me so we can talk. What are your thoughts after completing this exercise? How does this exercise change your thoughts about elders and the challenges they face? Is there anything else you’d like to share?” The responses were varied. Some students shared how they had never considered loss before or how they would feel facing this type of loss. Others shared that this activity gave them a fresh perspective that they can use to empathize with their patients, the patient’s family, or their own family. Overall responses were positive and displayed engagement and knowledge gain.
To assess the EdPuzzle itself the following questions were asked: “Feedback questions – your responses would be appreciated: What are your thoughts about EDpuzzle (not the specific focus on end-of-life and the dying process but the mode of education)? Is this an effective learning tool? Would you recommend this tool be used more frequently in the RN-BSN Program?” The vast majority of the students responded to the feedback questions and stated that they enjoyed the activity. They felt that it was an effective learning technique and a refreshing departure from the typical pattern of reading journal articles or websites and responding to essay questions. Students enjoyed the immersion into the activity and the personal feelings that came from completing this type of activity. Some students did struggle with the directions resulting in directions being reexamined and edited for future classes.
Overall I am extremely pleased with how this activity turned out. Students engaged in the activity and displayed new levels of knowledge and learning. Feedback was positive and encouraging for further technology uses. Some students requested further technology incorporation into the courses to move away from typical course set up.
Reflections and Next Steps
Overall everything worked. The activity has now run twice and both trials have been successful. I anticipate continuing to use the activity, as is, in the course for the foreseeable future.
I learned that the majority of students are eager for a different type of learning activity and they will engage in one if offered. This met my goal of increasing engagement and having students obtain a higher level of knowledge. My next steps are to look at other topics in the course and determine if there is a type of technology that can be incorporated to increase engagement and student interest there, as well.