Kathleen Spadaro, Ph.D. Nursing

Overview

Although the nursing program has been delivering their undergraduate and graduate programs online, I (Nursing) feel the need to continually learn how to challenge the online learner to capture and keep their attention on the content.   I worked with Prezi as a tool to introduce new MSN students to an introductory course that provides the foundation for their learning.  I have been using Panopto in a introductory DNP course, Structure of Knowledge, to define and explain knowledge concepts for a foundational basis of their learning.  With a pilot International MSN track of students from China, I developed a Facebook page for them to post pictures of their cultural experiences and travels throughout the US.

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Planning Process

I wanted to provide a different introduction to the introductory course in the newly developed fully online MSN program.  I discussed this with Lauren Panton and decided to explore the use of Prezi because I liked combining symbols with content, movement or connection between concepts, and adding voice explanation.  I spent several technology sessions playing with the software to become more familiar with it.  I then decided what content I wanted to share with the students as an overview of the course.

Implementation

The implementation of the project took some time.  I would recommend having the content be pre-determined and organized to develop a flow from concept to concept.  If you forget a concept, you need to go back, add the new content, and recreate the flow.  I started with picking a design for the Prezi and how I would lay out the content.  I wanted to have content that I could “drill down” from, to add more detail as well as the larger picture for the students to understand both the broad and the underlying  concepts.  I also wanted the final part to end at the beginning.

Adding the content was not too difficult except I would come up with more to add as I went along.  That was a creative process in play which I enjoyed.  The final part was adding the voice description to each of the components.  At first I thought that I just recorded the audio as the Prezi moved through the different components.  However, I found that was not the case.  That part took a while because each of the descriptions was recorded, saved, and then attached to the concept being discussed.

Successes and Challenges

The success was developing a visual overview of the course for the students to introduce them to evidence-based practice.  There were several challenges.  The first was the time it took to record comments and attach them to the components.  However, once I got the hang of it, it became a much easier and faster process.  The second challenge was embedding it into Moodle.  I needed help from Lauren Panton to get it to work for the students.

Assessment

Although there was not a specific assessment of this component to the course, the overall feedback from students was very positive that they had a much stronger knowledge base on evidence-based practice and the role that research plays in the development of evidence-based practice change projects.

Perceived/Determined Value and Next Steps

I do believe that as professors, we need to combine educational strategies to address the different types of learners.  In an online program needs to be diverse in its delivery, thus the need to supplement readings and discussions with visual tools to re-enforce learning.  Next steps will include using VoiceThread for discussion forums, adding brief quizzes using Whiz Quiz to these introductory courses to increase students’ ability to master APA formatting and writing and adding virtual poster sessions using Glogster.  I want to add more technology tools to the DNP introductory course to engage the new DNP students early in their educational process.