The pedagogical focus(es) of the case study and its/their rationale(s):
The observations took place during the delivery of a Year 2 / Level 5 module: Nursing in Society (Child). IP’s session was a bespoke session for the purpose of this study for the same students. Two different approaches to delivering more complex ideas were explored. The purpose of both observations were to focus on the students learning and explore when students have ‘light bulb’ moments and why this is. By doing this we hoped to get a better understanding of students learning and our abilities to facilitate this.
Observation session 2 used gamification to introduce the students to sepsis. The topic was negotiated with the students prior to the session to meet the students self-identified learning needs. It was a very small group of students on a Monday morning in a suitable room with comfortable seating. The students played a board game, asking each other questions and discussing the answers after each question. Once the game finished the content covered was summarised in a short PowerPoint presentation including a video clip focussing specifically to their field of children’s nursing. The students were then presented with a scenario based question and each group had to answer a different question and present the answer to the other group.
This session was led by Ilana Pressick (IP) who wanted the observations to focus on students learning in particular when and why students have ‘light bulb’ moments. She wanted them to observe the whole session and only document aspects of the observation when these ‘light bulb’ moments occur, making notes about the activity being done at the time and why they think this was a ‘light bulb’ moment. Gamification as a teaching strategy was chosen as IP used this strategy in cycle one. She wanted to use knowledge gained from cycle one and make an impact on the way she used this teaching strategy and develop her skills further.
Summary of Cycle 2 joint learning between staff and students:
- Students value discussions amongst their peer groups and identified these discussions as a big contributing factor to their learning. They expressed anxieties about speaking out in large groups. However, they provided solutions to this anxiety and reluctance to speaking out in large groups by stating that if they worked in smaller groups firstly then the small groups can give feedback to the larger group.
- Enabling students to acknowledge and recognise their existing knowledge through positive encouragement and then building on that knowledge. This not only makes teaching more interactive but students gain confidence in their own abilities and knowledge. This could be done be discussions, games, or even mini quizzes.
- As much as students valued discussions amongst their peers they also recognised how peer can obstruct learning by talking and being distracting.Consequently, students recognised that they have to take responsibility for their own learning and if their friendship peer groups are too distracting they should move away from them.
- The impact of the physical environment cannot be underestimated. Students identified the classrooms layout as a barrier to learning as some chairs were facing away from the projector. Also the level of noise was seen as a barrier due to the air-conditioner, the noise from outside and students talking amongst themselves. The lecturer has a responsibility to ensure they speak clearly and loudly to overcome these hindrances and repeating student’s feedback to ensure the potential learning from peers are not missed due to these environmental factors.
- Students identified for both observations that shocking statistics or an unexpected insight into a subject really enhance their learning.
- Both approaches were enjoyed by the two students and they felt that the links were effectively made between theory and practice through the use of discussion and feedback. Cycle two enabled students to identify barriers to their own learning and identify ways of overcoming these barriers. It made the students take more responsibility for their own learning.
Implication(s) of your cycle 2 experience on your teaching and learning (for staff members):
- Take into consideration the impact of environmental factor can have on learning and teaching. Strive where possible to challenge these factors on a faculty level and advocate for change. Take these factors into consideration by ensuring the use of the microphone where necessary.
- Continue to incorporate different approaches to teaching whilst ensuring that the learning is effectively explored through peer discussions.Utilise more question and answer type sessions followed by discussions as students identified these sessions as very complimentary to their learning
- Ensure active participation in peer observation as this provides the opportunity for discussion, analysis, and reflection in partnership with teaching colleagues and students.
- Remembering our basic knowledge about concepts could be complex ideas to our students.We need to ensure that they are empowered to ask questions during the session anonymously using technology such as Padlet.