Infusing Emerging Technologies Into Graduate-Level Pathophysiology

Monday, 30 October 2017: 1:55 PM

Nancy Winters, PhD
Kirsty Digger, DNS
School of Nursing, State University of New York, Delhi College of Technology, Delhi, NY, USA

Background: Traditionally, pathophysiology courses have been taught through lectures in the classroom setting and learning has been assessed via examinations. Innovative teaching strategies have been shown to improve learner engagement and student outcomes in courses that are traditionally less interactive, such as pathophysiology (McDaniel & Tornwall, 2016). Current interesting strategies for pathophysiology courses include case studies (McDaniel & Tornwall, 2016; Van Horn, Hyde, Tesh, & Kautz, 2014; Vorderstrasse & Zychowicz, 2012), gaming, clickers, web polling, immediate feedback, visual aids, group projects, videos (Van Horn et al., 2014), and online testable pathogenesis maps (Ho, Kumar, & Velan, 2014).

Our online graduate nursing program developed additional innovative learning strategies using web-based, collaborative, multimedia applications to enhance the achievement of learning outcomes in advanced pathophysiology. One application enables users to display their ideas in a concept map through text, pictures, URL links, free text drawing, and videos. Characteristics of each element added to the concept map, such as color and name tags, can be manipulated by the user. Elements can be moved, connected, and organized to communicate content and concepts. This application is currently in use in elementary-level science courses to assist students to brainstorm and discover the connections between important concepts (Pytash, Annetta, & Ferdig, 2016), but has not been documented for use in graduate level pathophysiology. In our course, students use this technology to comprehensively explore a multi-system disorder. The tool facilitates the learning process by providing students the ability to visually map the development of a disorder, the systems impacted, and the current interventions in a creative way that encourages deeper learning and interaction.

Another innovative learning strategy integrated into advanced pathophysiology is a website which showcases emerging medical technologies. Students explore a variety of technologies, select one for their focus, and create an in-depth online presentation connecting the technology and the disease process. The presentation includes a description of the technology of interest, identification of a disease, and how the technology changes the pathophysiologic processes. This site has introduced many different tools into the classroom discussion and sparked increased interest in applying the content to other topics. The benefit of the application of the technologies goes well beyond the pathophysiology content, providing tools and skills that can be applied to other topics and courses. The infusion of technologies into this course facilitates learning, enhances student creativity and communication skills, and the ability to apply technology-based skills as future nursing educators.

Purpose: This presentation will highlight the use of two innovative educational technology tools used in an advanced pathophysiology course in a graduate nursing curriculum. Integration of these technology tools has fostered active and creative learning, enthusiasm, and student engagement both for the content and for using educational technology.