Interteaching: Enhancing the Classroom Experience for Baccaleaureate Nursing Students

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 3:35 PM

Karen Estridge, DNP
Jacqueline K. Owens, PhD
Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Ashland University, Mansfield, OH, USA


Introduction: Despite advanced technology and teaching innovations in higher education, more traditional teaching methods remain a popular format for classroom instruction. These methods often foster intermittent spurts of study as students prepare for examinations, thus leading to inadequate retention of information needed by nursing students to be successful in school and in preparation for the profession. The traditional patterns of instruction are often limited to assigned readings prior to class, where lecture or lecture-discussion ensues.

Problem: Reading assignments can be seen as optional work by students because the faculty-led discussion of the topics covers the assigned material. As a result of unprepared students attending class sessions, insufficient faculty-student interaction in the classroom occurs as students listen while the faculty lectures and information retention is threatened. Students can become passive regarding preparation for class, studying, and consequently lack a sense of accountability for their own learning.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if implementing the Interteaching method of instruction, borrowed from the behavioral sciences, would enhance learning, increase information retention, promote student engagement during class, and improve student satisfaction.

Methods: The mixed study, conducted at a private university in the Midwest, was completed May 2016. The study examined course scores from different cohorts of nursing students, totaling 270 students. Course mean scores and students’ course-faculty evaluations from AY2014-15, prior to Interteaching, were compared to AY2015-16 mean scores and evaluations of two Interteaching courses taught by the same faculty. The Interteaching method involved student completion/submission of an assigned PrepGuide one hour prior to each class, student discussion of responses at the onset of class with randomly assigned peers while faculty circulated the room to participate as needed, in-class review of the PrepGuide information with faculty, and then followed by a brief lecture on areas identified by students and faculty as needing clarification.

Conclusions: Quantitative results showed that although student mean course scores increased, they were not statistically significant. However, the qualitative portion of the study supported higher student satisfaction, increased in-class discussion among peers and with the faculty, and a felt sense of increased accountability for learning. An unexpected discovery was the increased satisfaction by faculty due to the preparedness and increased student participation during class discussions.

Implications: This alternative teaching format leads to enhanced student accountability for learning. Student evaluations and class surveys supported that interactions with faculty led to an enhanced sense of information retention and higher satisfaction with the classroom learning experience.