Sunday, November 4, 2007: 10:30 AM-11:45 AM
SPECIAL SESSION: The Neighborhood: A Virtual Experiential Learning Platform
Learning Objective #1: n/a
Learning Objective #2: n/a
Background: Over the past several years, there has been a persistent call for reform within health sciences education; the need for educational reform has held a prominent presence within the nursing education literature. Nurse educators must to respond by moving toward multicontextual learning environments. The concept of multicontexuality involves a reframing of curricular and pedagogical practice by incorporating a variety of teaching and learning strategies that represent a variety of cognitive and cultural contexts. The purpose of this presentation is to describe how a curriculum platform known as The Neighborhood fosters multicontextual learning in undergraduate nursing education and the benefits to learners. The Neighborhood is a fictitious Web-based community consisting of characters within households and various supporting community agencies. The characters represent individuals of various cultural groups across the age, health-illness, and socioeconomic spectrum. Health-related issues are depicted through the household characters representing biophysical and psychosocial issues based on incidence and prevalence in population groups. Professional nursing practice issues are depicted through nurse characters in the community agencies. This approach offers virtual experiential learning, as the lives of the characters are explored on a week to week basis over the course of 3 academic semesters. This approach has the potential to have a profound impact on nursing and other health sciences education. Significant improvements in education systems may translate to greater diversity within the nursing practice and other health professions workforce. Research must be done to understand the effectiveness of such approaches through assessment of student outcomes and changes associated with pedagogical practice.
Symposium Organizer:Jean Foret Giddens, PhD, RN
Symposium Presenter:Jean Foret Giddens, PhD, RN