Incorporating Flipped Classroom Strategies Into a Nursing Research Course

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Patricia Keresztes, PhD
Nursing, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, USA

The nursing research course, which also focuses on evidenced-based practice, is taught in the junior year in the undergraduate nursing program. The research course has been typically taught in a lecture format measuring student outcomes through quizzes and lectures. The content has been presented in a lecture format using slides while students take notes during the lecture. This format may help students learn terminology and basic principles but does not provide for application and synthesis of the content. It is imperative that students entering into the nursing profession be able to appraise and incorporate evidenced-based practices. After graduation, these new nurses will be expected to read and critique research articles and make decisions about practice changes based upon the evidence in the literature. Over the past two semesters, I have incorporated strategies associated with the flipped classroom pedagogical approach of teaching into the research course. The flipped classroom approach involves delivering instructional content prior to the class time such as watching online videos of content. The class session is then devoted to engaging the students in group or individual activities that help the students apply and synthesize the content. This pedagogical approach shifts students from being a passive learner listening to a professor deliver a lecture to being an active learner applying and developing a deeper understanding of the course content. The time that is spent in lecture is done to answer questions to help students develop a deeper understanding of the content. There are various strategies that can be employed in a flipped classroom. The strategies I have incorporated into the nursing research course include: use of videos students watch prior to class, completion of worksheets that cover the content to be covered that week and assigned articles to critique. During the class period, students work in groups to review the assigned article and respond to the critique questions about the research article. I spend time individually with each group answering questions they may have about the critique of the article. The last twenty minutes of the class is spent with the class as a whole discussing and reviewing each of the questions from the assigned article. This change in classroom format can be challenging for students as it is a shift in what they have typically experienced in college. Therefore, I have not completely incorporated this pedagogy into the entire semester but have revised at least half of the semester into a flipped classroom format. The students have given positive feedback about the assignments prior to class and the in class group discussions and activities. I will continue to present the nursing course using a flipped classroom strategy.