Below is a copy of an email I sent to my students this morning. I am teaching a course about teaching so I started sending them Tuesday Teaching Tips, which are well received to date. They are meant as a value-add to the course. They support course objectives but also expand on them by providing quick tips.
In the nursing program we have a lot of group work both inside and outside of class. What we are trying to promote is the development of a community of inquiry. When learners (in this case students) can connect the course content to something that has meaning for them by engaging in a critical discussion of the content learning happens. Likewise, in community nursing support groups are often used to help learners engage in meaningful communities that help them learn.
Side note: The meaning of the word inquiry can change depending on the context. In research inquiry is a fancy word for systematic exploration or investigation. In support groups they are not necessarily engaging in this type of inquiry, but the same principles apply. Learners are seeking information and asking questions.
The teacher’s role is to design and facilitate the discussion so that meaningful discussion is occurring that also relates to course content. Reflection and discourse are an important part of the cognitive presence needed for learning to occur. Learners also need to develop relationships with each other. I think by watching you that you have already formed some communities both in person and on Facebook.
You rated having fun and helping each other during stressful times as the top two rules for working together in class. That sounds like something a community would do. I am not sure how much resource sharing happens in your Facebook group. I think that curating excellent content is a way you could support each other. The issue with keeping it on Facebook is that people who choose not to use Facebook cannot access it and therefore get excluded from the community. Not to mention I find good information gets lost there. There are some really good reasons that people may not want to use Facebook. Engaging with a community on multiple platforms helps you as a nurse reach more of your audience. I think a website would be a good idea, but that is a lot of work and a new location for people to go to. Please let me know if you want help developing one in WordPress.
Most of you use YouTube already. Did you know that you can create collaborative playlists? Imagine if nursing student council had their own YouTube channel where they just curated and organized excellent content that was added by students. The nice thing about it is the playlist can be made public so that everyone can see the content.
Here is an example of how it could work. I will start you off with a playlist aimed at stress relief. If you add content I will play it on break during class. I added a song by ZDoggMD the YouTuber I warned you that I could listen to all day.
To contribute to the playlist please sign in to YouTube and click here. Then, click on “continue” beside add to this playlist as (your name).
Then find the video you want to add to the playlist. Click on save on the bottom right-hand corner.
And select the playlist(s) you want to add the video to.
Maybe your nursing council could start collecting videos to help prepare for the NCLEX, certain courses, or something else. There are a lot of great educational videos on YouTube (but also some not so good videos). If you help each other curate it can help everyone save time sifting through bad videos.
PS: Here is a group project that students created for first-year professional growth that you may learn something about research from. Did you get to hear the ADPIE song in your first year? You can’t unhear it. In this playlist from first-year professional growth there is also a video showing you how to save time skimming an article.