How can an instructor improve your education?

  1. I am a newer nurse educator and in the spring will be teaching RN students, they will be in the last course before RN graduation. I am looking for all things you like or dislike about listening to classroom theory. Specifically, what really helps you learn or retain info? What irritates you? What are some attributes of your favorite teachers?
    If it matters, I will be teaching the units on shock/trauma, endocrine, diabetes, neuro, and blood/immunology. My lecture periods are 4 hours long, 2 days/week.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Visit TooterIA profile page

    About TooterIA

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 195; Likes: 42
    RN in Critical Access hospital


  3. by   Mommaof3
    1st--4 hours of lecture is like an eternity to people like me...I am a self diagnosed ADHD type person.

    So keeping that in mind---I pick and choose which lectures to attend based on who is doing the lecture. I canNOT stand the professors who stand up and read verbatim off their powerpoint for hours on end. (Because please believe I can read their powerpoint in way less than the 3 hours they spend in class doing it). Please..break it up.

    Tell interesting stories, even if their not your own. Use humor instead of boring people to tears-my favorite professor is one who can find a way to make her point while getting a chuckle from us, and she's really good at it.

    If your institution has interactive equipment-utilize it. Don't use the same old same old "case studies", please, come up with something else. Research your info, find mneumonics, stories, poems and whatever else might be considered interesting to convey your point.

    Above all else, please, please, please and PLEASE read the info your students are supposed to read. As silly as it sounds, we actually have some professors who dont. As you can imagine this causes mass confusion when we are studying for tests and comparing power points, textbooks, and lecture notes when the info doesn't match.

  4. by   defenbaker10
    The instructor reading the same material that the students read is a must. I also have had instructors that when you pointed out stuff that was in the book they had no clue about it. Also, I like it when the teacher relates nursing stuff to everyday stuff to explain it. I have had several teachers that do this and find that it helps me remember the information better. Sometimes getting up and moving around or even little trips around campus can help too. My old A&P teacher made us get up and assigned each of us a part of the heart and then each of us one by one had to put our classmates in order of how blood flows thru the heart. I have never forgotten the flow of blood since. One of our med/surg teachers took us outside and walked around the campus to help explain our lungs and what was going on as we increased our actiivity.
  5. by   beccainabox
    - Breaks q 50 minutes...esp. if it's a 4 hour lecture.
    - Don't read off the slides, but please stay on task...i agree with using humor and stories to make the info stick.
    - Be clear about what is important...there is a ton of information!
    - Be open to questions and be available to your students.
    - Please be kind and humane...nursing school is stressful and students need all the support they can get.
  6. by   anonymousstudent
    FOUR HOURS!? Oh my. That's a set up!

    It helps me when my teachers tell stories. NOT about the funky rash they have or how their grandpa can't hold his urine...but about experiences with patients. Those help me remember.

    You have some hugely important content areas to teach, so part of your pitch should just be to let them know that it's critically important they understand the content fully. Students can smell when it's not so important. lol

    It also helps when a teacher presents the information at first like they were doing patient teaching. Not too much technical information, just the basic concepts. Those always have to do with safety and precautions, when to call the MD, common side effects, etc. So if I have that groundwork I can add in meds and care on top and have a better idea of what's going on.

    HTH Good luck (especially with those 4 hours!!!)
  7. by   Hospice Nurse LPN
    4 HOURS! Oh my! The students def need a break every 50 minutes. Relate personal stories about your own pts. PLEASE don't just read the power points---I can read all by myself. Know what's in the assigned textbooks. There is nothing worse than having a teacher read their 4 y/o powerpoints and having conflicting info in the textbook. Good luck!
  8. by   That Guy
    Learn the students names and ask random questions. Nothing keeps you awake and attentive like not knowing when your turn is up to answer a question. But if they answer wrong, use it as a learning period. My favorite teacher did this and everyone in the class loved it.
  9. by   TooterIA
    THANK YOU for all the ideas so far. I am already reading the text and making my own notes to go along with the PowerPoints and inserting stories from my work experience. I also plan on a break every 50 minutes. I will for sure keep your ideas in mind when teaching, keep 'em, coming!
  10. by   ProfRN4
    Thisis a great thread!! I wish I would have asked this question here when I first started.

    As an instructor, I can see that the "reading off the powerpoint" and the "knowing what's in the text" is a big thing. I worked in a place where the textbook changed so frequently, and my PP's didnt always reflect the text, and the students caught on to it. As a (sort of) veteran, I advise you to go with the book when in doubt (you'll always have the back up of the text). Even if its something you know (based on other texts, literature, or actual practice) that contradcits the text, just go with it, as much as you may not want to.

    And my students love my stories I do tell a bit of family and friend stories (I am a peds instructor and have a lot of friends/family who have kids with issues).

    Good luck to you. You sound like you're off to a good start!
  11. by   coast2coast
    - My best professors have always been ... the ones who don't use powerpoint. They give significantly (100X) better lectures and foster significantly more learning than those that use powerpoint. Even if you don't read from the powerpoint - it's just a lazy way to run a lecture. It's a crutch, and it allows you to cram way too much material into "one class."

    - Like everyone has said, BREAKS! please! our bladders beg you !

    - Make an effort to foster class participation from Day 1. Ask questions and stand there in awkward silence until somebody breaks and answers them They'll thank you in the long run.

    - Take your time with immunology. In my experience it is the topic that students are least familiar with, and it deserves a fair amount of explanation/understanding. It's an important field and too often someone crams it into one hour of lecture and students get totally overwhelmed and hate it. Sometimes it's because the instructor doesn't really understand it well enough to teach it. Not good.

    - Be gentle with neuro. Like immunology, it's a huge field and it's easy to overwhelm your class. Pick a few big/common diseases and don't waste too much time on intricate spinal cord reflexes or the like. Basics!

    - No group work. Please. It fosters co-dependence, not real learning.
  12. by   anonymousstudent
    Quote from coast2coast

    - No group work. Please. It fosters co-dependence, not real learning.
    YES, that is EXACTLY RIGHT. Spare them the group work.
  13. by   JaykneecoleRN
    My lectures are about three hours long and we take a break around every 50 minutes to an hour. My best instructors kept us engaged in the learning process the entire time. We started class with questions on the previous content and ended class with questions on the content we covered that day. They also gave lots of diagrams and charts to help learners that were more visual or spatial. And most of all they appeared to be actually enjoying what they were teaching which helps more than I can say!
  14. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from coast2coast
    - My best professors have always been ... the ones who don't use powerpoint. They give significantly (100X) better lectures and foster significantly more learning than those that use powerpoint. Even if you don't read from the powerpoint - it's just a lazy way to run a lecture. It's a crutch, and it allows you to cram way too much material into "one class."
    Very interesting. On the occasions where I did not have my PP (due to technical difficulties) I thought the students were going to tar and feather me!! Today's student (in general) has become so dependant on them!

    Of course, OTOH, it all depends on how you utilize the PP. In the old days (lol) my insteructors have us outlines. I try to use PPs as an enhanced outline; a way to keep structured. But of course, the PP-depedant students complain that i don't put enough on the slides, and they have to write way too much (imagine having no PP at all, and writing down everything... )