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Topics About 'Learning Styles'.

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  1. PamtheNurse

    What Is Wrong with These Students?

    Have you ever looked out at your student filled classroom to see that half are paying attention? Are they taking notes on their tablets or laptops? Don’t be fooled! A close look may reveal facebook scrolling or Amazon-buying. Social media is integral to this generation’s community experience. That realization brings an understanding of their preference for a text message to a face-to-face encounter. There is nothing wrong with social media. We do enjoy looking at baby pictures of our high school and college friends. And what does our Ex look like now? Day-to-day personal and work routines of banking, ordering goods, and emailing have thrown us right into the middle of the digital age. Our families keep in touch through texting or facetime. And we look everything up online. Times have changed! Connecting with our millennial students' means, like it or not, we have to get on board with digital communication. Expanding within the digital environment sets these students apart, as does a lack of confidence. Millennial students who perceive life as stressful rely heavily on their previously hovering parents or guardians to help them navigate life’s challenges. As a result, the autonomous nature of the nursing profession and the emphasis on the responsibility of decision-making that can impact lives is difficult for them. Understanding this is crucial to recognize stress and anxiety which can inhibit learning. Millennial students are ambitious, optimistic, gravitate towards working in teams, conventional and need to feel important. Expressions of appreciation gain of these students’ attention as do small recognitions. We might have to start giving them a pat on the back for coming to class on time! Other ways faculty can show they appreciate their millennial students Learn and call them by name (you won’t remember them, that’s what seating charts are for) Introduce yourself on the first day of class (don’t assume they know who you are!) Clearly outline your expectations (these students are very concrete thinkers) - give them specific rubrics and firm due dates Provide a lot of feedback (oral and written) Don’t criticize in front of the class (you shouldn’t do this with anyone) Millennials tend towards skepticism. After all, their parents were baby boomers who didn’t trust anyone over 30! Review how you present the information. What worked with older generations simply won’t work with this crowd. Nursing faculty must gain student trust, helping them become accountable individuals that collaborate in the learning process. Tried and true instructional methods for millennials Give them questions and scenarios that relate to the real world as they understand it Have students share their research with classmates Encourage working in small groups to solve problems Make use of available technology (incorporate computer games and resources, like Socrative© in the lesson plan) Ask for their help (Millennials are helpers in the strongest sense of the word) Utilize all types of learning in the classroom (don’t shy away from hands-on practice and demonstration) Give nursing students in upper-level courses the opportunity to engage in service-learning Millennials are diversity sensitive. 21st-century American universities and colleges have greater inclusivity. Depending on where you teach, specific unique cultural or ethnic considerations may need to be incorporated into the classroom. They are adaptable to change so long as it is fair and clearly defined. Tolerant of differences, they may appreciate your personal quirks but they expect you to do the same for them. Working with a classroom full of Millennials isn’t easy. Understanding how they differ from you and your colleagues lends to successfully bringing them to the graduation finish line.
  2. Hi Nurse Beth, I was just wondering, I'm currently an aged care Nurse, I'm currently studying my Batchelor of Nursing. I have been having trouble retaining all the information, so I completed a VAK assessment I got 9 As 3-Bs and 18-Cs I was wondering if you had any tips for a Kinesthetic learner to retain information. Kind Regards Dear Kinesthetic Learner, It is said that most nurses are kinesthetic learners as we have a reputation for being able to "MacGyver" anything and make it work. BioMed techs shake their heads at us and have inside jokes about how we nurses can break/fix anything. Learning Styles The VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) assessment is a fun test to determine your learning style, but it has not been validated in the literature. You may have a learning style that you enjoy more than others, but there is no evidence to support that using the model improves outcomes. In reality, we all learn differently at different times and in different circumstances. What I can tell you as an experienced Nursing Professional Development Specialist is that adult learners do learn what is relevant to them. It's the "what's in it for me?" principle. So I have a very easy time teaching nurses the newest Alaris IV pump, for example, but it's far more challenging to teach capnography monitoring to nurses who are not likely to use capnography in their areas. Likewise, courses of study in your Bachelor's program may not seem to have direct relevance to your nursing practice. But your motivation to earn your Bachelor's degree can help you just like it did back when you were studying for your nursing degree. Think back. What helped you then? Did you take notes? Study in a study group? Prioritize When you are presented with a large amount of information, you must prioritize the most important points. Take it a step further and anticipate what you'll be tested on. Often the instructor will emphasize key points, so it's important to "read" your instructors. Pay close attention to the instructions and comments your instructors make on the discussion boards if you are in an online program. Become the teacher. Ask yourself "If I were the instructor, what would I expect the learner to retain?" Be specific. A yellow highlighter used sparingly is indispensable to me when reading a text or an article. It focuses my brain, forces me to identify key information, and channels my kinesthetic energy. Critical Thinking Higher education makes you a better critical thinker. Reading is not studying. When you are learning about the nursing theorists, for example, make yourself summarize in just 1-2 sentences what each one postulated. Do it. It's a great exercise that will improve your critical thinking. Take it to the next step by comparing and contrasting the theorists. Finally, internalize what you learn by examining your own beliefs, and how they affect your nursing practice. Do you agree with Callista Roy or Dorothea Orem ? If not, why not? Boosting To retain information, boost your learning. The majority of what you learn is quickly forgotten. Boost your memory at planned intervals, such as 24 hrs, 72 hrs and 2 weeks. During your initial studying, again, become the teacher. Formulate a couple of key questions and put them aside. Later, take out the questions and quiz yourself briefly on what you learned. Focusing on even just 1-2 points awakens your surrounding memory to the other facts learned at the same time. This helps transfer learning from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. Short, intense study times can be more effective than longer ones. Study something and then go for a walk, or clean your kitchen. During the off-activity, your brain will continue to work in the background, even while you're asleep. I hope this helps you, and best wishes! Nurse Beth Start your job search today!
  3. Ever had that moment when you are trying to study and you find that no matter what you do things just are not sticking? Or you can't remember them when that big test comes around? Like me, you probably think that something is just wrong and maybe nursing is just not for you, because you've failed one test after the other. Well, I've got good news for you...it may not be that you are not made for nursing it might be that you are using the wrong learning style to get through nursing school. What is one's learning style? Well, there are basically three types of learning styles: Visual Learners Visual Learners understand information best by what they see. This includes seeing the words they read, PowerPoint projections, diagrams, watching demonstrations, items that have vivid colors that appeal to their sense of vision. They enjoy visually striking movies that are fast-paced and use lots of colors to highlight items they need to remember. Visual learners would probably skim the bold and highlighted main points in this article and read through it quickly. Auditory Learners Auditory Learners are experts at listening and learn best from what they hear. They would rather not watch a PowerPoint, but prefer to record lectures and play them back to study. They may read notes out loud or have a friend quiz them on an upcoming test. They need diagrams to be explained to them, which does not mean they stupid at learning a diagram, rather hearing the explanation reinforces the visual data into their memory banks. They are also great at following verbal directions, whereas a visual learner, like myself, prefers to get the instruction written down and in my hand so I can read it. Auditory learners would probably read this entire article out loud to themselves. Kinesthetic / Tactile Learners Got a bunch of friends who love to hug, touch are feeling? Those are our kinesthetic learners. Tactile learners enjoy hands-on experience. They will excel in labs and physical assessment. They learn best by doing, touching and manipulating. They enjoy working with equipment, need the write things down to remember them, may enjoy chewing gum or snacking while studying and may "finger spell" words rather than write it down. They rather demonstrate or act out a disease process rather than listen to a boring lecture. Tactile learners will probably skim through this article and may just skip to the last part in the references where they can actually do the learner inventory test. Many nursing students may already know this and may have previously tried to use a learning inventory in order to determine what learning style is most effective for them. A learning inventory is a list of questions which helps those of us who have trouble determine what their learning style is. Humans normally do not solely use one (1) learning style, in fact, we tend to use all three (3) based on the task we are trying to accomplish. It is important to know your own learning style, its strengths, and weaknesses. Why is it important to know your learning style? Well first of, in the field of nursing knowing yourself provides you with a solid foundation on which you are able to successfully face the challenges from the different people you will be working with, in addition to learning all the new procedures that will come your way once you finish nursing school. Knowing your strengths also helps you know what your weaknesses are, so you can be aware of areas you need to work on. It is common knowledge that if we incorporate all 3 learning styles we will remember things even better. So maybe you are great at labs but terrible at weekly quizzes, maybe you are terrible at online quizzes but great at written in class quizzes or maybe for some Power Point lectures are awesome while for others it just puts them to sleep. It all relates to your learning style. Ever had a horrible professor? Yeah, we all can attest to having that terrible boring professor that made us fail the test or did they? If so, why did your classmates Ace the test? and in fact, they love that professor you hate so much? Well, it might not be that the professor was horrible, it's just that he or she did not appeal to your learning style and therefore nothing they said ever stuck and so your brain shuts down on that subject. In order to solve this problem, you first need to know your learning style. Once that is determined, you then need to adapt the professors' lectures, power points, notes and textbooks to your style and this would ensure success in every exam you take. Take the Barsch learning style inventory test linked in the references or just do a web search for "learner inventory" to find other test and compare. Once you do that do another search for study tips for your particular learning style so can know how to adapt your professor's lectures and get the most out of studying. I did several different tests and they all determined I am a visual learner, followed by auditory as my next strongest. Next comment on what is your learning style and how you have adapted it to become a great nursing student or nurse.
  4. Online, hybrid, and distance-based coursework have become notable mainstays in today's technologically advancing society. Most students who have been enrolled in online courses have probably contended with weekly discussion post requirements because they are so ubiquitous in distance education. You are probably wondering, "What is the point of discussion posts, anyway?" Here are some explanations. Discussion posts are intended to promote regular 'interaction' with others Since the vast majority of online courses typically require no face-to-face meetings on campus, the weekly discussion post is one of the only mechanisms that facilitates mandatory interaction with one's classmates. Even though this form of interaction is purely virtual, it supposedly allows students to attain exposure to other peoples' ideas and perhaps learn from differing perspectives. Discussion posts are supposed to reinforce key concepts Discussion posts bestow opportunities upon distance learners to synthesize the material that they have learned, thereby reinforcing predominant concepts in a more effective manner. Synthesis, defined as written discussion that pulls upon one or more sources, is at the core essence of the weekly discussion post requirement. Moreover, well-constructed discussion posts allow professors to assess each student's grasp of the course material. Now that you hopefully understand the two primary reasons that underlie the weekly discussion post requirement, here are some tips to aid in formulating ones that will most likely impress your instructors. Always substantiate your discussion posts with in-text citations In general, bolstering your 'statements' with in-text citations is superb practice. Since nursing is a health science, the in-text citations should always be in proper APA format. A myriad of wonderful websites are available if you need to learn how to formulate proper in-text citations utilizing APA formatting. A popular site is the Purdue Online Writing Lab. Another lesser-known website that contains good information on in-text citations is this page from Roane State Community College. Cite from scholarly sources Whenever possible, substantiate the information in your discussion posts with citations from scholarly sources such as textbooks and peer-reviewed journal articles because these sources are considered reputable. Avoid using blog posts, editorials, web-based tabloids and popular media websites such as Huffington Post, MSNBC or the Fox News Network because many of these sources can be overly opinionated. In addition, the articles on popular media websites sometimes disguise personal opinions as facts. Use the discussion posts to practice your scholarly writing skills One of the hallmarks of a college-educated person is solid writing skills. Generally, scholarly writing should incorporate a neutral voice as much as possible, which is reflected when discussion posts are written utilizing the third person voice. Furthermore, the use of a neutral voice requires deliberate minimization of overt emotion when writing discussion posts. Adapt your discussion posts to the anticipated audience Always be mindful that your instructor will be grading you on the content and style of your discussion post submissions. Thus, I advise you to refrain from creating heated posts that may alienate the instructor or your virtual 'classmates.' In other words, adapt your weekly posts to the known audience and keep your eye on the goal. Read and use the grading rubric before posting Many instructors utilize predetermined rubrics to grade discussion posts. If you are enrolled in a course that contains a specific rubric for discussion posts, I suggest you read it and become thoroughly familiar with it prior to posting. The rubric should provide you with a clear idea of the manner in which the discussion posts will be graded, as well as what your instructor seeks. References Dowell, J.A. (n.d.). Introduction to Syntheses. Retrieved from Synthesis Information Mesa Community College. (n.d.). Writer's Style. Retrieved from Writing Style & Spoken vs. Written Voice Stifler, B. (2008). The Purpose of the Discussions. Retrieved from The Purpose of the Discussion