Tired of the Fluff

Posted
by Ms.DR34D Ms.DR34D (New) New Student

Specializes in Student. Has 3 years experience.

I'm in my last year, and my once very happy, confident nature has escaped me. I dread every day, and I am questioning whether this is even the right path for me; but I forge on because I have no other good option. I like to work, but I have always disliked school. Especially when we are forced to sit through a lecture where the instructor reads off the powerpoint, as if we can't read it on our own time at our own pace. And then don't get me started on all these "creative" assignments... good lord. Some days I feel like I'm in day care. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like a lot of class work is just fluff?

Edited by Ms.DR34D

JKL33

6,382 Posts

This post gave me a sentimental flashback. Once upon a time I innocently went to a professor and asked if I might skip class and just attend on exam days. I was not upset and certainly did not intend to offend and that must have been clear to the professor as we had a nice discussion about it. All of this was on the basis that I am very distracted by someone reading aloud word for word what is on display. It's pretty much like nails on a chalkboard to me (although I didn't say that), and that is what every single class consisted of--the professor reading slides word for word. Slowly.

Ms.DR34D

Ms.DR34D

Specializes in Student. Has 3 years experience. 2 Posts

1 hour ago, JKL33 said:

This post gave me a sentimental flashback. Once upon a time I innocently went to a professor and asked if I might skip class and just attend on exam days. I was not upset and certainly did not intend to offend and that must have been clear to the professor as we had a nice discussion about it. All of this was on the basis that I am very distracted by someone reading aloud word for word what is on display. It's pretty much like nails on a chalkboard to me (although I didn't say that), and that is what every single class consisted of--the professor reading slides word for word. Slowly.

Sounds like some of my instructors. We really have come a long way with education, but I feel like if I would have waited just a few more years to go back to college, maybe, with all of our advanced technology, nursing schools could catch up to speed with the rest of the world and facilitate self study courses. Majority of classes are not technical skills. Let us learn on our own time at our own pace. They still can hold proctored exams, but I feel like so much precious time is wasted.

StudentRegisteredNurseofAnesthesia

StudentRegisteredNurseofAnesthesia

Specializes in Student Nurse of Anesthesiology. Has 6 years experience. 31 Posts

On 10/5/2020 at 10:51 PM, JKL33 said:

This post gave me a sentimental flashback. Once upon a time I innocently went to a professor and asked if I might skip class and just attend on exam days. I was not upset and certainly did not intend to offend and that must have been clear to the professor as we had a nice discussion about it. All of this was on the basis that I am very distracted by someone reading aloud word for word what is on display. It's pretty much like nails on a chalkboard to me (although I didn't say that), and that is what every single class consisted of--the professor reading slides word for word. Slowly.

Well, what did the teacher end up letting you do? Don't leave us hanging.

JKL33

6,382 Posts

She explained that she liked to read out loud because many students process information verbally. She said she'd never had anyone come and talk to her about it before. Then she kind of diverted into nursing talk and being part of the group and she was nice and kind enough about it I didn't have the heart to argue anything more about it. I got my A and that was the end of it. ?

londonflo

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,184 Posts

On 10/6/2020 at 12:09 AM, Ms.DR34D said:

Majority of classes are not technical skills. Let us learn on our own time at our own pace. They still can hold proctored exams, but I feel like so much precious time is wasted.

Lecture is for theoretical skills and may touch on technical (such as a pharmacology course that discusses the 5,6,7 rights,) depending on the faculty and text. Before the internet and power point slides, the professor read/explained and the students wrote. Questions such as 'spelling?' 'can you say that again?' really limited how much we could cover and then it was "read the book". Students were assigned readings available in the library and even a second text. (the publishers got greedy on the published articles from their journals being xeroxed and started charging). Those sources were dropped. It seemed textbooks got thicker.

   Fast forward to Power point...the slide format was never intended to be the whole of an instructor's thoughts. Just a shorthand so to speak. Then we started printing them, and students got a copy and IMO the whole thing fell apart. We have students who highlight every slide, those who spout out "you skipped a slide, do we need to know that" etc. I was always evaluated by my Dean as needing a minimum of 3 sources for each topic in my lectures (current textbook would count as one) and I complied.

   Students began sleeping or 'having side-bars during lecture'. Many ended up watching Youtube or texting eachother. -- believe me, a faculty member can see when a text is circulating around a classroom. Does it effect our opinion of students seriousness to study - you betcha!

Sometimes students will miss a lecture, ask for the Power point and ask 'did I miss anything?'. 

Believe it or not but holding set lecture times is still the best way to teach a classroom of students. As research has shown, the best way to learn the required content is 'to be somewhere within the classroom when the content is presented'!  Yes you think you can learn it on your own. Set your own time limits and study times. But too much time for studying will get away from you and you will be scrambling to catch up. 

Look, I am an independent learner who learns best by reading the book (on my own). You may be too. But you are preparing for an extremely important professional role. Immerse yourself in every learning experience, even if you think you can do better than the professor (being a professor, everyone who learned my job felt obligated to tell me how to do it -- a lot like parenting) If you have a better way to teach, don't forget to do the minimum of 6 years post grad and then effect some change!

Quote

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like a lot of class work is just fluff?

While it may not be obvious to you, there is a purpose to what is taught. No one wants to add something to the curriculum that does not tie into a task/trait/or action of a nurse. Limit closing your mind to these discussions/activities until you are licensed and functioning in a professional nurse role. You will be surprised at what comes back to you and you will understand and value the preparation you have received.

FiremedicMike

FiremedicMike, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED RN, Firefighter/Paramedic. 319 Posts

So I’m a blended student.  We meet once every other week for lab, where we have hands on practice with various nursing psychomotor skills along with a simulated patient.

All of my learning beyond that is self study.  Each week is broken down fairly well with readings, a recorded lecture, and assignments.  
 

Here’s my thoughts on the whole thing..

1.  Self study is a lot harder than most of us let on, especially when it’s material that actually matters.  It’s one thing to take the online sociology class with open note exams where you can breeze through and make bullet points, but nursing school isn’t even on that level.

2. Most people learn and retain best when they have a good instructor ask the right question to allow you to make the connections yourself.  If you have a question during self study and you Google it for the quick answer, you won’t retain it nearly as well as you would asking that question real-time to a quality professor.  Even if your professors are good at answering emails (mine are), it’s still not the same.  There is a a cadence of flow in an effective classroom that is lost during self study.

3.  Obtaining my bachelors online gave me 30% of the tools to succeed at blended, but honestly I think if I hadn’t been a life long learner in EMS and a paramedic for 20 years, I’d really be struggling.  Thankfully (thus far) everything we’ve learned has been building on things I’ve already seen or studied.  
 

4. Professors who read directly from slides should be taken out back, flogged, and face discipline with their states board of education.  They are a huge part of the problem.

TL:Dr - in person learning is superior, IMHO

londonflo

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,184 Posts

3 hours ago, FiremedicMike said:

in person learning is superior, IMHO

I agree and thank you for your thoughts.

 

3 hours ago, FiremedicMike said:

Professors who read directly from slides should be taken out back, flogged, and face discipline with their states board of education.  They are a huge part of the problem.

Wait until you are a beginner in presenting information to a disinterested group before you pass judgement but I agree new faculty need more support with developing interesting and memorable lectures. Where I taught at, new faculty inherited the lectures others were tired of.  And a capstone is no real orientation for the role.  And others with a focus of NP or CNL apply/are appointed because of the shortage of nurse faculty graduating with an education major. A practicum that lasts the whole semester better prepares them but new faculty do not hit the ground running (usually they have no real idea what they are getting into). New grads in the hospital now get 8 or more weeks orientation. New faculty deserve that and more so that they have time to acclimate. (PS. a new one hour lecture took me 6 hours to prepare - to add good photographs, embed short videos etc.) 

Sure developing better nurse faculty will take more $$ but  so does program evaluation to stay on top of what we need to teach.

FiremedicMike

FiremedicMike, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED RN, Firefighter/Paramedic. 319 Posts

56 minutes ago, londonflo said:

I agree and thank you for your thoughts.

 

Wait until you are a beginner in presenting information to a disinterested group before you pass judgement but I agree new faculty need more support with developing interesting and memorable lectures. Where I taught at, new faculty inherited the lectures others were tired of.  And a capstone is no real orientation for the role.  And others with a focus of NP or CNL apply/are appointed because of the shortage of nurse faculty graduating with an education major. A practicum that lasts the whole semester better prepares them but new faculty do not hit the ground running (usually they have no real idea what they are getting into). New grads in the hospital now get 8 or more weeks orientation. New faculty deserve that and more so that they have time to acclimate. (PS. a new one hour lecture took me 6 hours to prepare - to add good photographs, embed short videos etc.) 

Sure developing better nurse faculty will take more $$ but  so does program evaluation to stay on top of what we need to teach.

I’ve actually been an EMS instructor for many years and the last 5 years my primary responsibility where I work is training.  

 

Not everyone is capable of teaching and and thus not everyone should be forced to teach.  Like good nursing, teaching takes the right person with the right preparation.

 

you don’t even want to know how long it takes me to develop a lecture, but part of that is because I will make a slide or two (which for me is 3-4 “headlines” and a picture) and then I get distracted LOL

Newishnurse1995

Newishnurse1995

30 Posts

I only struggled with this when it was apparent that the professor had no clue what they were talking about and relied on power points entirely. Other professors used powerpoints to organize their thoughts. I often skipped lectures of those who used power points as a crutch. 

RN2b3

RN2b3

Specializes in student. 19 Posts

If students dislike it, imagine how they feel teaching it to a next cohort. ? 

 

Edited by RN2b3

FashionablyL8

FashionablyL8, CNA, LPN

Has 1 years experience. 142 Posts

One of my favorite instructors told us,"The power points aren't for you students- they're for me." She explained that they were for her- exactly as Newishnurse said, they help her organize her thoughts and outline the lecture. Some students printed them out and thought that was all that needed to learn, and got upset if something that wasn't on the PowerPoints was on an exam. 

I agree that the PowerPoints should only be a guideline and a maybe a tool for the students to learn. I am an independent learner and like to research and read on my own, but it helps me learn and stay interested when our instructors/professors explain so much more, add stories of personal experiences, etc. It's up to us students to listen, participate and study on our own.

We had a new instructor that only read the PowerPoints. It wasn't ideal but I figured I couldn't judge since there's no way I could get up there and teach the class! It was more difficult to stay focused in class though.