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The Public Health Crisis: What to Do When COVID-19 Disrupts Teaching

Every day, more and more new information is released in the United States on the COVID-19 pandemic. As a fellow nursing instructor, I am sure you are thinking the same thing as me: “Well, this is a first!”

You are most likely asking a lot of important questions: How am I going to have class with my students? Are they being allowed in the clinical setting? What can I do with them remotely if classes are cancelled?

Let’s have a conversation on what we can do to continue to the learning experience for our students no matter what happens!

When Students Can’t Go to the Clinical Setting

  1. Make the setting come alive with simulation! Whether you have high-fidelity or low-fidelity simulators, or you just have students, you can run simulations. All aspects of simulation — preparation prior to the simulation, the active engagement in a simulation, and the valuable debriefing post simulation — are all great learning opportunities. Simulation works to assist all students in critical thinking and growing clinical judgment. Elsevier has both SimChart® and Simulation Learning System products to assist you. The great news is that these can be in your Evolve account almost immediately post-purchase for use by you and your students.
  2. Case studies are another great method for growing students’ knowledge when you can’t be in the classroom. Students actively involved in group activities and sharing presentations of their case study responses is a worthy method of interactive learning. Case studies can be completed “solo” as well. Elsevier has over 100 unfolding case studies on various topics as a part of the HESI Case Studies, as well as Clinical Case Studies in SimChart unfolding for all different student levels of education. There is a well-respected case study textbook that I would also recommend, Clinical Reasoning Cases in Nursing. It probably goes without saying that there are case studies in every textbook Elsevier publishes, so don’t discount the texts you already have with great case studies in them, too.

When the Campus is Closed, BUT I Can Teach Remotely

  1. Using a webinar-based tool such as Zoom, WebEx, Go to Meeting, etc. is a great method to stay in touch with your students. Check with your school — they may already have a tool that the administration uses for which you can get an additional account. These are easy-to-use products that the business community has relied on for years. There are many inexpensive or no-cost tools in this area to try as well for temporary solutions.
  2. Discussion boards in your LMS are another way to hold virtual classes. Set up assignments, have students work collaboratively, and add your notes to the discussion as a great method of assisting student learning.
  3. Text your students! Do you know that 98 percent of texts are opened, while only 20 percent of emails are read? Let’s communicate with the students in real time. Text them. You can set up group texts that go to all students at once. Use Google to find out how to do that on your mobile device, or just ask one of your students! They all have a cell phone!
  4. Record your lecture and send it to your students. There are many ways to do this, including adding voiceovers to your PowerPoint® presentations or using tools like Camtasia, Snagit, Screenflow, and others. There are YouTube videos on best practices for recording — just Google “How to Record Lecture.”
  5. Ask your Elsevier Education Solutions Consultant about Sherpath — the one-stop tool for teaching remotely! Sherpath is built specifically for healthcare education with fully integrated, digital teaching and learning technology. Faculty can build digital lessons while remote learning is underway at your school, and you can track how your students are doing with dashboards and learning analytics.

Lastly, please know you can do this! Nurses are the most resilient professionals and nursing faculty are the best! You all have the skills and knowledge. I always say: “If I didn’t learn something new today, it was a wasted moment in time!” Feel free to reach out to me or any of your Elsevier Nursing Education Specialists with questions.

For the latest evidence-based health and medical research on COVID-19, visit our Novel Coronavirus Information Center.

For resources and advice on teaching remotely, click here.

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