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HESI® Compass™ Learning Sciences Overview with Christine Gouveia

By discovering areas of strength and weakness in their learning, students can figure out how to focus their attention on what they need to perform better in class, on the NCLEX®, and in their future nursing careers. HESI Compass was designed to personalize what students need to be successful with the principles of learning sciences.

Leading the efforts to optimize student experiences in HESI Compass, Elsevier Vice President of Learning Sciences Dr. Christine Gouveia shares her insights and gives clarity to how learning sciences can make a difference in nursing education.

What is learning sciences?

Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research that focuses on understanding how people learn. This includes the development of effective learning methodologies, environments, and strategies. Learning sciences draws from research in many scientific disciplines, like psychology and data science.

Researchers have made many discoveries about memory, motivation, and other concepts that contribute to our understanding of how students learn. When we apply these to nursing classrooms, faculty can use learning sciences to improve student outcomes.

Why is learning sciences important?

Some of the most effective learning experiences are grounded in learning science, which I think is very valuable for nurse educators. By applying learning sciences in the classroom, students can connect their content knowledge to the higher-order thinking skills they’ll need to pass the NCLEX. Learning science also provides insights to guide additional assistance students need to be NCLEX ready, such as study and test-taking strategies, stress and time management, and self-efficacy. For nursing programs facing pressure to reach high NCLEX pass rates and improve outcomes for diverse groups of nursing students, learning sciences can provide an answer on how to achieve that.

How do we apply learning sciences to our products?

With insights into how learning happens, we translate and apply established research into evidence-based instructional models for our products. It’s important to us to have our products backed in research that improves student learning, and to use that research to create high-quality learning experiences in our learning solutions. We also iteratively test the effectiveness, validity, and impact of those instructional models in our products. 

What does it look like in HESI Compass?

In HESI Compass, we use enhanced product development to ensure that we have a robust learning methodology that bridges the gap for students until they take the NCLEX. The learning methodology consists of an instructional model (which includes Bloom’s taxonomy) that is based on learning sciences research and contains elements for student support such as motivation and time management.  HESI Compass also includes evidence-based assessments to support students’ knowledge, identify areas of improvement, and inform course personalization.             

How do we measure effectiveness?

To ensure there is evidence to support the learning methodology, we put metrics into place and continuously measure student outcomes. We measure things like student performance, engagement, self-efficacy, and course satisfaction.  We collect data that enables us to understand how different types of learners interact with specific program components—such as study plans and self-reflections—and evaluate the effectiveness of those components in improving students’ NCLEX readiness.  What we learn from the data is then applied to HESI Compass to continually improve both our product and student outcomes.