Teaching Tip: From Book to Beyond

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The PLC (Professional Learning Community) will be providing the teaching tip of the week throughout the academic year in support of their goal of interdisciplinary collegiality.

A primary goal of faculty in higher education is to assist the student to learn information and pass their courses with the end goal of graduating. However, a greater goal is to teach the student how to transfer their learning to actual situations after they graduate and are working in their fields. According to Halpern and Hakel (2003), “The purpose of formal education is transfer” (p. 38).

How can we as educators accomplish this? One of the main approaches used to encourage long-term retention is to repeat the information using a variety of different teaching techniques. One way that is currently being used in a course in the Nursing program is to first present the information during class time, then repeat the information a week later with a different instructor using different methods of instruction. As there are a variety of learners in any classroom setting, it is important that instructors use a variety of methods to include the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

My role as a Student Success Faculty member in the College of Nursing is to ensure that students, particularly those at-risk, are provided methods that will enable the student to learn the information not only for testing purposes but for application throughout the remainder of their career. I present information using visual and auditory stimuli, such as scenario YouTube videos, and encourage each student to synthesize information that was learned by asking questions and/or by providing answers to posted PPT questions in guided discussion. As I am not the primary instructor, the students often feel freer to express concerns related to classroom material in a non-threatening environment, thus lowering their anxiety which can inhibit learning (Snyder et al., 2010).

Halpern, D.F. & Hakel, M. D. (2003). Applying the science of learning to the University and beyond. Change, July/August 2003.

Synder, H.R., Hutchison, N., Nyhus, E., Curran, T., Banich, M.T., O’Reilly, R.C., & Munakata, Y. (2010). Neural inhibition enables selection during language processing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107(38), p. 16483-16488.

~Lynn Cope, cope@uta.edu, Student Success, College of Nursing

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