• Ignite

Teaching-Learning Environments in Nursing Education and Staff Development

Updated: Mar 14, 2020

It is important for the educator to understand his or her own style of teaching and learning. When working with communities of learners, it is important to understand different learning styles and work to create a learning environment that is multifaceted and diverse. As societal influences and changes to the healthcare system erupt, nursing curricula must transform to meet the needs of the changing times. Student-centered learning environments engage diverse learning needs of each individual student to support collaborative success.

Nurse educators must be aware of their personal learning styles and philosophies. In the past, Heather took a computerized quiz for a nursing course that yielded results that displayed her learning style. The goal of the assignment was for the nursing students to understand how different people learn differently and the importance of assessing learning styles to deliver information in a way that will lead to improved understanding of targeted goals and outcomes. For example, if select learners work best with interpersonal connections, they may prefer to be part of active learning through mentoring or tutoring, or work on large group products to socially divide up tasks, while understanding all aspects of the projects. Another example can be seen in learners with naturalistic preferences. These learners may be more engaged in creating a living system for the material that they are trying to learn. Design of effective learning environments can be used to support learning development of expected outcomes. Effective learning environments are well planned for the given audience (nursing students/nurses) and purpose (to ignite learning!).

It is imperative that the nurse educator assesses each learner as individual learners with unique learning needs. Learning varies from person to person and the educator needs to determine individual learning needs, readiness to learn, and individual learning style, in order to develop unique teaching-learning plans. Considering learning styles by assessing, reviewing, and integrating instrument measurement can display how students learn best, along with their learning preferences.

Educational philosophies of progressivism, constructivism, and existentialism are rooted in a team approach to learning, where the students and faculty work together to support a positive learning environment. These philosophies are often used by nursing faculty in conjunction with one another to build the basis of today’s curriculum, mission statement, and overall program philosophy. Constructivist teaching is very relevant to today’s nursing education system, and can be integrated into nursing philosophy to support diversity in learning. A combination of individual and team assignments is key to meeting diverse learning needs.

Nurse educators can build student-centered learning environments where the sound of learning awakens!

Continued development is imperative for nurse educators. Faculty must continue to develop in order to offer current curriculum and educational learning resources that progress with changing times. Teaching and learning strategies have their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages and educating with awareness fosters a positive teaching and learning environment.