The days of content-based learning are long gone in the nursing world. Today’s educators may recall teaching strategies used in nursing education back when they themselves were students and, in reflecting back, can really understand what’s different for today’s students and upcoming nurses.Today’s students are inundated with larger amounts of content to learn, and a shorter amount of time to grasp it. And guess what it means for you educators? It’s time to adjust your curriculums and adapt your approach to the way your students learn. And that happens only through a concept-based curriculum.
The Downfall of Content-Based Learning
Tola Pulsnick, DNP, RN, CPNP, Assistant Director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program at Weatherford College, explains that the differences between content-based learning and concept-based learning strategies in nursing education may or may not seem very apparent. In order to understand why concept-based learning works in nursing (and more so than content-based learning), we need to closely exam the differences between the two. Read more in Taking Conceptual Learning to the Bedside: Putting Concepts into Practice.
Content-based learning to many is considered the “traditional” method of learning. However, this more “traditional” method of learning really hasn’t helped students to learn in a productive way. Some may even argue that it’s only helped them to be great memorizers. Content-based learning focuses on:
Why Concept-Based Learning Gets an A+
Concept-based learning is an educational method that focuses on the overall big ideas and teaches students how to not only organize and categorize information, but how to apply it to a patient. Instead of content-based learning, which concentrates on the ability to recall specific facts in isolation, concept-based learning teaching strategies really focuses on the understanding of broader principles (concepts) that can be applied to bedside practice. Further, concept-based learning really focuses on:
Active Learning Techniques: Concept-based learning allows for an active learning classroom including things like case studies, situational questions, and application and evaluation level questions. These techniques allow students to take the knowledge imparted to them, consider concepts they’d like to utilize, and then put those concepts into practice.
Moving to a concept-based curriculum in nursing is really the only way to effectively teach students the material they need to become the nurses we rely on and depend on in today’s world. To learn more about the value on conceptual learning go here; nursingeducation.lww.com.