Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Study results, adjust instruction: Improving western Kentucky nursing education

Check out a great National Public Radio story: Western Kentucky Community and Technical College figured out that the Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology was a major barrier for many students who want nursing careers--and didn't accept that result.

Instead, WKCTC analyzed the problem and looked for instructional solutions:
"You're not taking this class as just an elective," Dean Karen Hlinka says. "You're taking this class as building the foundation for the rest of your education. So you've got to get it."

Hlinka realized that a lot of her students just weren't ready. They knew how to memorize, but they didn't really know how to think. So the school set up a special class, which teaches just the first six weeks of a whole semester. It began integrating how to read the textbook into class lectures, instead of just what's in the textbook.
With the new approach, WKCTC is reporting passing rates 20 percentage points better than the national average, giving clear evidence of success with an impressive improvement to teaching and learning.  

Added tip: for the fullest excitement, I recommend listening to the broadcast version: I think it's more detailed and energetic than the website text!

--Posted by Susan Perkins Weston

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!