The development of an online problem - solving framework for students to explore case studies
Aims: The project aims to: 1.Provide a framework for the student to practise essential workplace skills such as thinking critically, analysing, making predictions and creating plans based on best available data in a simulated situation developed using authentic patient information and the knowledge of experienced practitioners. 2.Enrich the student's online learning environment with a flexible, self-paced mechanism to explore key curriculum concepts and procedures. Background: Simulated learning includes many modalities (Decker et al 2008). It is important to actively develop methods of providing engaging and meaningful learning experiences that assist the student towards success (Kolb 1984). This project has been undertaken to take online environments beyond rudimentary access to documents towards more student-centred activity in exploring key curriculum concepts and skills. Focusing on an authentic (real) case study; using a problem-solving approach an online resource has been developed that includes comprehensive patient assessment, an essential skill for graduates of Nursing. The student follows a patient journey through the acute care sector (hospital) and is exposed to "situations". This patient's journey includes the emergency department/ ward/ theatre/recovery and discharge. The resource enables the nurse to visit each area and be involved in 'care'. This project utilized the expertise of academics, a learning designer and an expert clinician. Methods: The core team selected a case and identified operational parameters. The brief was to identify, not only the decision points, but also critical thinking and reasoning and to consider possible options and appropriate responses in real time. The educational design included opportunity within the scenario for the student to revisit evidence and other reference materials (including additional client data). Initially feedback from the academic and clinical team members was used to revise the structure and some content; student feedback initially was through open discussion with actual field testing to come in the near future. An evaluation framework will be incorporated with the universities evaluation cycles of the subject in which this resource is placed. It is intended to assess / evaluate on a number of levels.