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Video exam project brings nursing class together, while teaching and learning from home

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: September 25, 2020 5:00 a.m.

Nursing instructor Alex Hodson discusses the video produced by students and instructors
Nursing instructor Alex Hodson discusses the video produced by students and instructors Zoom

When the remainder of the Winter 2020 semester had to be completed online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and students had to quickly adapt. Nursing instructors Alex Hodson and Sue-Ellen White took the opportunity to try something they had never done before – give the students in their CNUR 103 class (Foundations of Care II: Professional Nursing) a video project to teach other students how to perform a skill (e.g., dressing a wound) for their final skills assessment exam.

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Nursing student Adamma Ejike-iloka
appears in the video
Photo: Provided by Adamma Ejike-iloka

Typically this skills assessment would have taken place in a lab and the students would have a list of skills they would need to know how to perform. The students would be randomly selected for one of the skills, and they would be given 20 minutes to perform the skill in front of a faculty member. With all of the students and instructors at home, Hodson and White asked students to produce a video of themselves at home demonstrating a dressing change or a removal of sutures. They were so impressed by how creative and well presented the students’ videos were, Hodson wanted to be able to share the videos with others. With 180 students in the class, that wasn’t a possibility, so she took clips from seven of the videos and created a quick five-minute video to showcase what the students were able to accomplish from their homes. The video is available on YouTube here. 

“One of our main goals was to make sure students would feel confident and prepared going into clinical, and we wanted them to feel like their learning wasn’t inferior,” says Hodson. “That was our motivation, and it was so great to see what students can do when you let them be creative and let them use their skills.” 

As the Winter semester came to an end, Hodson found that she was missing the connection she typically has with students when teaching face-to-face. Around the same time, she and her colleagues began to mark the videos. They started texting each other and talking about how impressed they were with the videos. Hodson also noticed that when the students were able to watch each other’s videos, they were excited to see what their classmates had done for the assignment. 

Hodson observed the videos being a shared sense of accomplishment among her colleagues and students. Despite the fact that everyone was at home and couldn’t see each other in person, they still shared a common bond with the video project. She also plans to use the videos as a teaching tool in future classes so that those students can learn from their peers. 

“I’ve always loved integrating technology into my classroom, and I think this has brought it more to the forefront,” says Hodson. “There’s so many fun things you can do with technology, I’ve found that it has inspired my teaching and it has made me excited to try new things.” 

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Nursing student Rachel Riendeau
demonstrates how to remove sutures
Photo: Provided by Rachel Riendeau

Adamma Ejike-iloka is now in her second year of nursing, and was initially a bit concerned about the project, because she had never made a video before. However, she found that her instructors were extremely flexible and were always available to answer any questions she had by email, by phone, or over Zoom. 

“It ended up being fun, because I did things at my own pace. When I would feel overwhelmed I would remind myself that it’s ok, because it is just me here,” says Ejike-iloka. “If people were watching me, I don’t think I could have executed what I did. I feel like it brought out the best in me.” 

Rachel Riendeau is also beginning her second year of nursing. With four online classes and a clinical in the Fall term, she will miss learning in a classroom with others but looks forward to doing her clinical in a hospital. 

“We were constantly assured by our profs that any skills we were not allowed to practice in person we would catch up on in our upcoming semester,” says Riendeau. “This year my clinical instructor let me know that they will make a point to highlight those skills and use them more in labs. She will make sure we get the opportunity to do it and she will be there with us.” 

The Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) is offered through a joint partnership between Saskatchewan Polytechnic and University of Regina, with campuses in Regina and Saskatoon. Both campuses also offer the After Degree Nursing Program (ADNP), which allows applicants who hold a degree in another field to complete the SCBScN program in six consecutive terms (two calendar years). 

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