Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Instructional Methods

Lesson-level objective:  
Analyze communication techniques following an audio/visual presentation of conflict

One method that could be utilized to effectively teach communication is through lecture. A lecture could easily occur during a class period of students obtaining their undergraduate degree in nursing. I would start by explaining the goals and objectives of the lecture so that everyone is on the same page. I would explain that conflict is a part of everyday life and it will happen in the workplace. With this in mind, I would say that proper and effective communication help to resolve conflict. I would stress the importance of effective communication and how detrimental it can be if there is poor communication between people, whether it is between coworkers or patients and their healthcare providers. The lecture would be supplemented with a PowerPoint presentation. I would then present basic information about communication including verbal and non-verbal cues. I would explain that listening is a form of communication. I would also speak about appropriate and inappropriate language in the healthcare setting. As the lecturer, I would add my own experiences about good and bad communication to the lecture to contribute to their further understanding of the subject. I would also explain that ‘winning or losing’ is not the goal of resolving a conflict. It’s important to listen to everyone involved and come up with a solution together. In conclusion, I would summarize what had been said during the lecture and allow time for questions.

Another method of teaching that could be used to teach effective communication to a group of undergraduate nursing students is group discussion, specifically a case study. In a classroom setting, I would pass around a paper with background information on a patient. It would also include the current situation leading them to hospitalization. There would be a number on the top of the paper that would group students with each other. After reading the information, the students would break of into the smaller groups and discuss the situation. I would have them discuss their own personal experiences with good or bad communication. I would also have them discuss the needs of the patient and how they, as healthcare providers, would create an environment that would allow for effective communication with the patient. I would walk around to each group to listen to what was being said and direct their discussion if necessary.

A different method to teach effective communication is through role-playing. This method works well with undergraduate nursing students because it provides an opportunity to experience and prepare for a situation they will encounter in the future. This type of a situation would work well with classmates playing different parts. Each participant would be given information about the situation just prior to the role-playing. The participant playing the role of disgruntled co-worker or patient/family member would be given instructions on how to act in the scenario. The nursing student would then participate in the communication with the other person to work through conflict. A debriefing would take place afterwards where participants could safely talk about the scenario.

Lastly, effective communication might be taught through self-instruction. This type of teaching would work well with undergraduate nursing students who are busy and need more time than one class period to go over the material. The lesson would be open over a one-week period. A textbook chapter about communication would be assigned for basic understanding of core principles of communication. A PowerPoint presentation with voice-over recordings would also be assigned. Supplemental readings and videos would be available to the learner for further understanding. This could be completed at any time during the weeklong period as long as it is completed by the time the lesson closes.

One advantage of a lecture is that it provides background information for future learning. A disadvantage is that it doesn’t provide learners an opportunity to actively participate and can lead to boredom.
An advantage of a case study is that each person can share his or her feelings or personal experiences providing a more active way of learning. A disadvantage would be that one or two learners might dominate the discussion leaving little opportunity for shy learners to become involved.
One advantage of role-playing may include the opportunity to discover personal feelings in a given situation. A disadvantage of role-playing is that roles can either be over played or under played so it doesn’t provide a good reality.
An advantage of self-instruction is that it allows the learner to go at his or her own pace providing them an opportunity to review the information. A disadvantage is that it requires high motivation and is not good for those who procrastinate.


Bastable, S. B. (2014). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for

nursing practice (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers

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