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Researchers claim that the US health care system meets the dilemma in the nursing education field. On the one hand, the modern society suggests high demands to the level of medical service. On the other hand, the number of nursing staff and the quantity of available faculty that teach new nursing generations significantly decrease. Under the circumstances encouraging high-quality nursing education, there is the burning problem facing American educators. Educational innovations contribute to the teaching and learning process, creating a positive learning atmosphere for students and future nurses in particular. Examining the relevant issue of future innovations in contemporary learning education, the paper will discuss the aspects of implementing simulation and gaming strategies in the nursing education.
Taking into account the relativity of the innovations issue, I would initiate one of the perspective innovative strategies in teaching my course Nursing: The First Aid. Exploring the key educational innovations, such as Massive Open Online Course, adaptive learning technologies, flipped classroom settings, and gaming strategies, I have chosen the last one. Developing the course, I have studied numerous academic sources, dealing with the issue of simulation and gaming strategies. Studying examples of successful teaching strategies, I paid attention to advertising on the website of American Nurses Association about the program Healthy Nurse. In the form of a game, it involves the reader into the happy atmosphere of “a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal, and professional wellbeing”. Therefore, I have made the decision to focus on simulation and gaming strategies.
Current Usage of Simulation and Gaming Strategies
Experts find notions gaming and simulation similar, regarding the simulation as a type of games. They distinguish several current tendencies in gaming at lessons, drawing attention to implementing electronic games in educational process. This scenario comprises five major units, such as “pedagogy, psychology, media effects, design, and genre”. In its turn, the genre contains style, form, and game components. The researches highlight that all the elements are to be considered in cases of gaming and distance learning integration.
Simulation can be referred to as “the imitation or representation of one act or system by another”. The key goals of simulation are education, evaluation, exploring work, and health system integration. To achieve the above-mentioned goals, gaming should be widely implemented in forms of role-play, video games, and innovative high tech tools.
Simulation can contribute to creating true to live environment in a classroom. For example, students learn to perform injection using an orange as a patient. To undertake more difficult tasks, virtual mannequins are introduced. Looking similar to real people, virtual patients possess the same physiology as human beings.
Experts argue that gaming strategies are extremely promising. The most popular trend in the current teaching technique is promoting fun and engaging education. Gaming strategies completely meet these requirements. To illustrate, a well-equipped Midwest technical college provides new trends in nursing education. According to it, the syllabus, objectives, and evaluation recommendations are at students’ disposal on the Internet. However, including the elements of a game into lessons is not a new method. Teachers have been implementing it for nearly 80 years. In comparison with the traditional approach to teaching, gaming has the possibility to arouse feelings. In fact, new kinds of games contribute to better understanding not interesting or exciting information, nursing theory in particular. Moreover, students firmly keep in mind information that was perceived through emotions. Nevertheless, the implementation gaming into the nursing education faces certain challenges, because teachers often misunderstand the real goals of educators’ and public’s views on gaming.
Researchers do not develop the same attitude towards implementing gaming strategies in nursing education. To illustrate, Blakely is firmly convinced that gaming contributes to boosting teaching and educational process, in nursing education in particular. Royse and Newton support the aforementioned author, claiming that gaming approach is a successful innovative teaching strategy that should be widely implemented in nursing education. Nevertheless, Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, and Day do not agree with this opinion. They note that the student’s attention “may fall short of serious engagement with the practice of nursing. Whether the teacher intends it or not, games can reinforce the idea that guessing is acceptable”.
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Gaming Strategies: The Practical Usage
Nurse educators widely incorporate gaming strategies into the academic setting. To illustrate, two organizations, such as Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) and International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), currently use and share this innovation.
SSH specializes in intellectual games and creating effective digital environments in clinical learning and research work. The organization holds meetings, conferences, and festivals on the regular basis. Young perspective researchers participate and share ideas with their peers. For example, the 15th international meeting dedicated to the challenges of gaming in the learning process revealed names of young and talented scientists. Among the successful innovations, I appreciated the report “Tracheostomy care overlay system: An effective learning device allowing for the use of live patients, [and] a simulator for open surgery”.
Students are involved in the conference, making reports on the scientific themes related to gaming. To illustrate, student Joshua Ferge prepared a report regarding “a novel computer screen-based simulator for defibrillator skills training” that turned to be extremely interesting.
INACSL is a nursing institution that deals with research and learning teaching techniques. It grounds its activities on implementing simulation-based environment. In fact, it is “nursing’s portal to the world of clinical simulation pedagogy and learning environments”. Every year, it evaluates and awards the best researchers, educators, and students in the field. The organizers of the institution give the talented participants grants and other bonuses.
The Benefit of Simulation and Gaming Strategies
SSH and INASCL have benefited substantially from implementing and sharing gaming strategies. Their wide popularity in the scientific society and increased participation of researchers, educators, and talented students prove this fact. To illustrate, Society for Simulation in Healthcare arranged the 15th international meeting dedicated to the challenges of gaming in the learning process in January 2015. This event turned to be extremely popular worldwide. In fact, above 2,300 participants arrived to Louisiana from 56 countries.
The Ways Stimulation and Gaming Strategies Might Change Faculty Roles
Simulation and gaming strategies can dramatically change the role of the faculty, attracting creative students and developing their practical skills. In fact, both teaching staff and students are to be involved in the working process. Simulation would imitate various true to life situations. This strategy can be implemented by different ways. First, a teacher may ask the participants of the action to imagine the necessary circumstances. Second, various additional supplying equipment, from proper professional tools up to information technologies, can be introduced. In fact, I would highlight video and IT resources as the best ones to achieve successful results. Third, gaming strategies can be different in nature. As for me, I would choose business games while teaching nursing ethics. My point is that the above-mentioned strategy would contribute to developing students’ communicative skills and their ability to solve potentially conflict situations. For example, patients and their relatives often express very strong emotions while consulting a doctor, underlying medical treatment, or just discussing the process and results of medical procedures and test. In my view, nursing staff is to be prepared to act under such negative circumstances professionally. In some cases, nurses are expected to calm and encourage their patients; in others, nursing staff should clarify the necessary information to help their patients. I would highlight that there might be cases when nurses are to be prepared to ignore their patients’ strong emotions. All these extremely important professional ethics skills are to be obtained in business games as well.
Nurse Educator Preparation Strategy
Nurse educators should prepare themselves for incorporating elements of simulation and games into the teaching-learning process. In fact, gaming education should not be provided spontaneously. The educator should take into account the availability of teaching resources and determine time limits.
Educators may implement several strategies for introducing gaming into nursing education. First, teachers are to find one or two faculty members who are involved in innovative technologies. They would be responsible for initiating the new gaming technologies and consulting other students. In fact, involving other students may be more difficult. Nevertheless, the chosen leaders are to make their peers be interested in the process. Video games and educational programs may be used. These leaders are to be awarded for their participation in the event and mentoring their peers. Next, the team may join academic and professional institutions that implement stimulation and gaming. To monitor the process of gaming, teachers should widely use innovative appliances. The latter may include high definition cameras and screens of big size. Then, every participant of the gaming scenario is expected to be heard by other staff. Therefore, educators should consider the sound details and innovative technique for managing the process.
Pardue, Tagliareni, and Valiga give recommendations to introduce innovations in nursing education. Their advice can be successfully used in implementing gaming strategies. First, educators should study innovative trends in the pedagogies to boost nursing education and gaming activities in particular. Second, experts should evaluate modern research base approving or rejecting gaming strategies. This step will help gather evidence and fill the gaps between educational theory and practice. Third, teachers should hold meeting with their colleagues, students, and nursing staff. This activity would contribute to create, absorb, and assess gaming strategies. As a result, students would learn new information much better than under normal circumstances. Therefore, gaming strategies is the perspective approach contributing to quality of graduate education for current health care system.
A Framework for a Nursing Course
My course title is Nursing: The First Aid. It will include such key competencies as fast and professional diagnostics of health problems, giving the first aid to patients, and nursing ethics. Simulation and gaming strategies would be basic components of my teaching. I would employ gaming strategies in distant and online learning. In addition, I will encourage my colleagues to take active part in the preparatory work and holding events. I firmly believe that this course should have integrative nature. Therefore, I would suggest the administration and colleague to combine classes of several educational disciplines for obtaining better outcomes.
Implementation of Simulation and Gaming Strategies
I consider that my course Nursing: The First Aid will be successful and helpful because of implementing the latest teaching techniques, simulation and gaming strategies in particular. Teaching nursing ethics, I would include elements of business game into my course. Students would be involved in the real-life atmosphere, prescribing certain scenario, environment, their roles, and demanding to develop the proper decision in the situation. Under the scenario, my students will be supposed to find the answers to numerous questions, requiring critical thinking. Students are to discover activities that are the most suitable for introducing under the suggested circumstances.
Evaluating of Gaming Strategies within the Chosen Course
Introducing my course Nursing: The First Aid, I will implement peer feedback solicitation and evaluation. To solicit feedback from my nursing educator peers, I will involve them in arrangements and discuss the peculiarities of the working process and outcomes. My colleagues and students are expected to take active part in developing, preparation, and providing simulation and gaming activities. Perhaps, they would surf the necessary information on the Internet, consulting specialized websites. Finally, I will appreciate their assessment of the course, innovative techniques, and my students’ outcome.
Advantages of Chosen Innovation
Gaming strategies provide numerous advantages, such as developing confidence in own skills and abilities in students. What is more, gaming boosts the studying new information, encourages problem-focused learning, and stimulates student-learning result. Moreover, introducing gaming into the educational process contributes to active learning, develops critical thinking, and transforms classes into thrilling shows. These effects are achieved due to making a learning process similar to real-life events.
Gaming decreases nervousness, encourages participants of the gaming process to communicate and work in a team. It helps escape monotony at the lesson. It increases participants’ motivation and created successful environment for perceiving information. Finally, it is interesting and funny.
Disadvantages of Chosen Innovation
The main potential disadvantage of my course Nursing: The First Aid may suggest turning the lessons into a funny game, ignoring serious issues. To avoid this fault, I would recommend preparing carefully for the lessons. Proper instructing students and strict managing gaming process are extremely important. Players are often frustrated because of strong fear to give a wrong answer. The other disadvantage of gaming approach is the development of extremely competitive atmosphere at the lesson.
To evaluate the success of my teaching activities, I would introduce the evaluation of my students’ outcomes. It may be performed by using multiple choice testing or oral exams. I would implement IT technologies in testing because they have two positive results. First, they get students involved in the process. Second, they facilitate the checking of work. I focus on introducing well-developed assessment scale to evaluate the competitors’ success and their results. My students and colleagues will be asked to take part in the developing work. Finally, I will ask a person from the department to assess the outcomes of gaming activities. In my view, the evaluation of students’ outcomes by their peers and my colleagues would make the assessment fairer. Moreover, it will make students be competitive.
The Integration of Stimulation and Gaming Strategies into Future Courses
Having explored the specialized literature, I decided to implement simulation and gaming strategies in my future course. Nevertheless, simulation and gaming must not be the major part of my classes. I do not consider turning learning process into the complete fun to be a reasonable step. In fact, both teachers and students often forget about the topical goal of the class, being involved in gaming process. I will widely implement the innovative strategies. However, they will be used only as elements of the study, depending on the situation.
The modern society meets the challenge of providing high-quality nursing education. To solve the problem, innovative techniques are widely implemented into the teaching-learning process. Massive Open Online Course, adaptive learning technologies, flipped classroom settings, and gaming strategies are among them. Developing my future course Nursing: The First Aid, I chose simulation and gaming strategies as the core elements of my teaching technique.
Gaming strategies are extremely perspective in use. The most popular trend in the current teaching technique is promoting fun and engaging education. The reason is that gaming has the possibility to arouse feelings. This peculiarity contributes to good memorizing the obtained information.
The great popularity of the organizations SSH and INACSL in the scientific society and increased participation of researchers, educators, and talented students in their events prove the success of implementing simulation and gaming strategies. Gaming strategies provide numerous advantages, such as developing confidence in own skills and abilities in students as well as mastering the material.
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