Journal of Nursing Education

Syllabus Selection: Innovative Learning Activity 

Number 1 in the Ratings: A Television-Based Learning Activity

Anne B. Woods, PhD, CNM; Elizabeth T. Jordan, DNSc, RNC

Abstract

There is no abstract for this article.

Abstract

There is no abstract for this article.

Number 1 in the Ratings: A Television-Based Learning Activity

Today’s undergraduate nursing students are a generationally diverse group. Although the average age at graduation from initial nursing education programs is 26.2 years, the range of student ages can span decades, encompassing Millenials (born 1982–2002), Cuspars (born 1975–1980), Generation Xers (born 1961–1981), and Baby Boomers (born 1943–1960). This diversity in age presents special challenges to nurse educators, who are typically Baby Boomers, with an average age of 46.8 years (Bureau of Health Professions, 2004).

Researchers have identified differences in each generation on the basis of a collective mind-set that individuals within the group share because of common life experiences (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002). Appreciation for the effects of generational characteristics on learning styles can facilitate more effective teaching methods in the classroom (Johnson & Romanello, 2005; Walker et al., 2006). Billings and Hallstead (2005) noted that across generations, teaching must be sufficiently varied to prevent boredom, enable participation, and be emotionally satisfying to be effective. The use of games in nursing and medical education has been reported in the literature as an effective mechanism to present new material, as well as to review previously covered topics, while enhancing critical thinking skills (Glendon & Ulrich, 2005; Howard, Collins, & DiCarlo, 2002; Ogershok & Cottrell, 2004). We report on an innovative use of a popular television show, American Idol (Lythgoe, Warwick, & Frot-Coutaz, 2002), in an undergraduate maternity nursing course as a strategy to build on previously learned concepts and incorporate critical thinking skills.

Role-Play Activity

Prior to the midterm examination, students are scheduled for a lecture on nursing care in labor and delivery (L&D). Rather than the traditional lecture, the instructor enters to the theme music of American Idol and is dressed as Simon Cowell, one of the show’s judges. Then the instructor introduces the new season, “American Idol Goes to Labor and Delivery.” The students comprise the audience, who give input to the panel of judges. Faculty or staff roll-play judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson. Another faculty member dresses up as various contestants, pregnant women who lip sync to songs for each stage of labor in hope of hearing the judges say, “You’re being admitted to L&D!” (Table 1). The audience answers questions about various aspects of the labor process, nursing interventions, rationale, and outcomes (Table 2).

Music for Stages of Labor

Table 1: Music for Stages of Labor

Script Example

Table 2: Script Example

Student Feedback: What Do the Ratings Critics Say?

Students have consistently provided enthusiastic positive feedback on this teaching strategy. Using a Likert scale of 1 through 5, with 1 being least helpful and 5 being most helpful, undergraduate students (N = 75) gave a mean rating of 4 to “American Idol Goes to Labor and Delivery.” Within the overall course evaluations, the mean scores for variety and effectiveness of teaching strategies were consistently higher than those for school mean scores.

Qualitatively, students commented, “I loved the use of skits to that of just lecture and PowerPoint® [presentations]” and “It made remembering a lot of material easier!”

Conclusion

Additional research is needed to further evaluate the effects of this teaching strategy, ideally with the use of a randomized pretest and posttest design. However, this activity has proven to be entertaining, yet intellectually challenging, for the students and energizing for the faculty. We continue to incorporate new songs and themes from the current American Idol season, which keeps the presentation fresh.

Anne B. Woods, PhD, CNM
awoods1@son.jhmi.edu

Elizabeth T. Jordan, DNSc, RNC
Johns Hopkins University
School of Nursing

References

  • Billings, DM & Halstead, JA2005. Teaching in nursing (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
  • Bureau of Health Professions. 2004. The registered nurse population: National sample survey of registered nurses, preliminary findings. Retrieved February 2, 2006, from http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/healthworkforce/rnsurvey04/3.htm
  • Glendon, K & Ulrich, D2005. Using games as a teaching strategy. Journal of Nursing Education, 44, 338–339.
  • Howard, MG, Collins, HL & DiCarlo, SE2002. “Survivor” torches “Who Wants To Be a Physician?” in the educational games ratings war”. Advances in Physiology Education, 26, 30–36.
  • Johnson, SA & Romanello, ML2005. Generational diversity: Teaching and learning approaches. Nurse Educator, 30, 212–216. doi:10.1097/00006223-200509000-00009 [CrossRef]
  • Lancaster, LC & Stillman, D2002. When generations collide: Who they are, why they clash, how to solve the generational puzzle at work. New York: Harper Business.
  • Lythgoe, N, Warwick, K & Frot-Coutaz, C (Producers). 2002. American idol [Television series]. Los Angeles: FOX.
  • Ogershok, PR & Cottrell, S2004. The pediatric board game. Medical Teacher, 26, 514–517. doi:10.1080/01421590410001711553 [CrossRef]
  • Walker, JT, Martin, T, White, J, Elliott, R, Norwood, A & Mangum, C et al. 2006. Generational (age) differences in nursing students’ preferences for teaching methods. Journal of Nursing Education, 45, 371–374.

Music for Stages of Labor

Stage of LaborSong/Reference
False labor“Under pressure” by Queen & David Bowie
Queen, & Bowie, D. (1981). Under pressure. On Soul brother [7” vinyl]. New York: EMI.
Early labor“Boulevard of broken dreams” by Green Day (lyric: “I walk a lonely road”)
Green Day, & Armstrong, B.J. (2004). Boulevard of broken dreams. On American idiot [CD]. Burbank, CA: Reprise.
Active labor, nonpharmacologic pain management“Breathe (2 am)” by Anna Nalick
Nalick, A. (2005). Breathe (2 am). On Wreck of the day [CD]. New York: Columbia.
Active labor, pharmacologic pain management“Something for the pain” by Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi, J., Sambora, R., & Child, D. (1995). Something for the pain. On These days [CD]. Los Angeles: Mercury.
Second stage/birth“Dare you to move” by Switchfoot (lyric: “Welcome to the planet”)
Foreman, J. (2005). Dare you to move. On The beautiful letdown [CD]. New York: Columbia/Sony BMG.
Third stage“Lightning crashes” by Live (lyric: “Lightning crashes, a new mother cries, her placenta falls to the floor”)
Live. (1994). Lightning crashes. On Throwing copper [CD]. New York: Radioactive Records.
Fourth stage“We are family” by Sister Sledge
Edwards, B., & Rodgers, N. (1979). We are family [Recorded by Sister Sledge]. On We are family [CD single]. New York: Cotillion Records.

Script Example

Instructor: So let’s bring out our first contestant, Ima Vertex. [Audience applauses.]
Simon: Ima, you’re a primigravida at 38 weeks gestation. What song will you be presenting for us today?
Ima: Oh Simon, there are just so many things happening at the end of the third trimester. This song really says it all. [song: “Under pressure”]
Simon: Stop right there … enough! That is possibly the worst rendition of labor I’ve ever heard! Ima, this is your first baby and you’re singing about pressure—of course you feel pressure! That baby’s dropping into the pelvis. But I didn’t hear anything about contractions or ROM! Just leave; you’re not ready for L&D.
Ima: Oh please, I know I’m ready. Let me go to L&D. How am I ever going to know when it’s time? I’m so nervous!
Simon [to audience]: Students, what can you tell Ima about the difference between true and false labor? [Students differentiate between signs of true and false labor.]
Simon [to audience]: What would be your nursing diagnosis for Ima? [Answer: Anxiety related to knowledge deficit; alteration in comfort related to physiologic changes in late pregnancy]
Simon [to audience]: What would be your nursing intervention? [Answer: Patient teaching; anticipatory guidance; comfort measures for late pregnancy]
Simon [to audience]: And what if the nurse did not teach Ima? What could happen then? [Discussion begins about effects of knowledge deficit on pregnancy outcomes.]

10.3928/01484834-20080601-10

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