Nursing Professor Pioneers Technology to Engage Millennial Students

According to Forbes, 39% of millennials say they interact with their smartphones more than with people.

This focus on tech shapes the way millennials approach the world and their education. In fact, research has found that millennial students respond particularly well to high levels of interaction, clearly defined goals, and technology in the classroom. But what kinds of tech are the most effective?

Dr. Ali Galindo was just one of the many educators on a mission to find out.

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Millennial Students

The Challenges of Teaching Millennial Nurses

Dr. Galindo is a clinical assistant professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). She’s taught at four different universities around the U.S. and considers herself an early adopter of innovative technology in the nursing field. Dr. Galindo has been on an ongoing search for the right technology to address her biggest challenges on the job, including difficulties her students face. 

Millennial Learning

Dr. Galindo has observed that millennial students often respond better to visuals and technology instead of traditional lectures.

“Baby boomer educators can’t expect this crop of students to learn the way we did,” says Dr. Galindo. “Millennials have a very digital learning style. They grew up with an iPad in their hand, so it makes sense that they need a different approach. If we want them to succeed, we have to meet them halfway.”

Millennial Students

Her observations are right in line with other educators at Northern Illinois University and Cornell University: millennial students are diverse and crave more interaction and more technology in the classroom.

Soft Skills Acquisition

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey gathered information from over 10,000 millennials. The report found that the vast majority of millennials struggle with interpersonal skills in their careers, and yet every graduated nurse is expected to have strong oral communication on the job.

At UMass Boston, CCNE accreditation requires proof that nursing students have mastered oral communication skills, the exact area where millennial students fall short. Dr. Galindo knows from experience that her students need help in this area, but improving their soft skills and demonstrating this improvement to CCNE is far from easy.

Lack of Confidence

The Deloitte Survey also found that millennials lack self-confidence in their professional abilities. As she’s taught millennial nurses, Dr. Galindo has observed that students are eager to improve, but they often aren’t sure what they’re doing wrong.

“Students come to my office all the time asking for feedback,” says Dr. Galindo. “They’re hungry for it, but there’s never enough time to give them as much one-on-one attention as I’d like.” But personal interaction with their professor is exactly what these students want and need to get better.

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Faculty Fatigue

On top of Dr. Galindo’s already large workload, she’s required to grade every student’s skills check-off in the simulation lab. At the end of each semester, Dr. Galindo and her colleagues spend a week of 12-hour days assessing hundreds of students one by one.

“I would complete these check-offs with the assistance of four other faculty because there’s no way I could assess 100 students in one week. And there’s no way there’s not going to be bias because I’m tired.”

After hours in the lab, it’s impossible for nursing faculty to be completely objective with every assessment, not when they’re hungry and exhausted. But the faculty still strive to make sure every student gets an equal chance at feedback.

All of these challenges prompted Dr. Galindo to hunt for the right solution to engage her students in the learning process and help her give more feedback. A tool that would satisfy millennial students’ needs without alienating older, less tech-savvy students.

Now Dr. Galindo has discovered a video tool that’s solving her biggest teaching challenges and engaging her students all at once: GoReact.

 

Video and Feedback Combined

GoReact is a video-based assessment tool that’s making a difference in many nursing programs nationwide. The software allows nursing students in the lab to record themselves with any smartphone or laptop. After they upload their videos to the cloud, their instructor can review the video and leave time-coded feedback.

         Dr. Galindo immediately piloted GoReact in her nursing courses. Not only did the tool allow her to grade assignments asynchronously, it also helped her give students more targeted feedback than ever before.

Dr. Galindo also appreciates how universal GoReact is. The tool is digital enough to engage millennial students, but it’s also intuitive enough not to exclude older students. Better yet, GoReact addresses each of Dr. Galindo’s biggest teaching troubles.

millennial students

GoReact Solutions

Student Independence

Millennial students are more engaged while recording their videos and practice more when they see their mistakes. “A lot of centers have the ability to record,” says Galindo, “but this puts the responsibility on the student to record and submit an assignment. And students identify their own mistakes just from recording and watching themselves.”

Proof of Soft Skills

UMass faculty can now use GoReact to gather video evidence of students’ oral presentation skills. “Normally when the CCNE comes we show them a syllabus. But now I have a GoReact assignment for this. How nice is it to show a 30-second clip of a student presenting? The evidence of their skills is right there.” And Dr. Galindo now has an easy platform to critique soft skills right in the middle of an assignment.

Better, Contextual Feedback

Now Dr. Galindo shows students the exact GoReact timestamp where they can improve—even before they ask for feedback. Watching themselves on video is certainly humbling, but Dr. Galindo has seen firsthand how fast her students understand what they’re doing wrong and make meaningful changes to fix it.

Flexibility

Instead of a week’s worth of face-to-face check-offs, Dr. Galindo can now grade skills videos in half the time. “I finished all the check-offs in two days! And it was so much more objective because I have recorded, solid evidence. GoReact takes away the bias, provides objectivity, and makes grading so much more simple. It’s the flexibility of seeing a summative, high-stakes assessment of a student’s performance at your convenience.”

Millennial Students

Looking Forward

Dr. Galindo plans to leverage video even more to raise engagement and make assessments easier.

To help millennial students learn valuable peer-to-peer soft skills, Dr. Galindo will soon require students to critique peer videos in GoReact to spark collaboration and self-reflection. She also plans to use GoReact’s multi-camera feature to improve recordings in the lab. It can be difficult to capture a procedure with only one camera, and students often block it by accident. But GoReact can support up to six cameras simultaneously to make sure the instructors can see what students are doing and give them the credit they deserve.

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Beyond her added plans for GoReact in the classroom, Dr. Galindo has high hopes that the tool will eventually prepare her students for competent nursing practice out in the field.

“GoReact is extremely beneficial because it closes the academic/practice gap for nursing students,” says Galindo. “It provides valuable teaching moments asynchronously. Where else can you find that?”

To learn more about how GoReact is changing nursing education, visit goreact.com/nursing

GoReactWebsite
Sources
Rashid. “Two Reasons Millennials Leaders Struggle with Communication and How to Help Them.” Forbes.
Lynch. “Top Four Ways to Engage Millennials in Learning Environments.” The Edvocate.
Millennials: Our Newest Generation in Higher Education.” Northern Illinois University.
The Millennial Generation: Understanding & Engaging Today’s Learners.” Cornell University.

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