Using Film, Television, and Music in Teaching Graduate Nursing Students Concepts of Qualitative Research
Edmonds, Michelle L.
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Purpose: The use of qualitative inquiry in nursing research has gained momentum in the last decade. Nurse educators often find it challenging to teach concepts of qualitative inquiry to graduate and undergraduate students. The concepts of qualitative inquiry are often less easily understood by students than quantitative inquiry and, thus require exemplars from the professor to increase understanding. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of innovative teaching strategies to present concepts of qualitative inquiry in nursing research. Methods: Graduate nursing students completed traditional reading assignments and lecture on these concepts. Following this introduction, they then participated in watching a popular film "The Help" documenting the role of female African American domestic workers (cooks, nannies, housekeepers) living in Mississippi in the early 1960s. While the film is not a portrayal of academic research, it follows the process of a young Caucasian journalist who desires to tell the story of these women and their lived experiences. The graduate students were asked to identify concepts of phenomenology as represented in the film without assistance from the nursing professor. Other innovative teaching strategies included previewing a reality television program to learn concepts of ethnography and listening to popular music selections while reviewing the lyrics to simulate the write up of a phenomenology. Results: Not only were the graduate nursing students able to identify the concepts, but they also provided exemplars of the concepts including: gaining access to participants, reciprocity, snowball sampling, ethical issues such as maintaining confidentiality and avoiding harm, bracketing, and so on. Furthermore, the students indicated that this was a more effective and enjoyable teaching strategy by which to learn these concepts of qualitative inquiry opposed to traditional didactic lecture. Conclusion: Implications from this study lend credibility to the continued use of lay media as a teaching strategy for topics in nursing education.