Using the TPACK model to Increase Digital Skills and Pedagogy in Graduate Nursing Education Students
Levitt, Cheryle G.
Lewis, Mary Patricia
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: As 21st century teaching and learning occurs in multiple and diverse environments and is directed towards multi-generational learners, educators must be skilled in the application of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. The current nursing faculty shortage (Nardi & Gyurko, 2013) is compounded by faculty who have had little or no exposure to technology-based pedagogies in their graduate programs or in current nursing curricula (Griffin-Sobel et al, 2010). Nurse educators are charged to transform teaching to prepare nurses for roles in technology-rich health care environments (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010). The limited preparation of educators to use digital pedagogy (Johnson, Adams-Becker, Estrada, & Freeman, 2014), has resulted in many nursing curricula with low technology integration, and graduates with insufficient preparation in information and digital literacy and pedagogy skills. Student comfort and experience with the use of technology in the classroom is growing exponentially, thus there is a significant gap in current faculty preparation to meet this need. The purpose of this study, funded by a State University of New York Innovative Instruction Technology Grant, is to increase technology-based pedagogical skills in graduate nursing education students through implementation of an online instructional program, framed by the TPACK model. TPACK focuses on the convergence of digitally based instructional practices across three primary knowledge domains: technological, pedagogical, and content (Koehler, Mishra, & Cain, 2013). Using highly interactive strategies, tools, and methodologies, this instructional program promoted digital skills and effective contemporary teaching methodologies. Methods: The purposive sample (n=23) were master's level students specializing in nursing education. A learning program was developed comprised of four online modules, self-paced for assignments, and with a strong component of peer-to-peer interactivity. Developed by the study team and instructional designers, each module addressed one or more of the TPACK knowledge domains. A pilot study to validate the content, teaching and learning approaches, and functionality of the learning program was conducted with experienced online nursing faculty (n=7), who completed the four modules, and then provided detailed course evaluations. The study intervention for the graduate students used a mixed methods, pretest-posttest design, with the TPACK-deep Scale (Yurdakul et al, 2012) as the instrument for measurement of technology-based pedagogical competencies. Results: There was a completion rate of 87% (n=20) for the learning program. Descriptive statistics and pretest-posttest measurement using the TPACK-deep Scale, with analysis by dependent groups t-tests comprise the quantitative results. Qualitative measures include open-ended questions from the course evaluations, evaluated using content analysis. Limitations include students' varying levels of pre-existing knowledge and skills related to technology, and differing stages of progression within the graduate program that may influence the development of TPACK skills. Complete analysis of results will be completed in February, 2016. Conclusion: Through application and synthesis of the TPACK domains, graduate nursing education students completing this program can make more informed and educated choices about integrating technology into class design and delivery, for future use in their roles as educators. It is anticipated that educators with increased digital pedagogy skills and literacy can advance the integration of technology into nursing curricula, providing diversity of learning experiences, and will better prepare students to become information literate and function effectively (Griffin-Sobel et al, 2010) in technology-rich learning and healthcare settings.