Instructional Design Thought Processes of Expert Nurse Educators

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Virginia Tech


This study explores how expert nurse educators design instruction. Six female expert nurse educators volunteered to participate. Each participant had over ten years experience teaching, and all were recognized for their teaching excellence. They also had master's or doctoral degrees. Participants worked in small private schools, community colleges, or large public universities. The methodology was based in developmental research. Qualitative data sources included interviews, think-aloud protocols, and artifacts. Interviews and think-aloud protocols were audio-taped, transcribed, and member-checked. Artifacts, such as course packets and participant-authored books or interactive CDs, were collected. Data was coded and triangulated. Event-state diagrams and narratives were developed and member-checked. A between-subjects approach also was used to analyze data to develop a composite diagram and narrative that describes how expert nurse educators design instruction. Results indicate that the participants generally followed the steps of analysis, design, develop, implement, and evaluate (ADDIE), as they design instruction. Little was mentioned about actually developing material. However, six key elements were common among the participants. Enthusiasm, meaningful, prior knowledge, engaged, faculty-student relationships, and faculty preparation were common themes that the faculty found important in their process of designing instruction. This study provides information to build a knowledge base on instructional design in nursing education. It may also foster discussion to improve the effectiveness of how nurse educators design instruction.



developmental research, nursing education, instructional design, models