Concept Mapping to Synthesize Knowledge and Apply Learning to Real World Case Studies

Professor Laurie HartmanLaurie Hartman teaches two courses in the School of Nursing’s Acute Care Advanced Practice Nurse Program (N610 and N573). N610 prepares the Clinical Nurse Specialists and Nurse Practitioner students to synthesize and apply knowledge to manage and negotiate health care delivery systems that address clinical management challenges. Interdisciplinary problem solving is a key component of the course. N573 is a medical management course focusing on acute health conditions in adults and older adults. Evidence-based, advanced practice nursing interventions are discussed in the context of age, culture, race, gender, sexuality, genetics, psychosocial well-being and socioeconomic status. Diagnostic reasoning and decision-making skills are among the main learning objectives. 

To help students apply content from readings and previous lectures and to practice decision-making, Hartman used Google Drawings as a vehicle for small group discussion activities during class. To prepare for class, she pre-populated a Google Drawing with a real-world problem or situation that required students to utilize knowledge and previously learned skills. Several copies of the same drawing were created and titled as Team 1, Team 2, etc., with 4-6 students assigned to each team. During class teammates would sit near each other and use their own laptop computers to access the drawings electronically. Students were encouraged to type answers and create visual representations of the problem and proposed solutions before them (see examples of student work below).  Student learning was enhanced through this visual mapping of concepts, student-student interaction, and reflective thinking. During the activity, Hartman accessed each team’s Google Drawing to monitor student thinking and to correct mistakes and point out gaps using the commenting and chat features. Students could also type responses back to the instructor. Time was reserved at the end of class to debrief various solutions generated by teams. During the debrief, Hartman displays each team’s drawing using the classroom projection system.

Concept map diagram

concept map diagram