Active Learning in Nurse Anesthesia Didactic Education

Giffin, Rice
Sweet, Caala
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Active learning is an innovative pedagogical approach to teaching where instructional methods other than lecture allow students to become active participants in their education during didactic sessions. Many disciplines within graduate-level medical and healthcare education report positive outcomes with active learning implementation; however, a gap in the literature exists regarding nurse anesthesia educators' understanding and use of active learning in the didactic setting. An online anonymous survey, including demographics, qualitative questions, and ordinal quantitative questions, was performed by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Data analysis revealed how nurse anesthesia didactic faculty were implementing active learning prior to and after the COVID-19 pandemic began, with frequency distribution for the pre-pandemic period, and an assessment for pandemic-induced modifications to active learning strategies/implementation. Study findings included quantitative evidence on the implementation of question and answer, computer-based interaction systems, peer-teaching, formative quizzes and surveys, cooperative learning, case studies, application activities, and cooperative case work. Qualitative analysis demonstrated methods prior to the pandemic closely aligned with this evidence, while exhibiting varying degrees of student involvement. Continued analysis showed many nurse anesthesia educators had attempted to adapt active learning techniques/implementation due to pandemic-induced teaching restrictions and that most of those educators did not previously have methods in place to ease the transition. The implications of this study are profound when the concept of engagement is considered, where engaging students is constructing knowledge, allowing for further discussion and exploration, enhanced implementation, and future innovations in active learning within nurse anesthesia didactic education.
active learning, nurse anesthesia, evidence-based, didactic