Effect of using a nursing-essential advanced organizer in a collaborative learning activity to learn pathophysiology
Utterback, Virginia A.
Pathophysiology, the study of disease, is a foundational subject within the curriculum of professional nursing programs. Nursing students in a pathophysiology course in 2008 reported difficulty discerning salient and essential information from textbook reading assignments. An educational intervention was developed to assist students in learning pathophysiology based on multiple theories from the constructivist paradigm. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention by retrospective analyses of exam scores using identical exam items found in corresponding exams in 2008 and 2009. Independent two sample t-tests were used to compare the mean exam scores of students using the educational intervention and students using the existing instructional method. The overall mean difference between 2008 and 2009 demonstrated that the scores of the students using the educational intervention exceeded the scores of students using the existing instructional method. The results of the study support constructivism as it relates to the education of nursing students.