Monty D. Gross
Dissertation submitted to the faculty of the
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Curriculum and Instruction
Katherine Cennamo, Chair
Novem ber 10, 2006
Key words: instructional design, models, nursing education, developmental research
Copyright 2006, Mon ty D. Gross
Instructional D esign Thought Processes of Expert Nurse E ducators Monty D. Gross
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 memberchecked. 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 t he 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.
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This dissertation is dedicated to my mother who gave me the encouragement I needed. She always said, "I know you will do it. You put your heart and soul into it." Although she is far away, I hear her voice within me everyday. I also dedicate this work to all nurse educators. Your hard work and dedication to educating our future nurses is among the highest of callings. I hope this study helps you along the way.
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I would like to extend my deep appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Katherine Cennamo, my committee chairperson, for her support and guidance through this arduous process. She has been an advisor and role model. Thank you.
To everyone on my committee, Drs . Doolittle, Lockee, and Magliaro, I am honored that you volunteered to be on my committee. Your knowledge and experience have provided insights that guided me. The high standards and examples you set challenged me to expand my limits.
I would like to acknowledge and formally thank Dr. Ireta Ekstrom for her time and support while she was on my committee . Her perspective was valued because of her knowledge of instructional design and her experience in the healthcare environment. I would like to convey a special thank you to the faculty and staff at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. They are my colleag ues and my friends. I want to express my deep appreciation for the encouragement and patience they have continuously extended to me for over five years. A special thank you to Dr. Kathleen Williams and Clair Corbin. Dr. Williams participated in my pilot study, and she was my peer debriefer. Clair...