Foundational Skills and Competencies for Nursing Practice in Canvas

Dr. Elisabeth Bailey and Carla Ferreira believe there's more to Canvas than just being a place to store files or message students. They are pursuing the idea that Canvas, as a learning management system, can and should be used in more creative ways to help students stay engaged and succeed in their studies. 

Nursing students study group
UBCV Nursing students conduct group study in lab by Paul Joseph

With team-member Dr. Melissa Li Sheung Ying, Director of the APSC Centre of Instructional Support, Carla and Elisabeth have been accepted into the 2024 cohort of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Program to explore and develop the means to use Canvas and its features more effectively for student learning and knowledge transfer.

Nursing students in the undergraduate program have a lot to learn in a short time. This is particularly true of the Foundational Skills and Competencies for Nursing Practice (FSCP) courses where students experience the hands-on application of psychomotor skills such as taking one’s vital signs or infusing a medication intravenously. Before attending those hands-on sessions, students acquire the knowledge and rationale behind these tasks.

The driving force underpinning the team’s UDL project is the notion that Canvas can be employed in ways that make it easier for students to prepare for their labs and to be better supported in reviewing what they've learned. The team envisions using Canvas to provide checklists and infographics/visuals to help students remember important steps and interactive prompts to highlight key parts of what they need to learn. These cognitive aids can be available to students not only during their preparatory work, but also for the work they do during lab learning and clinical practice. 

In a fast-paced nursing program, being able to manage one’s own learning is crucial. Canvas can help with self-reflection through tools like discussion boards, where learners can reflect on and share what they have come to know, what they don’t fully understand, and what questions they still have about a topic presented in the course. This can happen before or after coming together in the lab. Nurturing this cognitive awareness in students will allow them to become more self-directed, reflective learners who can then help contribute to the shaping of their lab learning in a collaborative manner with the instructor.

Project Goals

By the end of this project, the team aims to:

  1. Use Canvas Effectively: Making it a great example for other nursing courses.
  2. Provide Accessible Resources: Offering learning materials in different formats to help all students.
  3. Incorporate UDL Principles: Using teaching methods that cater to all learning styles, especially for hands-on lab learning.
  4. Share Their Success: Teaching other faculty members about the project’s improvements to Canvas so they can use them too.
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