Nursing education and training are vital for preparing practitioners who can provide their patients with high-quality care. Many teaching and learning theories can be applied to better train future medical professionals for their role in the healthcare sector and communicate the skills and knowledge they will need. One such theory is collaborative learning that can be implemented to promote student engagement, confidence, and motivation.
Collaborative learning is an approach widely implemented in higher nursing education. It can be defined as “a set of instructional methods in which students are required or encouraged to work together to achieve a common learning goal” (Zhang & Cui, 2018, p. 378). According to Zhang and Cui (2018), the method is highly beneficial as students are encouraged to work together, enhancing their overall learning behavior. Furthermore, research shows improved clinical competency and nursing knowledge and performance among the student nurses engaged in collaborative learning (Zhang & Cui, 2018). Thus, the method promotes higher class engagement and facilitates peer learning, increasing motivation and self-confidence. As a clinical nurse educator, I would be thrilled to apply the theory by dividing students into several groups and offering them scenarios they need to respond to from real medical practice. These scenarios can be collected from other teachers and practicing nurses or physicians. Overall, working collectively on a problem promotes teamwork and a better approach to clinical practice.
In summary, collaborative learning theory can be successfully implemented in nursing education. It provides students with an opportunity to work together and learn from each other while sharing their knowledge on the assigned problem or scenario. The method also allows for the improvement of multiple skills, including teamwork, communication skills, and a variety of clinical skills. Thus, collaborative learning theory is appropriate for teaching future nursing practitioners.
Zhang, J., & Cui, Q. (2018). Collaborative learning in higher nursing education: A systematic review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 34(5), 378–388.