Author Archives: Kelly Beischel

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A System to Prevent a Student Mob

by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I remember the second time I debriefed graded tests like it was yesterday. A student mob broke out. I was squeaky green new to teaching and erroneously thought I was well prepared. I distributed the tests and individual test result forms and asked students if they had questions. We were about halfway through the test and 15 minutes in, when a student disputed a test item answer. I stood my ground and repeated my rationale for the answer. She indignantly voiced her opinion about my rationale. Then much to my dismay, others joined her parade of indignation. The noise level of the class escalated to a disturbing level. The only mentoring I ever received on this topic was to forgo debriefing tests in class. My response? I calmly instructed the students to return their tests. I packed up my belongings (cursing myself inwardly for bringing so many items to class). I told the class of students, “I don’t appreciate your unprofessional behavior. And I’m not obligated to put up with it” And I left. (Yes, kinda like, “I’m taking my ball and going home.”) I’m still trying to decide whose behavior was more unprofessional – theirs or mine. 🙂 I went to my office baffled. […]

A Thanksgiving Reader

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Happy Thanksgiving week. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love it because this is a time of year that calls for reflection. Reflection on all the good things in my life for which I am grateful. I want you to know that you’re on my gratitude list. Thank you for letting me into your life. And most importantly, thank you for bringing your knowledge, passion, and love for teaching and learning to the classroom and to clinical. Students deserve nothing less, right? Click here if you’d like to download this graphic as desktop background. * Click on link. Save image. Click on Control Panel. Click on Display. Click on Personalization. (Or click on Personalization directly from Control Panel.) Cliclk on Destop Background. Browse for image. Click on Save changes. Did you know that having a spirit of gratitude is beneficial to your body, mind, and spirit?  Especially when it becomes a part of your daily practice. What’s not to love about that? It’s free. It’s simple. And it doesn’t take much time. So in this spirit of gratitude, I’m trying something new this year. Together, let’s make a list of the things for which we are thankful. Simply click on my Facebook […]

How to improve student test scores and get inside their heads

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I’m a long time believer in authenticity and transparency. In all things, really. Always have been. So, as you can imagine, it comes natural to me to want to debrief teaching and learning activities. Debriefing is a transparent reflection strategy, where team members reflect upon a recent experience, discuss what went well and identify opportunities for improvement. The reflection can be about a case study, simulation scenario, patient outcome, writing assignment or test. In fact, in our simulation study, students indicated that debriefing was the most beneficial feature of the simulation. I wonder if students would say the same for debriefing tests? Wow, wouldn’t that be a great research question? Sorry, I can’t help myself. I think in teaching and learning research questions.) 🙂 In this series of articles concerning why students don’t score well on tests, we first discussed the use of cognitive wrappers, a reflection strategy that students use to examine their test performance and study strategies, and to plan their improvement strategies. Debriefing graded tests is a magical reflection strategy to examine why students didn’t score well on their test and how to improve student test scores. Students and faculty connect, using this reflection strategy together.  Debriefing: Reflection Strategy #2: I’ve witnessed […]

Reflection strategies to determine why students scored poorly on their test

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE The beauty of fall brings me to tears. The varied hues of reds and oranges mixed with the yellows and greens is like eye candy. Wouldn’t you agree? Yesterday I was driving down a rural highway to my dentist’s office (making appointments and knocking out procrastination :)) while admiring the eye candy around me. My thoughts turned to why leaves change color. And for the life of me, I couldn’t remember why. I will admit that I panicked a bit, wondering if this is a sign that I’m losing my memory. Oh sure, I could Google it. And I did. But, I know I previously learned this material. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever forgotten a lesson that you’re sure you learned in grade school, high school, or even college? And have you felt like “I should know this?” This happens to our students too, right? Playing the ‘Should’ Game In fact, when students fail to score well on a test the default thinking I hear from many professors is, “I ‘covered’ the material. They should know it.”  Yes? or Yes? Or “I taught them how to __________ (fill in the blank with a skill). They should be competent.” Yes, these statements […]

A Rapid Fire Strategy to Stimulate Positivity in the Classroom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Why ask students what’s new and good in their life? Well, I’ve discovered that infusing positivity at the beginning of classes, meetings, retreats, or coaching calls puts participants in a positive frame of mind. And why is this important? The literature bears out that positive moods produce broader attention, more holistic thinking and more creative thinking in students. How cool is that? Positivity Intervention The intervention is quite simple really. Ask a few students at random “what’s new and good” at the beginning of class. And then wait for their answers.   Additional Benefits Students’ answers give us insight into what’s going on in their lives and it positions students to embrace positivity, to embrace gratitude as a way of life. That’s a win-win in my book. I remember the first time I asked my students in class, “what’s new and good?” They looked at me with baffled expressions. So, I explained, “I’m asking what is new in your life that you are happy about and grateful for.” In the beginning, they had difficulty coming up with an answer. I patiently waited while they scrambled to think of anything that was good. As this persisted over a few weeks, some would even say to me, “you’re […]

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