When it comes to being a clinical supervisor one of the daily tasks is often that of teaching students and other junior members. As such it is important that clinical supervisors understand the type of teaching strategies that can be used and incorporate several of these strategies into their daily work. Previously after having seen several different clinical supervisors within the workplace I have noticed that many supervisors tend to have a couple specific teaching strategies that they use. However, one of the more well-respected supervisors who is known for their teaching ability uses more than a couple strategies and tailors the strategies to the group of individuals, and the subject matter, they are teaching. While it can be difficult to learn and implement a wide assortment of teaching strategies I believe that it is an important part of becoming a good teacher and being a good supervisor.
Previous studies have shown that students can have many different types of learning styles. Generally, with respect to the fields of nursing and health care four types of learning styles are characterized. These are auditory, kinesthetic, read/write and visual. In addition, there are also several different approaches to learning which can be altered depending on the material/subject. These approaches are that of superficial, strategic and deep. Therefore, if a supervisor only uses 2 or 3 specific strategies they may not be able to effectively teach all the different types of learning styles (Samarakoon, Fernando, Rodrigo, & Rajapakse, 2013).
There are several different strategies that I have previously never adopted but would now consider adding into my daily supervising work. Two of these strategies which I am now considering adding are that of team based learning and inquiry-based learning. Team based learning is a teaching strategy in which individuals are placed into small groups and must work together to understand and learn the concept. Within a clinical setting this can be useful for teaching larger groups of staff/students. Within this strategy the emphasis is on working with the group to learn a particular concept (Clark, Nguyen, Bray, & Levine, 2008). One main benefit of this strategy is that in addition to learning the assigned task, individuals also must work on their communication and teamwork skills. This can also help to foster new relationships amongst the staff and can help new individuals become quickly and easily acquainted with the people they will be working with. As well, some individuals may not be willing to ask questions directly to the supervisor, but in a team based approach they are able to pose these questions to each other. Because of the versatility of this teaching strategy, it can also be used when educating staff on the implementation of a new protocol. By using a team based approach this can help reduce the demand on the time of the supervisor and maximize the number of individuals being trained (Koohestani & Baghcheghi, 2016).
In contrast to team based learning, inquiry-based learning is a strategy in which the supervisor does not just present the fact and the knowledge to be learned but instead posses the information as a question or scenario. The supervisor functions as a facilitator and helps the individuals develop the solutions. One benefit of this type of strategy is that it allows the individuals to come up with alternative strategies and solutions (Morris & Turnbull, 2004). It can also help them develop their inquisitive learning skills and can help increase retention of the new information. I believe that this strategy can be useful for training of new student who may be used to simply memorising material. By using this type of strategy, it can help to further develop their independence and ability to come up with solutions on their own (Inouye & Flannelly, 1998).
- Clark, M. C., Nguyen, H. T., Bray, C., & Levine, R. E. (2008). Team-based learning in an undergraduate nursing course. Journal of Nursing Education, 47(3), 111-117.
- Inouye, J., & Flannelly, L. (1998). Inquiry-based learning as a teaching strategy for critical thinking. Clinical Nurse Specialist, 12(2), 67-72.
- Koohestani, H. R., & Baghcheghi, N. (2016). The effects of team-based learning techniques on nursing students’ perception of the psycho-social climate of the classroom. Medical journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 30, 437.
- Morris, D., & Turnbull, P. (2004). Using student nurses as teachers in inquiry‐based learning. Journal of advanced nursing, 45(2), 136-144.
- Samarakoon, L., Fernando, T., Rodrigo, C., & Rajapakse, S. (2013). Learning styles and approaches to learning among medical undergraduates and postgraduates. BMC medical education, 13(1), 42.