1. Rosales, Marc DNP, RN, CCRN, CNE
  2. Torres, Yolanda M. PhD, RN

Article Content

The COVID-19 pandemic forced nurse educators to adapt quickly to teaching students in an online environment. In our program, nurse educators identified students in large cohorts struggling to stay engaged and focused during an online synchronous class. Students reported multiple barriers to participation, such as disruptions from others in their household, possibly speaking over another student or the educator, and fear of being incorrect. First, the educator granted every student a set amount of participation points at the beginning of the semester. Then, they placed all student names in a random name picker that created a wheel similar to the Wheel of Fortune. Some online wheels can be customized with special music, spin time, colors, and images to encourage a fun and entertaining learning environment. After the educator asked each question, they spun the wheel to choose a name. The student had to turn on their camera and microphone, discuss their answer, and explain their rationale. If they did not comply, the educator deducted participation points. If the student was unsure how to respond, he/she could ask for assistance from one other student who has not been called. Educators reported positive outcomes related to students' engagement and clinical judgment, higher examination scores, and increased creativity related to nursing interventions. This strategy is recommended to establish a trusting environment through a social approach to keep students engaged.