Publication Date



Objective: Teaching large content heavy classes presents a challenge to faculty in any discipline.In nursing education, particularly pharmacotherapeutics, student learning is critical to patient safety.Therefore, effective teaching practices are a must.But, there is a lack of education literature that connects the neuroscience of why a specific method such as using the technology of personal response systems (PRS) contributes to student learning.This study discusses the use of action research to evaluate the effectiveness of the use of personal response systems (PRS) or “clickers” in an undergraduate nursing pharmacology course, using knowledge of neuroscience to interpret the results.

Methods:Action research was used to apply Neuro-semantic Language Learning Theory to the use of clickers in a nursing pharmatherapeutics course.Action research design allowed for the continuity of assessment and reflection by the faculty.

Results:Outcomes were measures quantitatively using ATI (Assessment Technologies Institute) test scores pre- and post-intervention.ATI scores improved with the use of clickers.Qualitative student comments indicated satisfaction with the use of clickers to improve learning.Neuroscience and learning theory are used to explain the results of the study.

Conclusion:Clickers by themselves do not necessarily create better learning, but thoughtful, purposeful integration of the technology, using techniques based on neuroscience elicit higher order thinking and provides deeper conceptual learning.

Author Supplied Keywords

clickers, neuro-semantic Language Learning Theory, nursing pharmacology, nursing education


Effective teaching; Nursing--Study and teaching

Publication Information

Proceedings of the Third Annual World Nursing Conference, 2013, 113-121.

© 2013 GSTF

Archived version is the final published version.





Document Type

Journal Article

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Education Commons