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 Active Teaching/Learning Strategy One:  WebQuests


A WebQuest is an online teaching/learning strategy that includes active learning, inquiry, and higher order thinking by learners as they explore an educator designed activity to learn and accomplish a specific task.  There are six main components to a WebQuest:  introduction, task, process, conclusion, resources and credits (Dodge, 1995). The introduction describes the topic to the learner and also provides some basic background information.  The task explains the overall intent of the WebQuest. The process provides the learner with instructions for the WebQuest activities.  The evaluation explains to the learner how evaluation will be completed. Conclusion is the part that reviews the WebQuest and encourages learner reflection (Dodge, 1995).

Visit these WebQuest Examples:   (use right click feature, then new tab)

Your First Home Visit in Community Health Nursing

Caring for patients and families with HIV

Nursing WebQuest: Patients and Families with Chronic Illness

 Design a WebQuest about a concern or issue.  For example, a WebQuest can be created that focuses on the issue of family theory and research and the practice of family nursing.  Use questions to help the learner explore this issue:

What are issues related to implementing family nursing in clinical practice?  Describe some barriers and motivators related to this topic.

What are some topics  you teach that would be well suited for a WebQuest?  

WebQuests are not intended for recall learning, but instead to promote higher level thinking such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation and creation.  WebQuest authoring software and internet server storage can be found at:


Table 1. Places to create WebQuests

WebQuest AuthoringTool


URL Address


Authoring tool that prompts designer for online learning activities.


WebQuest authoring tool that is free


WebQuest program and hosting for WebQuests.


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 Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Two:  I Have A Question

"I Have A Question" is a great activity to adapt to family nursing content.    It can also be easily used in a discussion forum for online education (Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, 2007).


"I Have A Question" can easily be adapted to online education by incorporating it into a discussion question.  In a face to face class, it is great to use after a complex theory or process has been explained.  For example, after en explanation or discussion of the Calgary Family Assessment Model, students may write their questions on a piece of paper that is collected by the instructor and the questions read aloud and answered or discussed as a group.

What family nursing content that you teach could this strategy work with?

See the link at (use right click feature, then new tab) I Have a Question


Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Three:  The Concept Map

"The Concept Map" is a teaching/learning strategy that is easily adapted to family nursing content.  Concept mapping is a teaching/learning strategy that involves organization of a concept into a visual map by the learner.  It is helpful when it is important to see the big picture--that is how the parts or aspects bit together to make the whole (DeYoung, 2009).

One example is to have learners create a concept map of a family life cycle reflecting a specific family that has been assessed.

This can be used to relate the concepts of family theory and practice or family systems theory.  What other ideas do you have to adapt this strategy to  family nursing?  

See the link at (use right click feature, then new tab)  The Concept Map



Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Four:  Peer Feedback


 "Peer Feedback" is a technique in which students read other student's papers, give them feedback on what areas are done well and areas for improvement  (Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, 2007). 

.  This can be used a few weeks before a paper is due in a course, so that learners have time to make revisions based on the feedback they receive.  Learners are engaged and learn about peer student's projects as well as benefit from the feedback they receive!  

Peer feedback is an excellent teaching/learning strategy to use because when learners give feedback they change of viewpoint opens them up to see things they did not see or know before.  The learner who receives feedback also benefits from the information as they have information about how to improve their assignment.  Ground rules should be set up by the instructor so that feedback is positive and in the spirit of helping to improve.  All feedback is expected to be respectful and professional.   Feedback should include pointing out what is good and areas for improvement. 

One example is to have learners write a three to five scholarly paper about a family nursing topics.  Then, learners are assigned to exchange papers with another learner and provide feedback for improvement as well as point out strengths in the paper.  The exchange of feedback should occur within five days.

How might you incorporate the use of peer feedback into your family nursing content?


See the link at (use right click feature, then new tab)  Peer Feedback


Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Five:  The Jigsaw


 "The Jigsaw"  is a cooperative and active learning strategy.  A learning team assignment is given in groups of 4 to 5 and each team member must complete their assignment.  Each team member puts forth their contribution  to create a whole assignment (Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, 2007).

For example, when studying theories for working with families in the community, each learner is assigned a number 1, 2 or 3.  Groups are made of learners so that each group has a learner 1, learner 2 and learner 3.  The instructor assigns Family Systems Theory to learner 1, Family Development and Life Cycle Theory to learner 2, and Bioecological Systems Theory to learner 3.  Each learner reads 2 sources on the assigned topic and then explains the topic to the other learners in the group at the next class meeting.  Learners come to the next class meeting and share what they have learned with the other two members in their group.  


Is there a topic that you teach that "The Jigsaw" would be a good fit for?


See the link at (use right click feature, then new tab) The Jigsaw




This is a fantastic source for information and ideas about active learning strategies:

(use right click feature, then new tab)


Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Six:  Research Design Activity

Research Design Activity

This activity is intended for an audience with some research design or is learning research design.  

Have a class discussion about the theory-practice gap in family nursing.  

Then have the class members discuss how they would design a hypothetical research project aimed at examining family theory from the clinical practice perspective.  

Assign roles to the research team, such as scribe, keep on task monitor, and discussion leader.

Computers and search access should be available for accessing information during the activity.



Active Teaching/Learning Strategy Seven:  The Case Study

The Case Study

Case studies work well in family nursing, but must be developed and refined along with discussion questions.  DeYoung (2009) describes a case study as an analysis of a situation with a problem to be solved. The use of case studies as a teaching/learning strategy are effective for applying information in a safe setting.

One example is to present a case study that related to a piece of family nursing content and ask learners to answer a set of questions related to the case study:

A School Nurse, Patty is working with a family of four.  The mother, Sue and father, Bill have a 9-year-old daughter named Mary and a 14-year-old son named James.  Each member of the family is overweight.  Sue has contacted Patty and expressed a desire to lose weight and has asked for help.  

1.  Is it the role of the School Nurse to help the family?  Why or why not?

2.  What are steps that Patty should take should she decide to help the family?  That is create a nursing plan for helping the family.  Describe the plan.  

3.  What are some community agencies that Patty should consider for referrals?


What are some ways you could use case studies related to family nursing content?



Here is a link to the basics of how to set up a case study: How to set up a Case Study


 Next click the evaluation tab in the left menu.


AT&T.  (2012). Filamentality.  Retrieved from:

Dodge, B. (1995). WebQuests: A technique for Internet-based learning. Distance Educator, 1(2), 10-13.

Dodge, B.  (2007). QuestGarden and other online authoring systems.  Retrieved from:

DeYoung, S. (2009).  Teaching strategies for nurse educators.  (2nd ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Prentice Hall.

Halat, E. (2008).  A good teaching technique:  WebQuests. The Clearing House, 81(3), 109-111.


Lahaie, U. D. (2008).  Is nursing ready for WebQuests?  Journal of Nursing Education, 47(12), 567-570.

Russell,  C. K., Burchum, J. R., Likes, W. M., Jacob, S., Graff, J.C., Driscoll, C., Britt T., Adymy, C., & Cowan, P. (2008).  WebQuests: creating engaging, student-centered, constructivist learning activities.  Computers, Informatics, Nursing:  CIN, Computers, Informatics, Nursing:  CIN, 26(2), 78-87.

Teacher Web. (2010).  Welcome to teacher web.  Retrieved from:


Wright, L. M. & Leahey, M. (2009).  Nurses and families:  A guide to family assessment nad intervention.  (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA:  F. A. Davis Company.


Zunal. (2012).  Zunal WebQuest maker.  Retrieved from