Case Study: Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff University, located in Sioux City, Iowa, is an institution with a rich Catholic heritage and a strong tradition of service. The Mission of the Department of Nursing at  Briar Cliff University is to promote health, healing, and hope of persons and  the community and to advocate for social justice and healthy  environments.

We spoke with Dr. Susan Beidler, Chair of the  Department of Nursing, about the expansion of their online programs, the  changes in student population, and how case-based real patient video is  adding value in their curriculum.

Watch the interview video or read the full story below.

I'm  here today with Dr. Susan Beidler, who is the department chair at Briar Cliff  University department of nursing. Dr. Beidler, thank you so much for joining  me today. We really appreciate your giving us a bit of your time to talk  about your experiences with ReelDx.

Dr. Beidler: I'm happy to be here.

Wonderful! Thank you. So, if you could,  would you start by telling us a little bit about your educational background,  and your journey into education, and how you landed at Briar Cliff  University?

Dr. Beidler: Absolutely! I started my  career in a baccalaureate-nursing program, actually very similar to the  university that I'm in at this point, a small liberal arts institution. From  there, I decided I wanted to continue my education as a nurse practitioner.  So early on, I attended the University of Pennsylvania and became a family  nurse practitioner.

So, through my career I have both  practiced and taught. I have taught at the undergraduate level, at the  graduate level, in both masters and doctoral programs. I started teaching on  the east coast, teaching in the nurse practitioner program at the University  of Pennsylvania. And then, took another position at the Florida Atlantic  University in Boca Raton.  From there,  I went to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha Nebraska, and  eventually ended back on the east coast. As life unfolds, I returned to the  Midwest in the Fall of 2014, and I've been at Briar Cliff University since  then.

Terrific! Could you tell us a little  bit about your program at Briar Cliff University? I'd certainly love to hear  from you also, what's been your primary practice and research focus as an  educator.

Dr. Beidler: Absolutely. Well, at Briar  Cliff we have all levels of nursing education. We have a traditional or  pre-licensure baccalaureate program. We have the masters level programs for  nurse practitioners and nurse educators. And we also have a DNP program. In  addition, we have a degree completion program for RNs so that they can obtain  their baccalaureate.

In terms of my practice and research, I have been as a family nurse practitioner and family care provider, most of  my experience has been in nurse managed health centers working with  marginalized or vulnerable populations, which is also my research focus.  Which is, developing models of care for  vulnerable populations. And nurse managed health centers through history has  been one of those models that have created services to match the needs of the  populations that they are serving

Is there an  underlying philosophy or conceptual framework that you are operating under at  Briar Cliff?

Dr. Beidler: The mission of our  university is: we are a catholic Franciscan university, which is very much  focused on service to others, respect for others, respect for the  environment. So, that mission is really part of our mission within the  department of nursing. The university and our department is very focused on  student and faculty service. So, a lot of our... I guess, activities outside  of the traditional educational activities are focused on doing things for the  university, for the community and work  globally.

You had mentioned there were a  number of different tracks. Can you tell me a little bit about how those  tracks are structured, how many students there are in each of those tracks,  and is it all in person or is there an online component as  well?

Dr. Beidler: That's a great question. We  do,  ...the only face-to-face or traditional  setting is for our pre-licensure baccalaureate program for nurses. Our other  programs are all online. The degree completion is our largest program. Those  are the nurses who have, for the most part, completed their first two years  in a community college and then return for their  baccalaureate.

Our graduate programs are all online. The  MSN programs are hybrid, because we do require students have a residence, a  time on campus, where they are completing their physical assessment and  diagnosis, and courses.  The doctoral  program is an online program. That program actually started as a BSN to DNP  and then we converted it to a post-masters DNP program. So all of those  students are remote.

And roughly how many  students do you have in each  track?

Dr. Beidler:

Our smallest program is  really our undergraduate BSN program. We have about twenty students in the  cohort.  The largest program is the  degree completion program. And then, our graduate program, we have about 40  to 50 students in that. For the NPs it is a three-year program. For the nurse  educators it's a two-year program. And then, our doctoral program, we  currently have six students in our first cohort. They will be completing  their degree the end of this year. And then, in the first of our post-masters  DNP, we have another six students.

You must  be very excited to have your first doctoral  students.

Dr. Beidler: We are extremely excited. This  is a wonderful group of individuals, who are very passionate about nursing,  and passionate about being leaders in health  care.

Congratulations!  I'd love to now move on and talk a little  bit about ReelDx. How did you first learn about  us?

Dr. Beidler: You know, I was reflecting  on was actually the summer of 2015. So, I had been here just a  year. The director of our graduate nursing program forwarded an email he had  received. So I don't know if it was just kind of a cold call, or if he had  heard about this product. But he sent the information to me and I followed  up. At that point my main responsibility, in addition to teaching, was as the  clinical coordinator for our NP and DNP programs, so I was always looking for  opportunities to increase or enhance the quality of that program.  And from there, I was connected with David  Spiro and we started our conversation, sharing information. I started to  explore with him our organization, how we could implement this platform or  this product.

Was there a particular problem  you were trying to solve that you felt the real patient videos could help you  address?

Dr. Beidler: Yes.  And I think for me, the issue of online  clinical courses. I wanted to be sure that our students in the program, you  know a lot of what they learn is in their clinical rotations. In clinical  rotations there is a lot of variability. So, I wanted to be sure that  students were having exposure to certain types of patients. And this is one  way that we could do that with a surety that there know...that the  quality is there. We are able to know that by the time they finish, or  complete their education, they have had the ability to be exposed to certain  types of patients and situations.

Well that's  great. Can you tell me a little it about how your educators are using it,  either in the classroom or in asynchronous types of  settings?</strong></p><p>

Dr. Beidler: Right. We can use it in  both, which is nice. We use it both at the undergraduate and the graduate  level. In the undergraduate, because that is a face-to-face setting, the  instructor is able to play one of the videos and use that to enhance a  particular lecture. For the graduate programs, which are online, the faculty  member is able to identify a case that helps to illustrate what they are  basically presenting in the content for that particular week. And they are  able to link it into our learning management system. So that, when a student  goes to the course to read the content and whatever else has been provided  for them, they can access the video at that  time.

And so, your students have access to  ReelDx outside of what they see in the lecture. Is that  correct?

Dr. Beidler: Absolutely.

So, I'd be  interested in knowing, what was your path to adoption or integration of  ReelDx into your curriculum? Was there a coordinated effort, or were individual educators responsible for identifying content and deciding how they wanted to  use it?

Dr. Beidler: Well because we are an early  adopter here, we basically presented, in an in-service type of a format, this  opportunity to use real diagnosis. And then faculty individually, select  cases and embed them into their particular courses. I think that is something  that we want to continue to develop. We want to look at our curriculum as a  whole, and make sure that we're optimizing the use of real diagnosis and not  over duplicating... if someone is using it in one course you don't want to  necessarily keep reusing that same particular case.

So  that's some of the functionality that we've added, or enhanced this year, is  so that you can create courses and select cases to be added to a particular  course and also control what the student can see in those particular cases. I  wonder if you have any thoughts about how that adds value to the use of the  platform in your program?

Dr.  Beidler: Absolutely. I  mean, the fact that's one of the most exciting features is the fact that you  can develop your courses within ReelDx and kind of organize the cases that  you're going to use that way, rather than having to do that outside of the  program.

Thank you. I'd love to hear what  kind of feedback that you've had, both from the educators who are using it,  and also from the students. And has there been any anecdotal evidence of  change in outcomes?

Dr.  Beidler: Well, I think  from the educator perspective, of course they love that. Any way that you can  engage the student in their learning, apart from u201cHere's some  information, go read it.u201d We all know that, particularly the upcoming  generations are very visual, and they have short attentions spans, so they  can look at a video and they get the point without having to read a  description of what basically that case is about.  From the student perspective, we don't have  a formal mechanism at this point, to be able to assess the impact of ReelDx  on student learning in our course evaluations. Of course, anecdotally, they  love the videos. They are short, they are usually dynamically presented, and  then the additional learning content that is provided is just really  excellent. So that piece, between the student and the learner, everybody is  very excited about this product.

Terrific!  You know, I'd love to get your thoughts or your input... my hope is that this  interview is going to be watched by other educators who are considering  ReelDx for their program. What do you think they should know about ReelDx itself,  about your experiences in utilizing it in your curriculum, or any other  helpful tips you might have around making it  successful?

Dr. Beidler: Sure. What I've found in my  experience working with ReelDx is the support that has been provided by both  you, Julia, and David, early on. Very flexible, very interested in making  sure that if we have a particular need, a particular case that we are  interested in, you're at the stage of development where you are being open to  trying to develop that case. Which leads me... we actually have a doctorate  in physical therapy program here who is also using ReelDx and, at some point,  is looking at creating some specific cases for their program. So I think that  the flexibility, the support, from the very beginning...I never feel like I  have to jump through... if we have a problem, I reach out, I get an  answer.  I like that. That's very  important to me, as we use anything, any new technology. It's very easy to  embed.  In our situation, our students  receive a unique user access so they can access individually for the online  use. And that's very nice to have. We've been very pleased with our  experience.

Do you have any advice for folks  who are considering using it? You know, maybe some things you've learned  along the way around decision making, selecting cases, or how to help future  programs maybe avoid some obstacles that you had to  overcome?

Dr. Beidler: I think the best-case  scenario, when adopting, is really mapping the cases to your curriculum.  The curriculums are established, you know  what content is being delivered in which course, and then basically building  the ReelDx cases to fit with your courses. And with this new feature within  the platform, it's very easy to do that. So we're doing that now, after the  fact, because that feature wasn't available early on, but it is something  that we'll be working on as we move  forward.

Well, Susan, I really can't thank  you enough for giving us your time today, sharing your thoughts and insights  about ReelDx.  Also want to tell you  how much we you mentioned you were a very early adopter of the  ReelDx technology, your program has been very innovative in your uses and I'm  looking forward continuing to work with you and your colleagues on other  possible use-cases, and to benefit from your experience so that we might  share it with other educators in the nursing space.  Just again, thank you for taking the time  to share

Dr. Beidler: You're very welcome.

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