Indiana University School of Nursing Faculty Members Meg Moorman and Cassandra Siktberg Learn Innovative Teaching Methods through Mosaic Initiative

By Rachel Leshinsky

In fall 2015, IUPUI and University Information Technology Services launched Mosaic, an initiative that studies the different approaches to active learning based on academic discipline, instructional goals and class size. The goal is to create a classroom that encourages student collaboration that integrates whiteboards, Solstice software technology and flexible furniture while providing the ability for students and instructors to interact in a variety of ways.

A group of Mosaic Faculty Fellows were selected to serve as the first cohort to examine techniques that could be implemented in classrooms. These techniques were proven effective through previous studies and the fellows were tasked with enacting the pedagogy on campus.

Meg Moorman, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, is a clinical assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Nursing (IUSON) and served as a fellow for last year’s cohort. She wanted to be a part of Mosaic because she wanted to bring her classroom into the 21st century.

“I was a student [at IUSON] and then I was teaching the same way I learned,” she said. “I wanted to bring innovative practices to my students.”

Faculty members learned about interactive teaching methods and available technology on campus, shared feedback on the best learning spaces and were able to work with colleagues in other disciplines with whom they wouldn’t normally cross paths. Everyone tried out the techniques during the meetings, so they could experience them first-hand, Moorman said.

“We didn’t just talk about the methods, we actually did them,” she said. “By working alongside professors in other areas of study, I gained an enormous amount of respect for their work and for the students in how they learn.”

One technique Moorman has implemented in her classrooms is “Think, Pair, Share,” a method in which groups of two must work together to agree on one answer to solve a problem or answer a question. According to a 2011 study conducted at Joliet Junior College, this technique was introduced to students in a mental health nursing course and success of the technique was measured through the scores of assessment proficiency levels that were administered at the end of the course. By spring 2011, there was a 20 percent increase in the scores compared to prior semesters. For example, approximately 80 percent of 95 students in the fall 2010 course received passing scores; the number of students with high scores increased to 90 percent of 90 students in spring 2011.

“It forces students to commit to an answer and understand the reasoning behind each other’s conclusions,” Moorman said. “Students loved this approach because they found it helpful and realized they can learn through sharing experiences and knowledge to arrive at a solution.”

After a full academic year, Moorman was named a Senior Mosaic Fellow and will serve as a mentor to future fellows.

“It was an honor to be part of this initiative and I hope to share these techniques with the entire faculty at IUSON,” she said.

Recently, IUSON Lecturer Cassandra Siktberg, MSN, RN, was named to the 2017-2018 Mosaic Faculty Fellows cohort. At the time she submitted her application, Siktberg was looking for a program to assist in growth and facilitate innovative ideas that would enhance learning outcomes.

“I have this desire to continuously evaluate the learning that goes on in the classroom and I want to make sure the work I do is purposeful and effective,” she said. “I plan to bring active learning strategies into the classroom that will benefit our students’ learning.”

Siktberg is most looking forward to continuing the great work IUSON does of implementing innovative learning strategies. She is excited to work with other disciplines on campus to share what methods work well.

“My goal is to conduct research on some newly implemented strategies and help further nursing education as a whole,” Siktberg said.