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HealthMay 11, 2021

Using HyperDocs in nursing education: Engage and digitally flip the virtual classroom

By: Lisa Shustack, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, CNEcl
The recent shift towards remote learning in nursing education presents new challenges for nurse educators striving to keep students connected and engaged.

Furthermore, the virtual classroom requires new learning tools, pedagogy, and meaningful technology in order to differentiate learning for students who may not be accustomed to remote education. Although the flipped classroom is not a new methodology in nursing education, it does require a modern virtual makeover. The traditional approach of a flipped classroom leads most to think of students watching prerecorded lecture videos prior to class.

However, new technologies are helping to reimagine the flipped classroom while individualizing and engaging students in the virtual classroom experience. Incorporating HyperDocs in nursing education as part of a flipped virtual classroom allows nurse educators to not only plan lessons but rather design the learning experience using the best content while diversifying the student’s learning options.

What is a HyperDoc?

A HyperDoc is an interactive digital document, such as a Google Doc or a Microsoft Word Doc, where all components of a lesson have been pulled together into one central hub. Within a single document, students are provided with a lesson that is specifically designed to create a student-facing, blended learning experience. Inside each HyperDoc, students have a voice, they are collaborating, creating, communicating, and critically thinking their way through the content.

Using HyperDocs in virtual nursing education

When used as part of a virtual flipped classroom, HyperDocs can help to inspire students’ inquiry and curiosity driving them to explore answers to their own questions and apply new knowledge in creative and engaging ways. A HyperDoc typically has some form of a chart that includes a variety of active learning strategies to enhance the particular lesson. The HyperDoc includes an introduction to the lesson, some format of direct instruction, a creative application of the content, and an assessment or activity. For every part of the lesson, there is at least one hyperlink that takes the student to a video, article, collaborative document, or some other interactive online tool. The entire lesson is then contained in one package typically designed for students to walk through on their own at their own pace prior to the virtual class meeting.

The process of using a HyperDoc is automated so students work independently allowing the faculty to embrace the facilitator role during virtual class time. HyperDocs create a dynamic digital learning experience that includes a wide variety of multimedia content such as video, slide shows, websites, podcasts, online gaming, and the list goes on. Finally, HyperDocs are customizable, if each student receives a copy of a HyperDoc, the elements can be changed on each one to meet individual student learning needs.

Essentially, HyperDocs are what you make of them, from the initial construction to the delivery, to the reflection of the learning experience. The following steps can be followed to simply create a HyperDoc for any learning objective:

  • Step 1: Determine your learning objectives.
  • Step 2: Consider using a HyperDoc Template. There are many free templates available online which can be modified for any particular topic.
  • Step 3: Determine which Google App to use. Google Docs or Google Slides are most commonly used.
  • Step 4: Consider how you can make your topic of instruction more interesting. Add in images, videos, website links, podcasts, and so on.
  • Step 5: Share your HyperDoc with the class!
View and Engage in a Sample HyperDoc

Explore on nurse educators, explore on!

Lisa Shustack, EdD, MSN, RN, CNE, CNEcl
Expert Insights Contributor for Wolters Kluwer, Nursing Education
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