Site icon NLN Nursing EDge

Reimagining Teaching and Learning – The Learning Encounter

By Tonya Schneidereith, PhD, CRNP, CNE, CHSE-A, ANEF, FAAN, University of Maryland and Susan Gross Forneris, PhD, RN, CNE, CHSE-A, FAAN, National League for Nursing

In 2020, the pandemic required most nursing programs to halt all in-person activities, including didactic lessons and clinical experiences. The rapid transition to virtual formats forced educators to find opportunities to meet those objectives most frequently achieved in clinical rotations. Experts in simulation pedagogy were essential to identify and provide virtual resources and facilitate online experiences aligned with simulation best practices.

What emerged from these months of collaboration was greater exposure to the elements in simulation that make for effective teaching and learning. Because these elements are not confined to simulation and can be used in any learning space, we hope to describe how they can be applied across all learning environments.

  1. Prebriefing: Setting the context for the learning encounter. Prebriefing creates a context for learning by setting the boundaries of the learning space. Placed at the beginning of the learning encounter, this time is used to set the tone for the learning experience, including our desire to view learners as trying their best and wanting to improve. By establishing a psychologically safe space, the teacher-learner experience becomes a dialogue where the teacher seeks to understand the thinking and sense-making behind the learner’s actions.

    As you start the prebriefing, be explicit regarding expectations and help learners feel safe, free to share thoughts and ask questions. Provide reassurance that no one will be humiliated in the conversations that follow. By providing this foundation, the discussions can include all learners. The goal is to help develop the learner and not humiliate or condemn. Changing the frame of reference in this way will lead to a more impactful and effective learning experience.

When we think of our time with our learners as learning encounters, we embrace a student-centered approach to our teaching and learning.


Forneris, S.G., & Fey, M. (Eds.) (2020). Critical conversations (Volume 2): From monologue to dialogue. National League for Nursing.

Exit mobile version