Understanding by design: A multisectoral approach to redesigning.  Learning strategies for the nursing curriculum

Lauren Orlando¹, Marsha Nicholson-Ramdeen¹, Roxann Lewis-Roberts1, Jennifer Solomon²

¹Department of Education Services, St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies; ²Department of Nursing & Allied Health Sciences, St. George’s University

Located on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean, St. George’s University (SGU) is a medical, veterinary, and undergraduate university that attracts faculty and students from over 140 countries worldwide. One of the undergraduate programs is the General Nursing program that comprises mainly of Grenadian and Caribbean students. In the Caribbean, standardized examinations consist of short and long answer questions with occasional multiple-choice questions (MCQs). Additionally, exam preparations take on a passive format that includes note-taking and re-reading lectures. Upon acceptance into SGU, these students often struggle as academia focuses on active learning through; information retrieval, peer discussions, and frequent self-testing activities.

In Fall 2018, the Nursing & Allied Health Sciences (NAHS) contacted the Department of Educational Services (DES) for assistance getting students ready for their board exams as students performed poorly in the mock. DES is the student support center at SGU, which consists of many divisions, including the learning strategies unit (LSU). Following some discussion, the LSU, in conjunction with NAHS, embarked on a three day a week, four months intensive program. This program worked on skills of critical thinking, time management, and multiple-choice skills. Following the program, students completed their exams and were all successful.

This intervention highlighted the need for increased collaboration between departments in designing a curriculum that better addressed the needs of students within the Nursing Program. To assist in the curriculum design, the following elements of the faculty development certificate program in DES were used. These elements include planning your class for active learning, aligning learning outcomes with learning activities and assessment, approaches to teaching that enhances student approach to learning, and assessment for learning.

In this workshop, we will demonstrate our curriculum mapping process through a series of interactive exercises aimed at encouraging participant’s creativity in their university setting.


Lauren Orlando, MSc – Ms. Orlando is the Learning Strategies Coordinator for the School of Arts and Sciences students within the St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. She is also the Course Director for Community Health course designed for undergraduate and pre-professional students. Ms. Orlando actively works in the community in areas such as child protection and welfare, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, and community development. She is currently all but dissertation for her PhD in Public Health focusing on Community Health Education. As a global citizen, she aspires to promote social justice, human rights and loves exploring new cultures.

Marsha Nicholson-Ramdeen, DPT, BSc – Dr. Nicholson-Ramdeen is a Learning Strategist and Coordinator of year 1 workshops at the School of Medicine. She has been a faculty member at St. George’s University for the past three years where she works extensively with Term 1 & 2 medical students on creating healthy life-study habits. She also works in the development and delivery of workshops that assist student build key skills and competencies necessary for the everchanging landscape of medical school. She is currently a practicing Physiotherapist, educated and trained at the University of Melbourne, and presently manages her own practice at Spice Orchid Physiotherapy Mobile Service. She advocates for fun outdoors and ongoing self-care.

Roxann Lewis-Roberts, MD, PGCME- -Dr. Lewis-Roberts is a Learning Strategist in the Department of Educational Services and currently the year 2 coordinator of the School of Medicine learning strategist team. She is a graduate of the St. George’s University and prior to her current position was a faculty member in the Department of Neuroscience and Physiology for 2 years. Dr. Lewis-Roberts passion for assisting student learning is apparent within the series of online resources and workshop developed across year 1 and 2 medical curriculum.  She is a registered practitioner in Grenada and very active in community outreach programs such as CPR training in the primary school setting.