Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Lynne Bryant

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Nurse educators are challenged with a new generation of students referred to as the Millennial generation. These millennial students, who have different learning style preferences, are testing the traditional pedagogical methods of nurse educators such as lecture. The social nature of millennial students coincides with the social constructivism theory that students learn in groups. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to examine if there was an improved retention of knowledge in millennial students who were taught by collaborative learning strategies rather than the traditional lecture method in an associate degree nursing program. Additionally, the study examined if learning by the students' preferred learning style resulted in a higher level of achievement on a comprehensive standardized examination versus learning by a nonpreferred style. The theoretical framework for this study was founded on the social constructivism theory suggesting students build knowledge through social group interactions. The quasi-experimental study was conducted at an associate degree program in the Midwest. The nonprobability purposive sampling was utilized to examine the means of a comprehensive standardized examination and a learning styles preference assessment. The statistical analysis utilizing the analysis of covariance did not produce statistically significant findings in the differences in the comprehensive standardized examination score means between the students taught by the lecture method and students taught by the collaborative method when controlled for the cumulative grade point average. Additionally, the study did not find statistically significant differences in mean comprehensive standardized examination scores when taught by the students' preferred learning style versus being taught by their nonpreferred style. Although not significant, the study did find students who were taught by the collaborative method had higher scores than those who were taught by the lecture method. In addition, learning styles preferences were not significant in determining academic success. The implications of the study are significant to nursing education by highlighting the importance of using collaborative activities and multiple teaching modalities.




Health and environmental sciences, Education, Active learning, Collaborative learning, Learning styles, Lecture methods, Millennial students



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