featured Teacher September 2017

Professor Nancy Murphy

MurphyDr. Nancy Murphy has a passion for flipped learning. As Assistant Professor in the Graduate Nursing Program since 2013, she recognizes that flipping a classroom exceeds the requirements for nurse educators to continuously engage and assess students as they apply and synthesize knowledge over time and across various clinical scenarios. Dr. Murphy was a selected member of CETLA’s HU Teach Flipped Learning Pilot Program in the summer of 2014, where she was trained in redesigning courses with this innovative pedagogical strategy.

In addition to “Flipping the Classroom” she is also CETLA certified in “Writing Across the Curriculum,” and has combined these approaches in both clinical and research courses. After receiving her CETLA training, Dr. Murphy set out to engage and encourage other graduate nursing faculty in flipped learning. Her colleagues have embraced this method of teaching/learning and they too have participated in CETLA’s Flipped Learning training. Now three years later, all clinical courses and the majority of non-clinical courses in the family nurse practitioner program employ the flipped learning approach.

Dr. Murphy also uses another innovative technique in her classroom, action research. As an action researcher, with grounding in critical, feminist, knowledge democracy philosophies, Dr. Murphy is interested in the intersection of the responsible use of power, justice, implementation, and relationships/therapeutic alliance that provide a foundation to support interdisciplinary collaborative health teams, teaching/learning, and to enact social justice practices. She is the principal investigator of a flipped learning action research study, which is focused on challenges related to determining appropriate motivation and incentives for students to come to class prepared, along with exploring student and faculty perspectives on flipped learning. Findings from this study determined that faculty found the flipped learning approach to be a significant improvement over traditional lecturing, particularly as it provides opportunity for continuous assessment and feedback.

Dr. Murphy recently presented the findings of the above study at the Action Research Network of the Americas Conference in Cartagena, Columbia, in June 2017. She had the opportunity to share and learn from community-based educators, nurses, physicians, and social workers, from around the world, many of whom are also “flipping the classroom.” The flipped learning action research study has been extended to explore the question of how flipped learning can contribute to democratizing nurse practitioner student education and promoting knowledge democracy. On the clinical front Dr. Murphy is a seasoned primary care provider and also an HIV specialist. She has been practicing in the field of HIV/AIDS since 1987.

Confirming Dr. Murphy’s findings, graduate nursing faculty also identified that applying a meaningful point value to in-class active learning activities, which undergirds flipped learning, encouraged and supported students to come to class prepared. On the student front, overwhelming approval of the flipped method prevailed. Students identified numerous advantages such as (1) flexibility and personalizing the learning experience related to lifestyle/roles, (2) autonomy related to being in control of learning and improving time management, (3) competency related to building confidence and dispelling myths of passivity, and (4) promoting student and instructor negotiation and preparation. Students strongly prefer both audio and slide content material prior to class. Generative tensions related to authority and control of the courses also surfaced. Flipped learning is supportive and culturally congruent with a range of identities. Dr. Murphy is also an HIV specialist and has been practicing in the field of HIV/AIDS for three decades.