Ready to level up your virtual learning experiences?

Remote learning has been a growing component of advanced nursing education, but it became vital as the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to transition to 100% online teaching for the foreseeable future. Online learning experiences attempt to replicate as closely as possible in-person experiences, but usually fall short of accurately replicating the human element, including body language, facial expressions and verbal cues.

With that in mind, the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing—a leader in online education—created, implemented and now licenses award-winning, research-based Interactive Case Studies (ICS) for advanced-practice nursing education, which replicate in-person simulation opportunities using standardized patients (SP) and allow for learner reflection, understanding the rationale behind each decision and role-modeling of proper behaviors for communication and physical assessment.

How are Interactive Case Studies Innovative?

Headshot of Improve patient interviewing techniques

Improve patient interviewing techniques

Ask questions and compare them to an expert’s; listen to a patient’s response; learn what questions to ask and why.

Headshot of Develop physical assessment skills

Develop physical assessment skills

Decide which physical assessments to perform; watch an expert assess the patient; learn the audible and silent signs to address.

Headshot of Study the role of laboratory testing

Study the role of laboratory testing

Examine factors that contribute to testing; determine which laboratory tests to conduct; learn why certain tests are not necessary.

Headshot of Interpret differential diagnoses

Interpret differential diagnoses

Compile and synthesize gathered information; determine top possible differential diagnoses; compare diagnoses with an expert’s.

Headshot of Measure learning through reflection

Measure learning through reflection

Assess confidence as a provider before and after; journal thoughts throughout the process; determine rationale for all decisions.

Kolb's Cycle of Learning as the Foundation

Kolb's Cycle of Learning
Interactive Case Study Scenarios progress from simple to complex
Pediatric Adult Geriatric
ICS 1: Ear infection (8 year-old boy) ICS 6: Asthma (40 year-old male) ICS 11: Constipation (70 year-old female)
ICS 2: Strep throat (3 year-old toddler) ICS 7: Urinary tract infection (25 year-old femaile) ICS 12: Depression (65 year-old male)
ICS 3: Fifths disease (12 year-old boy) ICS 8: Diabetes Mellitus 2 (30 year-old male)
ICS 13: COPD (70- year-old male)
ICS 4: Diabetes Mellitus 1 (5 year-old girl) ICS 9: Heart failure (55 year-old male) ICS 14: Stroke (67 year-old male)
ICS 5: Genetic heart disorder (6 month-old infant) ICS 10: Myocardial infarction (48 year-old female) ICS 15: Hip fracture/dementia (73 year-old female)

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About the Author

Christine Colella, DNP, APRN-CNP, FAANP

Christine Colella Headshot

Christine Colella

Christine Colella is an award-winning nurse educator of more than 30 years. She currently serves as professor and executive director of graduate programs for the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. In 2017, she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and has received numerous other accolades for her work, including:

  • University of Cincinnati Provost's Oustanding Teaching Award (2017)
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award (2016)
  • University of Cincinnati Innovative Uses of Technology in Teaching Award (2015)