students learning on laptop

Redefining Our Classroom

How UR Nursing is leveraging iPads and other technologies to transform nursing education.

iroc logo

The Redefining Our Classroom Initiative, or iROC, leverages technology to shift the traditional classroom into a dynamic learning environment. The initiative aims to revitalize the way we teach and better prepare UR Nursing students for a successful career in health care; honing their critical thinking and clinical judgment skills in a complex and evolving health care environment.

The U.S. health care environment continues to evolve, and in turn, so do the demands on nurses and nursing students. New nurses are expected to care for high acuity patients in fast-paced, unpredictable clinical settings where quick decision making and critical thinking skills are pivotal to positive patient outcomes. 

To educate safe and competent future nurses, students need to be engaged in activities that foster critical thinking and improve clinical judgment. To do so, nursing educators need to go beyond traditional lecture-based curriculums and shift to a more personalized learning approach, one where students are able to apply content learned in the classroom to the clinical setting.

To drive that approach forward, UR Nursing introduced the iROC initiative in 2018. The initiative integrates active learning strategies in a dynamic, digital classroom to support UR Nursing students on their journey of becoming the nursing leaders of tomorrow.

iPad

Ma Melita Hebert, RN
We thought — what does marching forward into the future look like for us? It means embracing a systems-approach and embracing collaboration. And it means being competency-based. Students need to engage in clinical reasoning and think critically in a clinical setting. We need to go beyond what a student knows to what they can do with what they know.
Lydia Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, FNAP
Associate Dean, Education and Student Affairs
Nurse Practitioner pilot image

The iROC Initiative has enabled digital technologies to foster an environment of discovery which puts our students at the center of their own learning experience.

Students in the lab wearing PPE and using and iPad for learning

Students use the iPad in the skills/simulation labs and in their clinical experiences to document electronic records, scan patient barcodes, review case studies, and participate in virtual simulations.

Student in classroom with instructor showing the student how to use the iPad

Our faculty and instructional designers are dedicated to innovation at every educational level, from developing evidence-based curricular goals and reinvigorating course delivery methods, to integrating more hands-on, active learning strategies.

Students wearing tie-dye t-shirtds holding a School of Nursing duffle bag

Launched in 2019, Accelerated Nursing students receive an iPad on the first day of orientation and utilize it throughout their classroom, lab, and clinical experiences over the 12 month program.

Students in classroom looking happy to get their iPads

Launched in 2018, students receive an iPad in the RN to BS Online program to complete interactive and hands-on online courses, ensuring students have equitable access to technology and IT support.

Students at graduation ceremony
On the Horizon for iROC

A pilot in our Nurse Practitioner programs, students use the iPad in clinical settings to bring current evidence to the bedside and facilitate best practices in patient education. Master's in Nursing Education students are also involved in developing and delivering iROC initiatives.

iROC and the Accelerated Programs for Non-Nurses


The iROC Initiative was launched in the Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses in 2019. Students receive an iPad on the first day of orientation and utilize it throughout their classroom, lab, and clinical experiences over the 12 month program. After implementation, students performed better on the Comprehensive Health Assessment exam and were more satisfied with instruction materials, workload, and resources.

iROC and the RN to BS Program


The iROC Initiative was launched in the RN to BS Online program in 2018. Students receive an iPad to complete interactive and hands-on online courses, ensuring students have equitable access to technology and IT support.

Our Recent iROC Initiative Work

"Transforming a Hybrid Health Assessment Course to an Engaging Distance Learning Experience"

Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education Annual Conference June, 2019

"Fostering a Learner-Centered Approach: Use of iPad Technology as a Teaching/Learning Tool to Support Innovative Assessments"

Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education Annual Conference June, 2019

2018

The iROC (Redefining Our Classroom) Initiative began at UR Nursing

540

Current number of students utilizing iPads across UR Nursing programs

30%

Increase in students strongly agreeing that the iPad orientation helped with confidence in digital technologies from Spring to Summer 2021.

See What Students Are Saying

“The iROC initiative focuses on providing students with a technological platform that enhances their learning experience. The provision of the iPads at the beginning of the school year facilitated my learning in so many different ways. My favorite experience was an online telemedicine simulation — it was exciting to gain insight on this form of patient care.”
Gabriella Gante
Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses
Incorporating the iPads in our curriculum has truly given value to experiential learning. Learning has become fun and more interactive because of the games, surveys and other activities we are able to do on the iPad. The iPads also create an enriching mock environment of clinical experiences that allow us to exercise and sharpen our fundamental nursing skills, which makes the material that much more comprehensive. I really feel more confident and equipped to begin my career.
Jassel Glanville
Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses