Delivering world-class nursing across the state through innovative education and care models.
The unique vision of the University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) Health Science Education Building is to implement an active learning curriculum and pedagogy between learners located in different communities. To better serve rural communities, UNK and the University of Nebraska Medical Center entered into a collaborative relationship to educate learners in two locations based on an active learning model both synchronously and asynchronously. This project provides learning environments for the College of Nursing and Allied Health programs. To realize this vision, flexible, distance-focused technology was critical to the design of the facility. The 50,000 SF building includes state-of-the-art active learning classrooms, extensive simulation and skills laboratories, learning studio and seminar rooms, administrative and faculty and staff office space to accommodate current and expanded numbers of faculty and staff. Lectures that originate in other cities are streamed to classrooms through distance technology. This technology also facilitates student and faculty interaction between each campus site, using audio and video sources that track each student in the classroom so that they can engage with other students and faculty in remote locations. At the foundation of these spaces is a focus on bridging distances in the learning experience and connecting multiple campuses across the state. These bridges begin to leverage the resources of each site to deliver a comprehensive, high-quality education that previously was challenging to achieve. Flexible tables and chairs are easily organized to facilitate small group, lecture, prebrief, debrief and case-based learning. These spaces also provide flexibility for future technologies and the development of unique pedagogies. Equally important to the learning spaces are the informal learning and collaboration environments that support this suite. These become the connective links between each unique active and immersive learning environment.