Nursing professors working toward completing textbook

Nick Walton

Authors hope to reach multimodal learners with text

When McGraw-Hill approached College of Nursing lecturers Barbara Yoost and Lynne Crawford about publishing a book, they were reluctant.

It wasn’t until officials from the publishing company made a visit to Kent State that they changed their mind.

“(They) had very similar views and opinions and visions that we had as far as what was needed in the market and what we needed to move forward,” Crawford said.

After starting on the project in September 2007, Crawford and Yoost are aiming for a 2011 release of a fundamental nursing textbook. They want the textbook and additional online material they’re working on to help make a difference in nursing education.

Yoost said the material in the book is aimed at nursing students and is different from traditional textbooks.

“(Current textbooks) are more oriented towards the read-write learning style,” Yoost said. “Research indicates that most of us nurses are multimodal learners, so our goal is to provide faculty and students with not only a textbook but online resources and ideas that helps them retain and apply the knowledge.”

The process of writing the 42 chapters and 1500 pages in the book has been divided among the professors and contributors. Crawford and Yoost said it takes around two to three months to write a chapter, and they will work on five chapters in the book. Yoost said after this process, the professors will have to edit, revise and check for accuracy in the book.

“It’s like three years of final exams week,” Yoost said. “We get home at night and we spend our evenings, and we’ll e-mail each other and we’ll be working on stuff – hardly a evening or weekend goes by that we are not on a conference call between the two of us.”

Crawford said when they met with the publishers for a review, the feedback was positive.

“We met near the McGraw-Hill offices in Burr Ridge, Ill., and they brought a dozen fundamental faculty from across the country really knowing nothing about the project,” Crawford said.

After receiving feedback from the faculty, Crawford and Yoost made some suggested changes and will meet at a symposium in June to further review progress.

When the lecturers are not working on material for their classes, they are working on the book or reporting to the publishing company.

“It’s an adjustment because you still have the teaching responsibilities, which is our primary career and primary employment,” Crawford said. “At certain times of the year there’s very little time to squeeze out for it, but you have to kind of set aside time.”

Working on the textbook has helped the professors learn more about teaching different subject matter. Crawford said after looking at multiple textbooks, she has a better idea about what students need to know and what they should learn differently. Yoost said working on the textbook helps work with the material they teach in class.

“We teach fundamentals of nursing, so all of the research that we’re doing in preparation for the textbook project enhances our ability to teach our students,” Yoost said.

Along with the help and support from the publishing company, Crawford and Yoost are grateful for the support they’ve gotten from the College of Nursing.

“We would be remiss if we mention didn’t our dean (Laura Dzurec), and our colleagues here at Kent have been very supportive,” Yoost said. “I don’t think we could do it without their support.”

Contact health reporter Nick Walton at [email protected].