Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science (DSc) in Emergency Management


Emergency Management

Committee Chair

Jane Kushma, Professor of Emergency Management


This mixed methods study explored emergency preparedness and disaster response in the concept-based learning curriculum adopted by the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) in 2016. The concept-based curriculum employs active learning in lieu of the traditional lecture-style teaching methods.

This study addressed the problem that educators may be unfamiliar with this content and are unsure how to present this material to students. The purpose of this study was to gain insight on teaching methodologies, to better prepare nursing students on this content.

Kolb’s 1984 Experiential Learning Theory was the framework that parallels closely with this curriculum. Kolb emphasizes four stages that are essential for experiential learning to be successful: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation.

The online survey included 76 nurse educators from the ACCS. Survey questions were based on the variables of teaching methodologies, nurse preparedness, attitudes and barriers. The results concluded that collaboration is the preferred method of teaching. Continuing education opportunities on this content are also needed.

The semi-structured interviews included five nurse directors in the ACCS. The interviews indicated simulation was the preferred method of directors to prepare students in this content. Continuing education was a need expressed.

This study revealed that nurse educators and directors want more education on this content. A future follow-up study would be beneficial to include educators and students to measure learning outcomes.

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