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ISSN: 2637-6695

Lupine Online Journal of Nursing & Health care

Research Article(ISSN: 2637-6695)

The Plate Method: Teaching Learning Strategy in A Pre- Licensure Nursing Program Volume 3 - Issue 3

Ejim N. Sule PhD, RN*, Geroge Crippen, MSN, RN, Douglas Wakhu, DNP, RN

  • Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing, USA

Received: April 04, 2022;   Published: May 10, 2022

Corresponding author: Ejim N. Sule, Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing, USA

DOI: 10.32474/LOJNHC.2022.03.000164

Abstract PDF


Aims and objectives: To determine if the use of the Plate Method of teaching compared to the traditional power point lecture enhances learning in a pre-licensure nursing adult health II class.

Background: The pedagogical method of teaching (The Teacher- Centered Model) [1] (Crisol-Moya et. al, 2020) was effective in the twentieth century; however, it has become less effective in teaching the new generation of learners to meet learning outcomes in the pre-licensure nursing program.

Sample: The study sample was comprised of twenty-eight learners enrolled in Adult Health II course.

Methods: A descriptive, non-experimental, comparative quantitative design was the approach utilized for the study.

Results: Exam scores showed an increased when the Plate Method was the mode of teaching and learning compared to the exam scores when the traditional lecture power point mode was utilized.

Conclusions: The initial evidence showed higher exam scores when the Plate Method was used, but further research would be needed to overcome the limitations of the pilot study.

Keywords: Plate Method; Teaching Strategy; Learning Outcomes; Learning Styles Background


Many learners require variety of teaching methods to be successful. Changes in higher nursing education include an evolution of teaching strategies. Pedagogical method of teaching in higher education is no longer the only teaching strategy [2]. One such innovative teaching strategy is the Plate Method developed by the author of this paper. The Plate Metod involves looking at interactive ways of placing concepts, learning and outcomes on a “Plate” depicted by a circle on white board or digital board in the classroom to show how each concept or factor interface with one another. It helps the learner to comprehend anticipated manifestations. The Plate Method also enhances critical thinking and understanding in pre-licensure adult health II nursing class.


Faculty in higher education are integrating various teaching methodologies to promote active engagement during the learning process [2]. The nursing program requires a great deal of information for learners to learn and retain. Therefore, PowerPoint lecture mode poses a challenge for learners who have a variety of learning styles [3]. posit that the learner should be actively engaged in the learning process for knowledge retention, thereby discouraging passive learning. Teaching content should be presented based on helping learners to learn and based on how to help them to attain competent levels [4]. Therefore, teaching and learning cannot be a “one size fit all” process. The results of a survey of learners enrolled in adult health II’s learning styles conducted at the beginning of each semester over a two- year period indicated that 80% of the learners surveyed preferred a mixed method of learning: Visual, kinesthetic, Auditory and Reading. Only 20% of those surveyed indicated a single method of learning.

The Plate Method

The Plate method developed by the primary author, is a teaching strategy that incorporates the four preferred learning styles of learners to enhance retention, promote critical thinking and maximize learning outcomes for pre-licensure nursing learners. In the Plate Method, an adult health topic is identified and placed in a circle that represents a plate on the white board. Learners are then asked to identify what that topic means to them. Each item they name is placed on a section of the “plate” and categorized in groups that form the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, laboratory data, diagnostic data, nursing diagnosis, drug therapy, nursing implementation, care of the client utilizing critical thinking, managing complication and evaluation etc. Lines are drawn from each group on the plate to illustrate appropriate connections to each other. This process engages learners, promotes critical thinking and they are encouraged to go to the board and associate the disease state by connecting an item to the various groups. Throughout the presentation of the topic, the instructor facilitates the connection and illustrations on the white board by the learner. Thus, all the areas related to a disease state are viewed in one “plate” for synthesis and application of their chapter readings. In addition, this process allows the learner to incorporate their various learning styles and retention of learning.

Learners indicated that the Plate Method teaching strategy enhanced their learning and retention and was preferred over PowerPoint lecture. The efficacy of the Plate Method was tested using quantitative data to compare test scores. Four-unit exams were administered during a ten-week Summer Semester of Adult Health II upper division nursing course. The first two-unit exams were administered after lecture and traditional PowerPoint presentations, while the last two-unit exams were preceded by the Plate Method of teaching. Twenty-eight learners were enrolled in the class. One learner dropped the course before the third- and fourth-unit exams.

Results of Unit Exam Average Scores

Exam 1-78.1%-Traditional PowerPoint Strategy, Exam 2- 81.85% -Traditional PowerPoint Strategy.

Exam 3-85.68%-Plate Method Strategy, Exam 4–82.57%- (84.13) Plate Method Strategy. Therefore, PowerPoint strategy exam scores average was 79.98% and 84.13% for the Plate Method strategy.

The results of the exams demonstrated that the exam average scores that had content taught with the Plate Method of teaching had a higher average score than the first two test scores that were taught by the traditional method of teaching. A survey was conducted of the 27 students remaining in the course concerning their preference for either the traditional lecture and PowerPoint presentations or the Plate Method of instruction. 25% of the students preferred PowerPoint only, 39% preferred the Plate Method of instruction only and 36% preferred a combination of both PowerPoint and the Plate Method of instruction. Therefore, 75% of the students surveyed preferred a form of the Plate Method Teaching strategy.


There was an increase in unit exam scores using the Plate Method strategy (84.13%) when compared to the unit exam scores of PowerPoint strategy (79.98%). Additionally, utilizing more than one teaching strategy like the Plate Method benefits students who have multiple learning styles. Comparing two-unit exams with PowerPoint Strategy and two-unit exams with The Plate Method of instruction in the same semester did not provide a sufficient sample. Therefore, it is recommended to replicate this same study in the Fall and Spring semesters with a larger sample.


The authors would like to thank Dr. Isaac Smith for reviewing this manuscript.

Appropriate human subjects’ approval was obtained from the authors’ institutional review board. Funding for this grant was supported via an internal seed grant from Prairie View A&M University’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.


  1. Crisol Moya E, Romero Lopez M, Caurcel Cara (2020) Active Methodologies in Higher Education: Perception And Opinion As Evaluated By Professors And Their Learners In The Teaching-Learning Process. Front. Psychol 11: 1703.
  2. Shirani B, Nasr Isfahani, A., Rouhollahi A, Khalili R (2016) Effective teaching methods in higher education: Requirements and barriers. Journal of Advances in Medical Education & Professionalism 4(4): 170-178.
  3. Zamora Polo F, Sánchez-Martín J (2019) Teaching for a Better World. Sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals in the Construction of a Change-Maker University. Sustainability 11: 4224.
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