Robots make remote learning more accessible at the School of Nursing

Hephzibah Rajan, Associate Producer: Q30 Newscast

The Quinnipiac School of Nursing has taken a new approach to remote learning with robots that students can call into. This improved system allows students to learn better than ever from the comfort of their home.

The robots can be controlled through the call and students can navigate the robot into different rooms and labs. Although students miss out on the ability to do different hands-on skills, everything is not completely lost.

“So they may not be able to do the hands-on skill but they can actually participate by watching their peers do skills at the bedside and also by communicating with the patient and educating the patient,” director of operations for the skills and simulations lab, Darlene Rogers said.

Rogers first got the idea when she was watching News 8 and had heard that the University of Texas had purchased robots. She felt that it was difficult to engage virtual students when they connected through Zoom.

“We were challenged sometimes that the zoom carts were just in the corner. They didn’t give us accessibility to the bedside,” Rogers said.

These robots have improved how students interact with their peers and professors.

“It really is starting to increase the accessibility of accessing the labs in a different and unique way,” Rogers said.

Professor Darlene Rogers teaching a student using the robot.

Rogers mentioned that around 15 students had already used the technology successfully. Fourth-year nursing major Alexi Furst used the robots during finals week since she was down with COVID. She felt that being remote did not take away from her learning experience.

“I felt like I was in the room and I still got the same benefits I would as being in the classroom,” Furst said.

Despite the success, this idea still has its challenges. Furst felt that the robot was difficult to navigate when she used it for her skills and simulations lab.

“Navigating it was a little bit difficult because you are the one that moves the robot,” Furst said. “I thought it was easier when they physically walked me.”

In this age of technology, Rogers believes that there are infinite possibilities with how the robots can be used.

“I think the value of technology of robots again is sky is the limit,” Rogers said.

The School of Communications is looking to make a similar investment. Dean Chris Roush posted on LinkedIn earlier this month indicating that the school was going to purchase these robots.

At Quinnipiac University, schools are looking at different ways to improve remote learning and the virtual experience has only advanced.