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What is an alternative to organizing a traditional scavenger hunt as a teaching strategy?

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Consider developing a virtual scavenger hunt during which learners follow online clues that lead them to specific journal articles or healthcare-related websites—such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (—to solve clinical puzzles or respond to questions pertaining to pandemics such as the H1N1 flu. This approach allows for flexibility of time and place as well as fun.

Design a case study on a topic that is important but not within the normal realm of practice. Write a scenario in which the nurse must act as an investigator, tracking down the source of a pathogen spread by an environmental/natural disaster, such as a hurricane or contaminated water supply. Clues may take the form of giving learners websites to access in order to locate specific research findings or information from organizations such as the World Health Organization.

These types of virtual hunts do take time to develop. But because they are more innovative than the usual “here is the disease, can you find the correct treatment” approach, increased participation and interest may be triggered. There are numerous advantages to the virtual scavenger hunt including:

  • Flexibility of time and place for the learner
  • The opportunity for learners to enhance their online research skills
  • A strategy that is both new and entertaining
  • Increased possibilities to explore the Internet for information from sites that are not usually part of the learners’ Web-surfing activities

-Adrianne E. Avillion, D.Ed, RN