KEEP CALM we’re making progress

Hello everyone and welcome back. Here’s to another blog.

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Over the break my group and I worked hard on trying to get our prototype assignment off the ground. I believe that we were successful in going this and are very happy with the progress we have made.

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Well this week’s blog prompt has got me thinking. We did not think much about student interacting with other classmates/students nor the teacher really. I stopped and asked myself why we didn’t think much about this? From my personal experience (aside from this course) I have only take one other online course. The course was highly self directed,
dry and asynchronous. I had no direct contact or interactions with other students in the course and required very minimal from the teacher. I hated every minute of that course and could not wait for it to be done. So now, I ask myself, why was my prototype heading in that direction. YIKES!

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Alec said something in class this week that resonated with me. It was something along the lines of, if you wouldn’t want to sit and learn in your own class, why would you teach it like that? Great point! That is when (also the blog prompt) I knew we had to add more to our prototype to make it more interactive; attempt create a “community” within our course prototype. How, you might ask? Great question!

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A little about our course prototype first.

As I have started to mention in previous blogs, our prototype is an online course that examines introductory medical terminology for pre- nursing students entering a nursing education program. It is 8 weeks in length and is mandatory upon being acceptanced and prior to beginning a Saskatchewan Polytechnic Nursing Education Program. This course is a non-credit course that will be offered through asynchronous online facilitation.Image result for medical terminology Our online course will focus on three modules: Describing structure of medical terms, identifying accepted abbreviations of medical terms and exploring body positions and planes.

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Getting back to the blog prompt, what forms of student/student-instructor interactions will we implement in your course prototype? After reading Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation from this weeks required readings, it gave me a better understanding as to why we should incorporate this into our course.

Benefits of Using Online Discussion Boards

  •  Builds class community by promoting discussion on course topics
  •  Allows time for in-depth reflection- students have more time to reflect, research & compose their thoughts before participating in the discussion
  •  Facilitates learning by allowing students to view & to respond to the work of others
  •  Develops thinking & writing skills
  •  Allows guest experts to participate in the course by posting information & responding to questions

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After taking this reading and the benefits of online discussions boards into consideration, we have added an online discussion forum to our prototype. flip-pngWe thought an icebreaker/introductions would be most logical and a valuable way to start the discussions off. We worked together on creating an flipgrid for this idea. click here to check it out.

Our second discussion post is about, describing a time in your life when you have experienced a situation in which you were spoken to using terminology you didn’t understand. Explain how you felt? Did your lack of understanding result in a poor outcome? How would of things ended differently if you were familiar with the terminology?  We thought that an open discussion forum would be of value. Students can hear from one and other and their stories/experiences to understand why medical terminology is important to learn not only for nursing but everyday life. Image result for critical thinkingThis online discussion would demonstration key concepts of medical terminology, build community, give opportunity for self reflection and the aim would be to facilitate student leadership and critical thinking.

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Zoom, email, and the telephone were all communication tools that we were going to offer to our students for ways of communicating with us. We are going to be available via zoom at prearranged times every week.

We are in the early stages of incorporating this idea of classmate interactions into our course prototype. However, I look forward to putting more thought and creativity into this area of teaching and learning. I have found  Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation reading helpful and valuable in this area of building my prototype. I am glad that this week’s class discussion and blog prompt helped me in realising this area of neglect. 

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I look forward to working more on this course prototype with Twana and Stephanie

We welcome your feedback. Being that our course is 8 weeks in length and that it is an online asynchronous course, how much interaction is too much? how little is not enough? How can we find the balance for adult learners in post secondary education?

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

26 thoughts on “KEEP CALM we’re making progress

  1. I totally agree that we overlooked the opportunity to create a community within our course. I am thankful for the insight from the readings and this week’s class that made us stop and take a look at how we can implement strategies to increase the student engagement and faculty support.
    Thanks for posting!

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  2. OMG! The 3 of you sound like you are well on your way to completing the project! WAY TO GO! I am looking forward to hearing more about your prototype. From what you have written, your course sounds fascinating. Keep up the great work.

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    • Thanks for your reply! We sure have a great start on it now. I am sure things will come up like this week that will guide us to strengthen it. I think we got caught up in the technology of things are didn’t think outside the box. Thank goodness for blog prompts and Alec’s inspiration as to why we do things.

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  3. Wow, looks like you guys are a long way into your project- that’s awesome! We hadn’t thought a bunch about this for ours either. In part, possibly because we will have face to face interactions because they are middle school. Interesting, and proof positive about the style of teaching and how we ourselves like to learn. I took several Athabasca classes as an undergrad because I lived out of the city with 3 little kids. I actually liked just reading and going on with my business- didn’t bother me at all not to have interaction.

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    • Thanks for the comment. I think adult learners sometimes just like “going about their business” because we are busy and all have other commitments. I Believe that is why we overlooked this. Since our course is a asynchronous, non credit and a short online course- it was easy to over look.
      However, creating a supportive learning environment like google plus that we have for this class has proven to be very valuable when we have questions. Do you find that valuable to your learning style?

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      • I do. I have done classes that it hasn’t been the case. I’m fine with that- however there is always so much to learn from others that when the availability to have the interactions and improve learning I think we should always do it.

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      • There is always so much to learn for one and other. Always so great!
        I am newish to teaching and learning online – so at times I can also find it overwhelming. However, I find it so valuable as well.

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  5. Alec’s comment about “Would you want to take this course?” also resonated with me last week. I spent so much time worrying about including technology that I kind of lost sight of why I was using the technology. It looks like even though you may feel like you overlooked communication initially, you have lots of great ideas to create interactions moving forward!

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  7. I love the idea for your second discussion post, I think that is a great place to start especially on a terminology course as it helps them see the importance of why they are taking the course and hopefully will increase their engagement right from the beginning of the course. Keep up the great work, it looks like you are well on your way!

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