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.


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.


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!

Virtual reality education and medical terminolgy

As nursing faculty, we want to engage our students to explore and participate in ways that suit their individual learning styles and needs. The use of various emerging technologies such as virtual reality virtural realityand high- fidelity simulation has been proven to be an effective way in teaching and learning in nursing.



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The School of Nursing at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, has been incorporating these learning technologies for many years now. Check out our simulation centre.

These tools attempt to imitate clinical environments and facilitate realistic experiences. For example, clinical scenarios can be developed electronically or in high-fidelity simulation labs and be delivered to students offering a safe environment to practice important skills like making clinical decisions, information retrieval, and assessment and diagnostic reasoning. The intent is to increase their level of confidence. make for a safe learning environment and grow their clinical judgment and decision making  for safe competent practice in future.

Stephanie and I have discussed the benefits and drawbacks to virtual reality education within nursing on many different occasions. While reading her blog post from EC&I 833 class on virtual reality, it echoed some of my concerns with this means to educate. It makes me wonder if the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks? Do you lose the “Human Connection” ? More over, what if students don’t have access to devices or the financial means to purchase the programs? Would this be mandatory for the nursing education program or optional?Image result for benefit and drawback

However, technologies such as virtual reality can play an important role in teaching clinical skills to the next generation of nurses – and without causing harm to their patients.

Getting to my point….How does this fit with our group’s medical terminology course prototype that I mentioned last week in my blog

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I feel virtual reality education could play an important role to better understanding medical terminology for nursing students. Nurses need to understand this language to be able to communicate and understand critical aspect to their job on a daily basis. If there is not a clear understanding of the terminology, there are risks for potentially life threatening consequences to happen.

Medical terminology can be hard to learn, no fun and rather boring.

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What if virtual reality education could transform this? Nurses need to be able to communicate inter-professionally with confidence. Virtual reality could assist by allowing students the time to practice this in a safe, non stressful environment – with immediate feedback. Twana’s blog post video was a great example of how students struggle with pronunciation of these terms. Incorrect pronunciation is a fear that many nurses and nursing students have when communicating in and among professionals. Virtual reality education would allow for hands on practice.

I would love to say that we will be able to build some form of virtual reality tool into our course prototype, but I can not see this happening in the short amount of time we have. However, I do see value in virtual reality education for medical terminology education. 

As for our course prototype we have decided to use moodle as our platform (I know, I know, painful right?). Being that I am an nurse education within the SCBScN program which collaborates with the University of Reginawe use URcourses (Moodle platform). Due to the nature of the courses I primarily teach in now, I have not had to do much work on URcourses directly. Therefore, this was a great opportunity to learn more about Moodle before I have to take on more URcourse coordination responsibly in my very near future.

I look forward to digging deeper into the course prototype development and the Moodle platform with my partners in crime – Stephanie and Twana.

Group meeting scheduled for Friday, February 3, 2017.

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