Tag Archives: Instructional Strategy

The truth about teaching naked

It’s hard to believe I’m in the last week of PIDP 3240 (online)!  And that means it’s time to wrap-up the blogging – for now.  It’s been a busy, but enjoyable, 8 weeks…lots of great discussions with peers, some cool new web 2.0 tools to try, and of course having the motivation to blog regularly.

When I resurrected this blog for PIDP 3240, my initial post was about teaching naked (eek!).  I was confused…why is a course about media-enhanced learning using a book that says get technology out of the classroom???  Working through the course text (entitled ‘Teaching Naked’) and through the online discussion forums, I’d like to share a few things I have discovered about teaching naked.

First truth: There is no need to remove clothing.  Ha!

Second truth: Technology in learning is inevitable, and it can be a very good thing.  The best, and most common way for students to first be exposed to new material is online.  Technology has given us more content and more ways to deliver the content.

Third truth: Face time is too valuable to waste.  Our classes need to deliver something more than what students would get if they just stayed home and accessed the online resources.  We need to make class time meaningful – something they don’t want to miss.  If they can just get all the info online, why bother showing up?

What really hit home for me about Teaching Naked was that students need and crave connections – with their instructor and with their peers.  Technology is great, but it is only a means to an end.  Students want instructor contact, discussions, opportunities for feedback, engagement, social/professional bonding.  And instructors want the same thing.

Teaching is about balance.  The perfect mix of technology, teaching practices and human contact…32fc16026a36617a7e0c066b45013ec3

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Taking the Tech Out of Technology

it20students20lab20classI LOVED this article!!  I posted it on our PIDP 3240 discussion forum and it generated a lot of commentary.  Peers were intrigued, interested and totally engaged in discussing this article.  In the article, the author states that instructors who were involved in the Virtual College at his school were actually not interested in technology at all….they wanted to learn ways they could increase social interaction.  Likewise, students wanted instructor contact.  Although we get very excited about new technology and great new tools, we still need to maintain the human connection.  The author sums it up well: “A blend of teaching practices, technology, and basic human contact just might be the recipe needed” (Buemi, 2015).

I tend to agree very much so with Buemi.  Although I like the options that technology gives us, I still like the human connection, between students and instructor.  Linking back to the hybrid course delivery model, this is a great way to achieve exactly the perfect recipe that Buemi describes.  Does anyone else see the risk of technology interfering with human connection in the classroom?

“Our excitement over the latest technology has started focusing on the wrong thing. It ought to reside in the praxis of teaching, not the tool.”

Source: Taking the Tech Out of Technology

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Educational ACDC

Here’s an interesting spin on teaching!  And no, I don’t mean the band.

  • Active Learning
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Discovery Learning
  • Community

“ACDC Leadership and Consulting was created by Jacob Clifford in 2007. We are dedicated to creating student-focused teaching resources that make learning exciting, powerful, and fun. We offer teachers, schools, and districts a variety of programs, activities, and workshops. […] we have what you need to get students out of their seats and into the curriculum.” http://www.acdcleadership.com/

One example of a student project using the ACDC program is having the students create a music video using course content as lyrics.  I remember taking anatomy and physiology and wishing it could be converted into song lyrics…the terminology would be much easier to remember if I could sing through it!

Here’s another example of using movies/music to help student remember content that may be difficult to recall:  (I shared it with my nursing class and they loved it!)

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Online learning -> brain damage???

computer-evolutionThe damaging effects that screen time has on individuals has been thoroughly researched and well documented.  However, when studies recommend to limit screen time, they are generally referring to recreational screen time.  So where does necessary (work/school-related) screen time fit into the equation?

Surely our bodies suffer the same health issues whether or not we are logged in for pleasure or business.  So it is interesting to me that with the explosion of online education, no one really speaks about the health concerns associated with this kind of screen time.  I recognize that online courses are more involved than matching various candies in a row, however, our bodies are surely suffering the same health effects.  Sedentary lifestyle, increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, decreased vision, poor concentration, brain atrophy, and the list goes on…  (As I sit in front of the computer typing this, I can feel my pulse rate rising with unease).

Universities need to keep up with the times and offer online learning, I get it.  Learners want convenience, flexibility, and online courses offer all this and more.  Online learning also saves the learner and the school money (no room booking fees, resources available online, etc.).  But has anyone really considered the costs… the ones we cannot put a monetary value on…?

To read about the damaging effects of screen time on the brain, click here.

white_matter_changes_internet_addiction_lin202012
“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.”  –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction”

(Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)

 

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Virtual reality

Virtual reality = very cool!  This would be a great in nursing education.  Not only for patient simulations, practicing emergency situations, etc., but I also found this article about a virtual reality that includes Non-Player-Characters (e.g. family members, colleagues, visitors).  In this particular article, it was about dealing with the behaviors of a patient with dementia – a tricky task.  The VR allows the nursing students to practice their responses in a safe learning environment prior to testing out their techniques in the real world.small

One interesting point this article makes, is that VR may replace traditional Simulation Based Training, as it is much more cost-effective than purchasing and maintaining mannequins, employment of simulation specialists, etc.  Having gone to a nursing school that had SBT mannequins that no instructor knew how to use, I believe the addition of VR to nursing education would be very advantageous.  But I do think there would need to be a balance of VR and practicing on real people.  Nursing is a ‘people/caring’ profession – and that can’t fully be learned in a virtual setting.

What do you think?

Article Reference: http://vsgames2016.com/proceedings/papers/pid1178378.pdf

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No letter grades here!

Here is a little further reading to my last post.  Apparently there are colleges that don’t give letter grades…not many, and none that I found in Canada.  But here’s a look at some colleges in the States that have innovative grading systems.

Web

Check out this article for more information on how they score their students: http://www.bestcollegereviews.org/colleges-without-letter-grades/

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Cdn Healthcare

So…I knew my class was going to be a snoozer.  The topic was the Canadian Healthcare System, and included the 5 key principles of the Canada Health Act.  Not really riveting information.  Content that I know my students will promptly forget as soon as the last exam is written.  In an attempt to make it a little more appealing (at least visually), I turned the highlights from the class into an infographic for my PIDP course.  Voila!

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/16579951-new-piktochart

And the accompanying Podcast: https://learntoteach.podbean.com/mf/web/3ykcqw/Infographic_Podcast.m4a

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Book Review

My college is offering an instructional development workshop, and unfortunately I am unable to go.  But it sounded interesting, so I Googled the title of the workshop, and discovered that it is actually discussing the topics from the book “How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching” by Mayer.51b2baegk6pl-_sx333_bo1204203200_

Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of the book to provide my own review, but I did find one report that summarized the views of 25 health professions faculty educators.  Being in nursing, this review was very relevant!

The book covers seven topics, discussing them separately in each chapter:

  1. Students’ prior knowledge can serve to help or hinder learning.
  2. Students’ organization of knowledge impacts how students learn and apply what they know.
  3. Motivation determines, directs, and sustains what students learn.
  4. To develop mastery, students must develop the skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply them.
  5. Goal-directed practice coupled with targeted feedback enhances learning.
  6. Level of learner development interacts with “course” climate to impact learning.
  7. To become self-directed, learners must be able to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning (pages 4–6).

What I liked about the review was that it assured me that the book is relevant for those teaching in the healthcare subjects.  Quite often, educational resources are geared more towards undergrad students, and not those in trades or vocational programs.  But based on the reviews, this book seems pretty great. I’ll be looking to pick up a copy of this book ASAP!

Click here to read the book review and see if it might be helpful for you too!

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Teach teachers how to create magic

I came across this TedTalk today…I was initially viewing talks about teachers who take risks.  But I found this one held my attention – for the exact reason that the clip is about: the speaker has magic.  He has a way of communicating that captivates listeners, keeps them on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what he’ll say next.  Is he taking a risk by using his magic?  I think so!  Straying from traditional teaching methods tends to get a lot of raised eyebrows.  And how about the way colleagues may react?  (Could be interest, feeling upset, envy, or even jealousy).  But if the outcome is having engaged and interested students, then would it not be a risk worth taking?

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WGAD!

james-stevenson-i-m-sorry-rhett-but-now-i-don-t-give-a-damn-new-yorker-cartoon_a-g-9179761-8419447Well, this is an interesting teaching concept, excerpted from Teaching Naked (Bowen, 2012), but actually referenced from another book I have previously blogged about, Bain’s What the Best College Teachers Do (2004).

In short, the professor writes WGAD (who gives a damn) on the whiteboard each day.  Students can interrupt at any time during the class with “WGAD!”

No, the instructor isn’t supposed to get all flustered or offended.  The instructor couples this motivating offer to debate anything with the expectation that students keep an open mind and honestly debate both sides of every WGAD objection.  Another aspect of this technique that I like is that it really helps learners make relevance of the material.  Adult learners especially need to know why they need to know something.  Allowing them to ask WGAD helps them to make this connection.  technical-communication-futurist-by-scott-abel-25-638

I am teaching a “nursing fluff” kind of course.  Or at least, that’s how the health promotion course is perceived by the students and even by some senior faculty.  And it’s true, even without taking the course the students would probably turn out to be good nurses.  However, if I offered the WGAD opportunity, perhaps they would value the content of the course and discover how it can change their views of nursing.  It would also be a good challenge for me to be able to think on my feet and make connections between course content and nursing practice.  I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try this technique on my first time through the course….but maybe next semester!?

References:

Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Bowen, J.A. (2012). Teaching naked: How moving technology out of your college classroom will improve student learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 

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