Final Learning Summary

Hello fellow ECI834 students! I’ve finished my final learning summary and have listed the link below for your viewing pleasure. Thanks so much for all you have taught me these past few months! I look forward to meeting most of you next week, and if I don’t see you, I hope you have a wonderful summer!

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Week 11 Blog: Are There Limits to What can be Taught Online?

With the advances of technology, all types of online classes are now possible.  In an article titled, “The promises and limits of online higher education,” Xu & Xu (2019) stated, “Several practices can improve the quality of online instruction, including strategic course offering, student counseling, interpersonal interaction… and the professional development of faculty”. 

I was able to find some great information in an open textbook chapter called, “3.6 Experiential learning: learning by doing”, written by Anthony Bates. The experiential teaching model basically is providing students opportunities to ‘learn through doing”, enabling them to apply theoretical knowledge to practice in a variety of settings inside and outside of the classroom. The Practical Nursing program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic would fall within this category. Bates stated that experiential learning would be taught best online in a blended or flipped instructional model.

Experiential programs may be taught fully online if using a combination of synchronous tools like web conferencing, or asynchronous tools like discussions or social media group work, or multimedia for reporting and remote labs for hands-on work (Bates, n.d.). There may be programs where costs, practicality or safety factors become too much of an issue.

Online learning can simulate real environment conditions if using the right technology and result in less time needed for skill mastery. One example is pilots using flight simulators. There is also evidence that shows that when experiential type online programs are properly designed, they lead to better long term memory storage and are very engaging.

The Practical Nursing program at Saskpolytech, offers a blended online version of the program, available throughout the entire 2 years length of the program. Students are required to attend Regina campus for the skills labs (usually offered on weekends) and join on campus students in clinical/hospital experiences, but they complete all of the nursing classes online. Nursing students relate they enjoy having the flexibility of learning, enabling them to hold jobs and stay home with kids, as well as live in rural areas and not have to travel daily or move to Regina.

I imagine that hands-on/ experiential types of programs would be difficult to offer fully online, but not impossible, given the right conditions such as technology, planning, and training!

Course Walkthrough: Week 10 Blog

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Please click on the link below to view Dean Lefebvre’s and my YouTube video that will walk you through our ‘Interprofessional Education’ (IPE) course.

The following course modifications were made according to the peer feedback we received:

  • We made sure to add more pictures and descriptions to ‘spice’ up the aesthetic look of the course where we could (within the restraints of the LMS).
  • We added in a ‘fun activity’ in LO3 to engage students through creating the virtual escape room.  Quizzes were added in to test student’s knowledge at the end of each of the first three learning outcomes.  The students also had the opportunity to create creative videos in LO1, participate in discussions in LO2 and a case study activity and further discussions in LO4.

You are welcome to try your hand at the escape room by clicking on the picture below.  Be sure to have the ‘cheat codes’ handy so you don’t get trapped!

The cheat codes for the escape rooms are as follows:

  • Escape Room One: D-B-A
  • Escape Room Two: B-B-C
  • Escape Room Three: C-A-A
  • Escape Room Four: B-B-D
  • Escape Room Five: A-B-A
  • Escape Room Six: C-B-C

In case you would like further information, I have included links to the websites that I used to help me create the virtual escape room on Google Docs.  The first one is titled, “How to make any worksheet into an escape room in the classroom”, by Jessica (no last name provided). The second one is a guide to using Google Forms on a webpage called, “G Suite Learning Center”.

This IPE course was a lot of fun to create with my colleague, Dean Lefebvre, and really helped me to think through and thoughtfully apply design principles for online and blended learning.  I have learned a lot more about D2L Brightspace LMS as well as various instructional tools through creating this course! I can’t wait to apply this knowledge to my future teaching!  

Written Overview of ECI Course Prototype and Creation Process
• Dean and I initially brainstormed ideas for this course and it seemed natural to us to combine our two Saskpolytech programs and develop a course that promoted the newest mandate of both of our professional associations and Saskpolytech itself, Interprofessional Education, or IPE. It is also known as ‘Interprofessional Collaboration” when used in action in the workplace.

• Since we both have experience in using the D2L Brightspace LMS, we developed the course using this format, while trying to maximize the available tools within this LMS. Even though we both used D2L, neither of us had previously used it to its fullest capacity. We aren’t able to personalize the course page a lot, but were able to add graphics here and there such as on the start-up page. As Jake Heimpel said last week, adding modules is really easy and then when you are ready, you can publish your work. This also applies on the Newsfeed, which is really handy for course announcements. You have a calendar option in which you can add in important dates to send reminders to students.

• We planned each module with a delivery timeframe of approximately 15 min, but we thought the students would have a week to complete each module. Since interprofessionalism is all about interaction, we embedded discussion forums throughout our course and tried to create engaging activities that promoted teamwork and collaboration. We got the ball rolling first by Dean and I each recording a short intro video to personalize the student’s experiences from the start.

Learning Outcome/ Module 1: Define Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Collaboration
• We added in an icebreaker activity in which students each recorded intro videos using a built-in LMS tool.
• Content included Introduction of IPE – description and definition – Dean created a Powtoon video for content delivery.
• We added in a YouTube video to further relate content.
• At the end of each of the first 3 modules, we created a quiz that tests knowledge from that module. The purpose of the quiz was two-fold – first to engage learners to self-check their knowledge, secondly, the quiz forms the base for the escape room activity at the end of module 3. For the purpose of our peers navigating through our course, I ensured the answers were displayed following completion of each quiz. The learner has to note the answers for each quiz and use them to get through the escape rooms.

Learning Outcome/ Module 2: Discuss Barriers to Successful Interprofessional Collaboration
• Content was provided in the form of a screencast video, with matching script so as to deliver content in more than one way to address a variety of learner types.
• Throughout the content the students were prompted to work in pre-assigned discussion groups to explore various IPE related topics and post to the discussion board, using hyperlinks. The discussion groups were made up of 4 students with 2 from each program (Dental Hygiene and Practical Nursing).
• The LMS has some really great features for the quiz, such as adding pictures, descriptions, setting various parameters for each quiz such as a start and end date, options to show answers for each question and rationale if the instructor wishes.

Learning Outcome/ Module 3: Describe Theoretical Components of Successful IPE
• There is a webpage providing module content in written format. At the completion of this module, the students are provided a hyperlink to try out the virtual escape room. This is where the answers are used to navigate through each ‘escape room’.
• I corresponded each module’s quiz questions to each escape room. Students were required to write those answers in the correct order such as B-A-C or C-B-A in order to ‘open the lock’. If they did not type the correct order, I wrote a message. There are different options for setting what type of lock you want, inserting pictures and writing descriptions for each room. It was a lot of fun to set up and has great potential for all ages of students!

Learning Outcome/ Module 4: Participate as a Member of an Interprofessional Team
• This module provides students with the opportunity to practice what they have learned through a case study in a PowToon video format, then answer discussion questions in their groups.
• Students individually evaluate how their group worked interprofessionally using the “Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric”.
• The final student activity is a discussion question about the rubric.

Week 9 Blog

This week will be a catch-up blog week for me as last week was pretty hectic in my work schedule so I didn’t get a chance to post.  I look forward to exploring aspects of interactions within online instruction.  I found an informative chapter on this topic written by Sandra Mitchell-Holder, titled, Lets Talk: Effectively Communicating with your Online Students.  She explores why effective communication is key within online instruction to increase engagement and aid in retention of students.

Dean’s and my course was created with the goal of facilitating student-to-student interaction between our two programs, in a way that would foster interprofessional collaboration and simultaneously teach about interprofessional education. We started the course off by introducing ourselves through video format. Then the first task for the students was to record themselves using an embedded video recording tool on our D2L LMS, which would act as an icebreaker. Mitchell-Holder states that online communication should be made personal through the use of introductions such as icebreaker assignments. She states, “Fostering a sense of community in online classes will make the learning experience more meaningful for online students and help them to stay connected during the life of the course”.

We split the students into pre-determined groups so there would be equal amount from each program (Practical Nursing and Dental Hygiene). In the second module they were assigned group discussions or activities which promoted student-to-student interactions. There is a built-in discussion board tool in the LMS to facilitate the various discussions we created, and which students could post to. Dean and I would moderate and respond to discussions as they were posted on the discussion board, which in turn fostered student-instructor interactions.

There is a ‘News board’ tool on the LMS which allows the instructor to post important course information that can inform the student once immediately when they open the course page. Dean and I provided our email addresses and phone numbers so students could contact either of us for any questions or concerns at any time throughout the course.

The final assignments in module 4 included a case study which was another project to be completed in the pre-assigned student groups. Finally, at the course completion the students would complete an IPE self-evaluation which would be a self-check for information. In our course, the goal was to foster interprofessional education and collaboration. By working together and interacting between the programs through all of our course activities, students would achieve the goal of interprofessional collaboration.

The final assignments in module 4 included a case study which was another project to be completed in the pre-assigned student groups. Finally, at the course completion the students would complete an IPE self-evaluation which would be a self-check for information. In our course, the goal was to foster interprofessional education and collaboration. By working together and interacting between the programs through all of our course activities, students would achieve the goal of interprofessional collaboration.

Interactions and effective communication is vital in an online course environment, to foster a sense of community and course engagement. Mitchell-Holder stated, “Personalizing your communications can help foster a sense of community in your class and help avoid the sense of isolation that some online students experience. If our course would be extended, I imagine we would include some sort of face-to-face interaction, such as a ‘zoom’ session to personalize interactions further. I have really enjoyed having the synchronous zoom sessions in our ECI834 class and prefer this type of course interactions which makes me feel as part of a course community.

Week 8 Blog: Feedback Response

Thank-you to everyone who reviewed our course! It’s great to have peer feedback so we can adjust our course accordingly and work to make it better.

Overall Comments/Feedback
We are glad to see that our course was considered, “easy to use, well laid out, and engaging”. As well, the LMS was easy to navigate and looks very professional. The scripting of the videos was well-received, in order to provide easy access to course notes for students.

One suggestion was to make the videos, quiz or other parts of module more attractive. Unfortunately, the quiz was not meant to be included as part of the first two modules, but rather within the next two modules and therefore was not ready. We will be ensuring the quiz looks visually appealing in response to this feedback. As far as the videos and other parts of the module go, we are restricted to the capabilities of our LMS. As well we wanted to use our LMS to the maximum of it’s capabilities, and therefore didn’t want to add too many other programs into the mix (such as google classroom, or giphys).

Course Shell Feedback
Positive notes were given about the toolbar on the top of the page for easy navigation between different activities, tools and course content.

There was feedback regarding the lack of student to instructor communication. However, as the introductory videos stated as well as the course information page, there would be easy access by email or phone for the students to ask questions of the instructors. The way that the news page is set up in the LMS, only the instructors can post information.

Positive comments were provided regarding our welcome videos, which we included to try to give some personalization to an online asynchronous style course. We received feedback regarding the slightly overwhelming feature of the toolbar to list every possible tool or activity available to D2L, even if the course is not using that feature. This would be annoying to a student to have to ‘click’ on something only to find it not used in the course. Unfortunately, this is another feature beyond our control, which is why we tried to be as descriptive as possible regarding student tasks to complete.

There was a suggestion made to add a ‘fun activity’ to make the course more appealing to students. As this course is directed to adult students, and time factor is a consideration (15 min per module), we had to limit the amount of activities provided. However, we feel that directing the students to interact in discussions, as well as providing content in varying format (such as intro videos, screencasts, powtoon, and discussions), will engage learners.

In the next two modules, we will be adding more student activities in the form of discussions, case studies, and quizzes that correspond to the first three learning modules, as well as an exciting virtual escape room activity and a self-evaluation.

Course Modules Feedback

We received positive feedback on our Course Modules as well as a few suggestions. One reviewer appreciated the tasks that were associated with each learning outcome listed and that it satisfied each type of learner offering a combination of text, video and discussion forums. This reviewer also liked the length of our videos which kept the students engaged and motivated. She stated that our modules were well laid out and provided a good learning experience for the students. However, she did feel that the Powtoon was distracting with the music and images included in the content delivery and would have preferred if is was delivered in a textual form. She did acknowledge that this was her personal preference. Our other reviewer liked our choice of Powtoon and acknowledged that it was one of her favorites. Our reviewers did like the scripts that were included with our videos as it ensure full accessibility to all of our students and that by doing this, we considered any cultural issues that may prevent understanding.

We did put a lot of thought when we developed this course module. Since we have experience in using this LMS, we did try to utilize multiple formats to keep students engaged in this course. Since interprofessionalism is all about interaction, we embedded discussion forums throughout our course and tried to create activities that promoted teamwork and collaboration.

In the first module, having the students introduce themselves to their team members allows for role clarification and team building which are key principles of interprofessionalism. When delivering content in an online course keeping students engaged is critical and having multiple formats, such as video and audio, was an important consideration for us when designing this course. This may not satisfy every type of learner as some may only prefer text but having all options ensures that every learners preferences were considered. For our Powtoon video, we could provide information to our learners that the music can be muted and the video paused if they found that it was moving too fast or distracting to their learning.

Our second reviewer did not feel engaged in our course because “it was like a formal video as traditional classes but seem modern”. She suggested we “use some tricks” to make the material more engaging. We are not exactly sure what she meant by these comments but we feel confident in the approach we chose to deliver the content. Once all of the modules and evaluations are provided, we are hoping it makes more sense to this reviewer.

Brightspace does allow for a student’s progress to be monitored to ensure engagement is occurring and we do understand that this can also provide inaccurate information if students are playing videos but not present during its entirety. At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, students are given opportunities to provide feedback on each course they take and this helps guide instructors in future courses being delivered. This feedback would help us modify our modules to ensure students preferences are being considered.

Course Profile Feedback

One reviewer really appreciated our pre-survey we used to identify valuable information about our learners and any barriers they may face in accessing our course. They also highlighted that the LMS is being promoted by our organization and students are required to have personal electronic devices when they enter their programs.

One reviewer was concerned that the acronym IPE was used throughout the course and was not defined or identified until the end. In our introductory videos and descriptions, IPE is defined and the acronym is included in the transcripts. The reviewer must have missed this but it is important that definitions be considered for any words that may not be known by our students.

The reviewers felt our profile was straightforward and logically organized. They believed we have a “well-balanced mix of online learning” with a good selection of instructional tools. One reviewer appreciated our cultural considerations identifying it as a strength of our course. One of the benefits of interprofessionalism is the fact that students learn with and from each other which provides opportunities of developing cultural competencies. Ensuring the course profile meets the needs of each learner is critical and will promote engagement and motivation.

Image retrieved from sendmestlouis.org

Dean and I look forward to making modifications and improvements to our course based on the valuable feedback received.

Educational Technology: What the heck is VR/AR/MR???

Elementary students take virtual field trips with Google cardboard glasses.

This week I am excited to explore the world of virtual reality (VR) and how it relates to the online and blended educational learning.  I had no idea that there were three different options of interactive technology! According to Wikipedia, VR is an ‘interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment’ or, as stated in an article by ‘The Medical Futurist’, VR shuts out everything else completely to create an entire simulation. 

A second option, augmented reality (AR), is similar to VR in that the virtual information is superimposed over a live camera feed into a headset, so the user sees a virtual 3D object projected into a real environment.

There is a third option called, mixed reality (MR). MR is more similar to AR because it projects the content onto the real environment, however unlike AR, it actually interacts with the world.  For example, while AR can soon project the price of an apartment on the building in front of you, MR first senses what is around and then projects the requested data according to your environment.

This is an example of MR; playing ‘Minecraft’ using a pair of ‘Microsoft Hollow Lens’

I’m going to concentrate on discussing VR applications to education because that is what is most widely available at this point. In Virtual Reality or VR, visual and auditory feedback is combined into an immersive environment so that the user is able to ‘look around an artificial world, move around in it and interact with virtual features or items’. A student can access VR technology using a special headset which may or may not have hand controls. There are even controllers with sensitive ‘haptic systems’ which allow the user to ‘feel’ solid objects through transmission of vibrations and other sensations.

The use of VR in education seems like the next step in technological trends of ‘immersive instruction’ and has application across all levels of education from the elementary student to post-secondary adult learners.  In an article written by Nick Babich titled, How Virtual Reality Will Change How We Learn and How We Teach, two current problems in traditional approaches to education are identified: first that education is based on the same old format of fact retention, and second that many people have problems comprehending information.  He goes on to state that educators have to teach in a way that ensures that students learn, and that VR may hold the answer.

VR can function to boost student learning and especially engagement because it transforms the methods in which educational content is delivered.  Babich states, “VR works on the premise of creating a virtual world – real or imagined – and allows users to interact with it.  Being immersed in what you’re learning motivates you to fully understand it.  It’ll require less cognitive load to process the information.”

In VR students are able to have new experiences, explore topics and see how things are put together; they are actually able to learn about a subject by living it!  In VR the body fully believes it’s in a new place, so this further engages the mind in completely new ways.

Students can learn by doing, which is a well-known ‘authentic’ way of learning new information.  VR can boost creativity through programs such as Tilt brush which is a 3D painting VR app developed by Google.  For visual learners, education is enhanced by actually seeing the topics that students are learning about, or by having the ability to visualize complex functions or mechanisms. 

In an article titled, K-12 Teachers use Virtual and Augmented Reality Platforms to Teach Coding, the author, Eli Zimmerman identifies ways in which immersive AR and VR educational applications can build computer skills.  Zimmerman states, “Coding skills are in high demand and will soon become a necessary skill for nearly all industries”. 


The educational applications for VR are endless such as virtual field trips through google expeditions, or high tech training such as military or healthcare.
Group learning is facilitated through the use of VR.

In a group learning environment, VR facilitates social interactions by allowing the user to use am avatar and mapped facial expressions so people can discuss and learn from each other.  Educators and students can even be in the ‘same room’ so interactions can be lifelike.

Babich lists 5 properties that a good VR educational experience should have:

  1. Immersive – Users should feel they are part of the experience.
  2. Easy to use – Shouldn’t require steep learning curve.
  3. Meaningful – VR experience tells a story, and stories inspire and elicit action, therefore is a superior way to deliver learning.
  4. Adaptable – VR experiences should allow users to explore at their own pace.
  5. Measureable – Every educational tool should contain some means to measure impact.

One main drawback of VR technology is definitely the cost factor. The VR Occulus Rift and Touch System costs about $450 CAD, and the MR Microsoft Hololens runs a staggering $4000 CAD! Cheaper VR headsets, such as the cardboard ones depicted in the top picture are widely available and even DIY, however the VR experience is not interactive. Another drawback that is not talked about much is the resultant ‘motion sickness‘ during use. According to one website, 25-40% of VR users experiences this. This is due to the body thinking it’s moving when it’s actually stationary (in a chair). This will improve as VR technology is moving to wireless in the near future. One other downside is that there are not many VR programs available yet, but I’m sure this will change quickly as this field is exploding right now.

I am very happy to share my personal and professional story of creating an educational online ‘dressing change’ nursing skill program with a local media company.  It has taken my two colleagues and I about 3 years of working with the media designers and programmers to create this game which will be a program offered ‘free for use’ online. 

I am ecstatic to say our program is now being converted into a VR experience!  My colleagues and I even got to trial our game in VR last week and are thrilled with the results so far!  It should be available for use by nursing students in the very near future.  One concern that I have is that it will only be compatible with the Occulus rift VR headset, which is quite far out of the price range of most adult students.  We are hoping to secure funding so we can obtain a few Occulus Rift headsets for our students’ use.  There are a few other programs at Saskpolytech currently looking into creating VR educational experiences so it would make sense to have a few onsite.  This is a truly fascinating educational technology that has endless benefits for in-class, blended, and online learning! I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Week 4 Vlog

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I am going to attempt something completely new for me and post a ‘vlog’ for this week. I am reviewing Youtube Studio, Screen-castify, and Movavi Video editor. Please bear with me as I had to use a mish-mosh of applications to put it all together! In the end, I couldn’t use the ‘Windows movie maker’ to edit my video because it came out super choppy. Instead I had to download a 7-day trial version of MovAVI Video Editor. This was good because I got to explore another movie editor, however the trial version only allowed me to save a lower quality video with a watermark. My final opinion is that if you are willing to fork out a lot of cash, there are tons of applications out there. It’s much harder to find good quality free applications because most start out free then require payment for the ‘advertised’ features. Enjoy my video!

Sooo, WordPress wouldn’t upload a ‘mp4’ file format – I will try resaving the video in a ‘mov’ file format and see if that works…

Nope – that didn’t work either… so I went back to the drawing board, to the first application I reviewed, ‘Youtube Studio’, to upload to youtube then I will post the link to my video. I was going to post the video to my google drive and post a link to that, but thought I would go out on a limb and try the app I’m not as familiar with instead. The Youtube app took about 35 min to upload my 7min video…. scratch that – 1 hour later…

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Whew! Please feel free to click on the video below to watch my Vlog attempt from Youtube Studio! Success!!!

Course Profile: IPE Sandbox Course

This course will be created by myself and Dean Lefebvre.

Target Population

We developed a brief anonymous survey that was used to collect data about our students and to identify any barriers they may face in accessing our online course. Our target population is adult learners between the ages of 19 and 51 (a majority are in the 19-25 range), at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, from both the Dental Hygiene Program and Practical Nursing Program.  Students are from various cultural and ELA backgrounds. There are 24 Dental Hygiene students in the second year of a three-year program and they are all female. There are 24 Practical Nursing students in the 2nd year of a 2-year program and consists of 3 males and 21 females. The results of the survey are as follows:

Students are required to have their own laptops for the Practical Nursing Program. Dental Hygiene will have the same requirement for 2019-2020 since all exams will be delivered electronically E-textbooks are also offered as an option for students to purchase. Computers are available in the library for students to access and free Wi-Fi is offered throughout Saskatchewan Polytechnic Campuses.

Type of Course

Our course will be provided in an online format, using asynchronous instruction.  In online learning the student uses the internet to access learning as well as educational tools, assignments or exams.  This is done using a course platform accessible on a computer. Our course is an online course. Saskatchewan Polytechnic has recognized the “New Learner” in their Strategic Plan 2014-2020. The Strategic Plan identifies that “online learning will transform into social learning: instant access, highly interactive, often virtual, collaborative, anytime, anywhere learning, with access to world-class subject matter in a highly customized manner” (p.22). Jukkala and White (2014) reveal that “many institutions struggle to get students in the same room at the same time” (p.95). Scheduling and time restrictions create a barrier for IPE to occur and delivering it in an online format will provide the flexibility required for this course to be successful.

Course Toolset

Platform: We are using the ‘Brightspace D2L’ platform to build our program.  Brightspace was first introduced as Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Learning Management System (LMS) in 2015 and all online courses have been using this format for delivery. In 2018, faculty from all programs were encouraged to use Brightspace to augment their face to face courses. Training and support is offered for all faculty through our Learning Technology Department. Faculty are able to access resources online and facilitators are readily available for personalized support throughout the day. Brightspace offers a variety of useful learning tools for both faculty and students. It allows you to manage and monitor educational activities, provides collaboration and communication opportunities, offers multiple media tools to satisfy every type of learner and is easy to use. The online calendar allows students to effectively manage their course load and upcoming due dates. Assignments and online exams allows for ongoing and timely feedback for students. Students are offered support online with a “Help” portal in the taskbar or through our Helpdesk if any issues arise.

Instructional Tools

·       Brightspace D2L LMS platform

·       Powtoons video  

·       Written content

·       Video on IPE and importance

·       Link to Escape room for learning assessment

·       Reflection on learning and using template to identify IPE competencies

Course Content

Learning will be centered around IPE learning between the Dental Hygiene students and Practical Nursing students. Interprofessionalism is a national competency for both programs. According to the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada, “Dental hygiene programs should provide opportunities for students to integrate their knowledge and abilities with other health science students’ knowledge and abilities. These opportunities will foster effective working relationships and provide opportunities for students to experience and develop skills in the area of interprofessional collaboration”.

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing require that “the educational unit is engaged in partnerships that support excellence in nursing education. Partnerships refer to collaborations that support the achievement of the unit’s strategic goals, collaborations among educational units to deliver a collaborative nursing education program, and formal agreements with health service organizations, community-based agencies, members of other professions, and other relevant groups to provide professional and interprofessional learning opportunities for students” (p.12).

Learning Objectives

Module 1 – Interprofessional Education (IPE) definition and introductions

  • Learning Outcome 1: Describe Interprofessional Collaboration

Module 2 – IPE Benefits and Barriers for Dental Hygiene Program and Practical Nursing Program students

  • Learning Outcome 2: Discuss the advantages and challenges of interprofessionalism

Module 3 – Components Needed for Successful IPE (Application of the Canadian Interprofessional Competency Framework Model)

  • Learning Outcome 3: Describe the context and culture of the IP environment

Module 4 – Case study and evaluation of IPE

  • Learning Outcome 4: Participate as a Member of an Interprofessional Team

Assessment Strategies

We will be using the digital classroom escape room format to assess whether learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3 were successful in this course. Students will also reflect on how they worked collaboratively on the case study presented using a template to analyze IP competencies established by the Canadian Interprofessional Competency Framework (Learning Outcome 4).

Considerations for Common Concerns

We will be uploading any video content using Kaltura program which automatically adjusts the program quality to allow flexible viewing for any bandwidth, whether rural dial-up, high-speed or even using personal electronic mobile devices (EMD) or cellphones.  If students do not possess an EMD, they may use the school library. However, it is a requirement of the online course that students possess their own EMD so this should not be an issue.

To address EAL students we will be ensuring that any videos on the program are scripted so any student can read the print or use it for their notes.  We will also try to provide course content using a combination of audio and visual formats to reach all types of learners as well as maintain interest and engagement. Faculty will be readily available to assist students who may encounter issues with content or understanding.

Cultural Considerations

The case study we will be using will reference an Aboriginal male who is experiencing issues in accessing care. The Canadian Dental Association has identified Aboriginal People as a vulnerable population because of the many social determinants of health they encounter when accessing oral care. The Canadian Nursing Association has stated, “No group in Canada suffers greater discrimination and ill health than Aboriginal people” (p.20). The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has also made recommendations on improving healthcare delivery to improve outcomes. By introducing this culturally sensitive subject and have culturally diverse students we will be supporting cultural competence. Instructors will be monitoring the discussion forums to ensure student conduct is following Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies.

Week 3 Blog

What an interesting discussion in our last class regarding the CMS/LMS/VLE and other various platforms such as schoology and google classroom.  Since I began my Master’s Degree journey a couple years ago, I have become quite familiar (and impressed) with all the different capabilities of Google Drive, especially when working on group projects. 

My son is in grade nine and his school uses Google classroom extensively.  To help him study for his science exam recently he used Google Classroom to read his ‘virtual’ study notes and practice exam.  It was great that he didn’t have to haul a big binder full of notes back and forth. 

They also use a ‘reminder’ feature to remind students of upcoming assignments or tests.  All these features really help my son stay (somewhat) organized.  Kids seem much more likely to use digital resources over physical agendas or written notes. 

At Saskatchewan Polytechnic, we use the Brightspace D2L platform to run our online (hybrid) classes as well as our course pages for on-campus courses.

This is an example of one of the courses I manage in the Practical Nursing Program using the ‘Brightspace’ platform.

I use Brightspace to post course messages or class powerpoints.  There is a virtual ‘dropbox’ for students to submit assignments.  Recently, I facilitated all of our pre-lab prep quizzes to a digital format. 

This saved us tons of time because the digital exam instantly graded the quizzes and it provided the students with answer keys so they saw where they went wrong.  Prior to this we had been manually marking the quizzes in lab which took up about half hour of each lab.  Now we can spend more time teaching skills!

I enjoyed reading ‘Beyond the LMS’ by Audrey Watters (2014).  She offered some unique perspectives about LMS which included the idea that there is a tendency to serve administrative functions rather than learning in the design of LMS, even when it is reinvented.  She stresses that we as educators have to ensure that edtech is used in such a way to maintain and promote learner-centered education.  There is a real danger that data is being mined from educational information so we have to remain aware and be sure to have safety guards in place to prevent this.  Watters goes on to state that, “Ed-tech must not become an extraction effort”.

The Watters article certainly opened my eyes to the possibility of misuse of educational data.  I saw a parallel between owning your own educational information and owning your own medical information, through my healthcare lens.  Taking ownership of your own medical data gives you control over your own health.  Having information available digitally opens up whole new avenues for personal data ending up in the wrong hands, whether related to health or education. 

New educational technology must remain secure and continue to enhance instruction while maintaining learner-centered education, so the learners’ best interests are kept at heart.

Image result for retro tv atari 400

On the chat room in last class, ‘retro gaming systems’ came up in the conversations. I know this is really gonna date me… but my first gaming system as a kid was the ‘Atari 400’! It was state of the art because we actually could write programs on it! Mind you, it took about one day to turn the screen another color – but it was so much fun!

Week 2 Blog: Blended & Online Learning (Take 2)

Retrieved from https://www.learncube.com/challenges-and-strategies-for-teaching-online-language-classes.html

For this week’s blog, I will use the following questions to guide my post:

  1. What are your experiences and perceptions r/t your own use of blended learning and/or tech integration in your professional context? 
  2. What challenges and opportunities have you experienced?

Our last class was quite informative and helped me to look more critically at different classifications of courses including blended and online courses.  I must admit I was guilty of thinking that there was no difference between online and blended learning because both included the use of technology in the classroom. After completing the class readings and attending the class, I learned that blended learning usually occurs with the physical presence of the student and teacher simultaneously in a classroom, with the focus on using technology to aid learning, versus online learning which is distance learning through technology and does not require the presence of both teacher and student at the same time. I wonder though, if blended learning is practical or realistic for every school situation? 

I think that there are many factors involved to ensure the success of blended learning in the classroom such as up to date and accessible technology.  Once running smoothly, I’m sure blended learning will be fantastic, however technology is very expensive and most schools have strict budgets that do not allow for the latest gadgets or upkeep of technology.  There must be adequate training and ongoing IT support provided to both teachers and students for the successful use of technology.  We are fortunate at SaskPolytech to have IT available for office and classroom support.  That being said, our office and classroom computers operate quite slowly as is, and simply cannot accommodate all the latest technology, which literally freezes programs when tried. We are told that new computer systems are not in the budget so I have taken my own laptop to work in order to run certain programs.

Image retrieved from https://ohtorch.com/3190/features/smart-boards-the-latest-technological-innovation-to-be-utilized-at-olympic-heights/

In our classrooms at Saskpolytech we have are lucky to have a smart board in one classroom and a handy computer projector in our other classroom, to use in day to day teaching. 

We also use both ‘low-fidelity’ and ‘high-fidelity’ simulation for nursing students when instructing clinical skills.  In ‘high-fidelity’ simulation, a mock hospital room is set up and the students can run through realistic nursing hospital scenarios with ‘patients’ – realistic high-tech mannequins.  Students can start IV’s, take blood pressures or listen to lung sounds on the mannequins, as well as interact verbally with them.  Students are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, in a safe environment, without potential to cause harm.

Our program offers both on campus and online course options for students.  When I examined the continuum of technology-based teaching (retrieved from opentextbc.ca, adapted from Bates & Poole, 2003) provided by Alec in our last class, I realized that my Practical Nursing Program’s ‘online courses’ would fall into the category of ‘hybrid classes’ because though students learn mostly online, they are also required to attend a certain amount of classes/labs on campus and join clinical experiences in the hospital. There are a lot more assignments and reading discussions required for online students in comparison to on-campus students due to less face-to-face classes and to increase interaction between students. 

In the article, “What you need to know about online nursing education” by Sallie Jimenez, Steven Litteral states that though online nursing courses may be more convenient, it is often misunderstood that online is easier than traditional classroom education. “To be successful in online education, students must be disciplined enough to make the time to do their work”.

However, online students also state that they enjoy the flexibility of schedule to allow for working during the day and choosing when to spend time on homework.  They also liked the fact that they could take classes by distance, living up to 6 hours away from the main campus, or choose to do clinical experiences either in Regina or Saskatoon. 

Usually when our faculty teach online, we don’t simultaneously teach on-campus and vice-versa, due to high time demands factor.

On the GetReskilled website, there are eight common challenges for online learners discussed, including: motivation, accountability, organization, confidence, lack of technical skills, being proactive, loneliness, and persistence.  In my experience, it is a lot harder to recognize if a student is struggling other than seeing poor grades or they self-identify, when compared to on-campus or face-to-face students.  The earlier any issues are recognized, the sooner assistance can be provided to ensure success.  The lack of face-to-face interactions can sometimes make things difficult in an educational environment. 

Image retrieved from https://www.fipp.com/news/features/online-learning-trends-challenges-and-the-consumers-fueling-it

When all things are considered, I feel that most adult learners choose to take online courses rather than on-campus courses for various personal reasons, and will therefore be prepared to meet most challenges.  Technology definitely has positive effects for education, such as engaging learners and creating ‘personal’ learning in the classroom, but should only enhance a learning experiences and not replace it.  Blended learning may be a wonderful idea in theory, but may not be realistic for full application in the classroom.