Rose’s Article Discussion 2

“In an ideal world, instructional media developers – those who will actually create the planned instructional materials with which the student will interact – are included in the course development process from the beginning, to consult with and advise course team members on development-related topics as they arise.”  That does sound ideal!

I chose this article because I teach a distance course to our ACP Students.  I am still learning how the whole process works and the best ways to deliver the content. I was hoping this article would shed some light on all of it. One thing is for certain, long articles, 19 pages for instance, are not the way to deliver information…I seem to have the attention span of a squirrel.

Anyway, I did have some take away’s from this article. It was interesting to see how far distance learning has come and to feel out where our program currently fits in. I also enjoyed the easy break down of tips suggestions and considerations to help you along as you develop your course.

A couple things the article discusses is the importance of stakeholder buy in. If you don’t have buy in from ALL parties, you are going to run into problems. Everyone needs to be ready to work towards the common education goals. The way the article breaks down all those who should be involved in the development phase was interesting. I am now curious who was involved in creating our online program. Should new employees have some training in e-learning as they come in?  What transitions should be given to the veteran instructors now expected to, in essence, create a new course with new structure and materials. What do you do if you don’t get buy in from all parties?

I think the direction distance education is heading sounds exciting. As long as the resources, support and training come along for the ride, which all too often they don’t.  It feels like our program is just now starting to move from a simple text based approach to the next generation of collaborative and interactive learning.  Especially after this course, I definitely buy in more to the distance learning idea. And now have some new tools to add to the party to help transition my course to a more collaborative model.  When we look at the feedback from students in the distance program, we consistently see that they need more support and more material catered to the online approach. I agree with the article in that what better way to do this then to find ways for students to connect and collaborate easily and more effectively.

The other big feedback piece is the lack of technical support. This goes back to the development phase. Where are those people now?  I know I sure wasn’t able to field a lot of their techy questions. I was glad it was distance so I could go and look stuff up or ask around before replying.

Overall, despite the length, I enjoyed the article’s content. I have actually saved pieces of it into another document for me to reference later. My new “DL program learning tips” google doc 🙂


Rose’s Article Discussion number 1

In my field, as in most fields, research is ongoing. With EMS and medicine, it seems to be cyclical. Things fall into favour then out of favour and then, low and behold, it’s once again, the latest and greatest.  EMS historically did not get much credit in the research world. We typically adopted what the hospitals were doing and that was that. Well, maybe some modifications to make it work well for us. We are just now beginning to jump start our own research projects that specifically relate to our field.  Often times, these research ideas start in our academic centers. Even here at Holland College.

One thing that comes up over and over again is CPR. How should be done? How fast? How slow? Should we use automated compression devices?  Compressions only or compressions and breaths? Who should do what? What happens when we stop CPR? When should we stop CPR? It seems there are new guidelines every year! And for today’s article topic, what is the best way to train people?

“Performance of CPR in the clinical setting is believed to be frequently inconsistent with the AHA guidelines and of low quality. Pre-hospital professionals often report that initial CPR and resuscitation training is void of effective instruction and application.”

I am curious what the reasoning is behind these statements. Couple things. The article mentions several times the lack of proper research so where is all this “low quality CPR” information coming from?  Also, why is the training deemed inadequate for pre-hospital professionals? Is it the practice tools? The method of instruction? Or, perhaps is it that standard training is often modelled after in hospital situations or lay person interaction. The prehospital setting of paramedics is a vastly different world then the environment controlled, resource ready hospital, and the foreign environments that medics find themselves in. How do you simulate that? Sure we have the high fidelity manikins and computer programed simulations but at the end of the day, real tissue and real situations are the best practice. Unfortunately, there is an ethical issue there. So, I think it is our job as instructors to use the best tools we have available to ensure that medics are ready with the skills and techniques to provide the best care possible.

Continuing education also plays a huge role is effective patient care. If we encourage an provide opportunity to practice then we will go a long way to ensuring high quality CPR.  If we didn’t have continued education then where would medics go to learn about and practice the most current recommended guidelines?   What suggestions do you have to improve our simulated teaching environment?

I love that they included student debriefings in this article. Whats the point of all the gadgets and rigamaroll if we don’t provide an opportunity to review and reflect.

Last but not least- blog 7 by Rose..Well blog 8 really cause I misunderstood the first article…look how far I’ve come!

Well, here we are. I have created 8 blog posts, joined Twitter, explored a multitude of new technologies and tools, and made new friends…aww And all in one week!

I think it is safe to say that this was a valuable class for me. I was skeptical when I signed up, and quite frankly a little hesitant to be jumping in to the techy world. I was not sure what to expect and didn’t know where to start. Apparently, this class was the place to start. This course was a great mix of people and technology. It was a great place for me to feel comfortable trying out and exploring new tools for me to use both in the classroom and in my own life.

After leaving on day one I was a bit worried because I still had no idea what was expected of me and I hadn’t yet made sense of the large, many assignment outline. How am I going to do all this and do it well?  Enter Dave and awesome classmates. I quickly realized that the point is not necessarily to learn all the tools and learn them well. It’s about experimenting and playing with different tools I might not have otherwise been brave enough or cared enough to try. This was a challenge for me as I can get easily frustrated with myself when it comes to technology. One thing goes wrong and I panic and shut it down. But this class gave me the opportunity and space to stumble and try and get help along the way.   george-clap

I think the biggest thing I got out of this class is a new confidence and a new sense of comfort to go out on my own and play with technology more. I am thankful for this experience and look forward to using my new found techy awareness in the classroom and life. My students aren’t gonna know what hit’em!

Day 6 blog-Rose

Tips for slackers

At first, when I saw this title, I thought, oh no, more things to sign up for! I do however, like the idea of having a central place to organize thoughts, resources, links, etc.  I too have the stuff, notes, and ideas files in my network of files. I love them. They a lovely reminder of where all my good intentions go to die.

Now I know that for me writing notes on paper is something that usually works just fine for me. Simply the act of writing them down seems to log much of it into the memory bank.  The problem with this, as the article states is the linear thinking to it. I can’t just hit enter to create some space a few lines up for a new thought. As a result, my notes are a random assortment of thoughts, ideas and all written as they pop into my head written all over the page. I try, in vain, to add the notes where they are most applicable on the page but it usually just ends up resembling our initial attempt at googledocs, with writing over top of writing, stuff squeezed in so tight I can’t even make it out, written at an assortment of angles over the page with arrows scrawled across the page to where it is meant to be. Now, believe it or not, this works for me. But I usually end up, taking it out on the trees even more and re writing the notes into a more organized way.  I’ve even have separate note pads for each topic or area.  People laugh when they come into my office at the amount of post it notes sticking to every part of my computer and desk. I even have the sticky notes app on my computer. Its chaos, but it’s my chaos and it makes sense to me.

I do like the online notes files for link and the like. Again, I do sort them by content and use.  And now, with this new gig at the college, and so much of it being online, I find myself using online organization much more and much more effectively. I tend to be fairly organized anyway so I didn’t get a whole lot out of this article but it’s nice to do a little self check every now and again to see if you’re still on the right track.

Rose’s day 5 blog post

“Gale refers particularly to the loneliness of the independent distance learner, but I would suggest that being ‘outside’ the conversation is lonely whether you are embodied or not.”

I agree that a loneliness can present whether you’re there or not but I also agree with Gale in that it’s nice to know you are maybe not the only one struggling as opposed to an isolated distance learner who may not yet have the contacts or comfort to approach others. I experienced it a bit with my last group for one of their distance courses. It was a tough course and they all felt like they were struggling but when I reviewed their work, they were all doing well and I made sure to connect with them all to talk to them about it. This connection, I think, definitely helped to close any gaps and uneasiness about performance. I think regardless of student location, clear expectations and setting of the bar are paramount.

“Gale refers to research that shows that testing and feedback mechanisms change the ways in which people choose to learn. And suggests that the critically important question of who’s objectives are to be achieved, the learners or the teacher’s” My thoughts on this are that the teacher was hired for a reason. Ideally because they are good at their jobs and know what needs to be accomplished to be successful in that field.  So why students shouldn’t at least aim for something similar to the teachers objectives? I get the whole, you develop your own practice, etc but we are teaching foundational material that will help ensure students understand the fundamentals well enough to effectively create their own, wonderful, practice.

When it comes to self-reflection and student led self-assessment I am 100% for it. I have used it for myself and I have used it in the classroom. I have seen the difference it makes.  Personally, my self awareness has improved a lot since I began incorporating reflections not just professionally but personally as well. It is a great way to step outside your context and see what is really going on. From a learning perspective, it has helped me to step up my game and look at things from another perspective. That usually helps me kick start the creative juices again and helps to reframe the problem and find solutions…learn more. Learn better.


Rose’s Day 4 Bloggness

Well I read the article. First thing I had to do was google “Rhizomatic Learning” …which led to more articles, but hey, learning.


^Example of Rhizome plant. Lily of the Valley. Pretty.  WILL take over your garden. Difficult to reign in!

<- Root structure of Lily of the Valley...  Much like Rhizomatic Learning, it is difficult to pin down and organize and in which direction is the right direction for you. We need to accept this and the different pathways we all take. Maybe when we look at contract grading, or self-directed models in general, allowing each class or student to “find their own root traily thing” as we guide them through the contained web as necessary is becoming best practice in our field. As long as outcomes are met.
^  Root structure of Lily of the Valley…  Much like Rhizomatic Learning, it is difficult to pin down and organize and in which direction is the right direction for you. We need to accept this and the different pathways we all take. Maybe when we look at contract gradiing, or self-directed models in general, allowing each class or student to “find their own root traily thing” as we guide them through the contained web as necessary is becoming best practice in our field. As long as outcomes are met.

As far as contract grading goes, I have not been a huge fan of the whole “do this and you will get this mark…” idea. This is likely because I was not exposed to it in my own education, and change?! Gross! Also, GIVE ME THE CONTROL! NO SHARING! Lol As the article mentions, I always tended to be one of those upper level students so I guess that makes sense. I hope to become more flexible in this as I grow as an instructor.

As Spidell and Thelin and Taylor suggested, when we began the journey of this course, I was confused! I read the syllabus and contract and descriptions and for the life of me could not nail down what was expected and to what level I was to perform each task or assignment. Today the curtain lifted. Which leads to my thoughts that in order for a contract grading to work, students need to be well informed and educated first on the how and why and what of a grading contract. More on my feeble attempt at something similar later.

I spoke a bit about this yesterday when talking about the Slack program and I feel it holds true here. You need to have at least a basic understanding of where your class is at. Could they handle having such input in their own grading? What bar have the students set for themselves so far in the program? I know the article talks about employing this idea often raises the bar for a lot of students when they become involved and engaged in the whole process and I think the article is right for some students. After our discussions and seeing how it worked today, I can totally see how that rings true in many cases. How it encourages engagement and active participation in the learning. However, what happens to the rest? If you don’t get total buy in, do you move forward anyway and hope they follow suit eventually? Maybe that’s a good thing? Weeds out the uncommitted ones?

After today, I feel like there is definitely room to negotiate a grading contract with the right group. I don’t think I would dare let my last group. We had a discussion about an assignment as I wanted them to have input on what works and what they felt was appropriate for not just grading but dates and content as well. I am sure that I need to improve my approach but they tore it to shreds and had no respect for the process. Learned some lessons that day.  I like the piece in the article about how best to present and educate the students to the process and how to overcome some of the obstacles. I think that is the meat and potatoes for me. I like the idea of it. Now how do I incorporate it.

Day 3- Rose

I thought today went well. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and trying out new tools. I always like hearing about new topics and tools that other people have found helpful or not. Obviously, as we have said, it’s easy to want to use them all!

Today, Amanda (bless you Amanda for your patience) and I explored Slack. The way people were talking about it, I was pretty excited to try it out and see what it had to offer.  But, to be honest, I was kinda disappointed in it. I thought it would be more applicable to my group of students. But, as Dave said, I am not sure my group is the right fit for Slack.  The maturity definitely just isn’t there yet with my last group. Maybe this next one will work out better. While I like the idea of live comments and discussion and most importantly, questions, I do worry about staying on task and even having control over how it is used. I guess I just feel that using a discussion forum on SAM or something similar to it serves much the same purpose in my classroom. And google docs would solve the issue of groups being able to communicate and collaborate with one another. I am sure a part of this is my own insecurities as a new instructor but I just like to know that I have some oversight in student action.  Overall, I can’t say I will be using Slack or at least not often.

I am eager to learn more about all that google docs has to offer though. It just seems like such a fantastic and diverse tool. There is so much you can do with it that I feel will truly benefit learning and intsrtucting. I can easily see myself incorporating it into my class. I am already hatching plans of which assignments I see value in using it for. I enjoyed the session from Steph and Nick about forms. Whole new world to discover!

I also want to try out Prezi. Being careful not to get sucked into the black hole of course.  But Trauma is sooooo PowerPoint heavy and I just see a good benefit to mixing it up and trying to trim, at least some of them, down and incorporating some interactive pieces.

If anyone knows of some interactive handout tools I am all ears. I am incorporating many new activities and assignments and I am compiling a resource list for the students to use to be creative with these activities rather than a million pieces of paper to review.

Daily Blog 2 by Rose

Day 2 of classes cleared up some things for me. I left yesterday unsure of what to expect from an assignment perspective. I am still not 100% sure what is due when, (other than the final write ups by the Sunday after classes). To be honest, I am not even sure if I am required to post a daily blog today or if the article post was sufficient. Anyway, I am hoping tomorrow clears some of that up.

I am looking forward to this Tool Parade. I am eager to get to what I feel might be the meat of the course for me. Tools I can put into my class easily and effectively. To draw on Dustin’s post, I don’t want to put something into class that I don’t fully understand and feel comfortable with.  I agree with what Dave was saying, in that in order to use the many tools available we first have to see whether it is applicable to our course. This stuck with me.  This past year has been a bombardment of information and tools, both digital and not, and I am super excited when I hear about them and just want to employ them all in my course.  But I need to take a step back and see which tools will most benefit my students and me and which ones might be better saved for another focus.

I am not the most patient of people so I have a hard time with the learning curve sometimes. Wanting to know too much too quickly and ending up with a half ass knowledge of a couple things.  I am noticing that blogs or things like that seem to come more naturally to me than twitter. Maybe it’s a time thing. I can sit, think and write about something meaningful about class and what it means to me but seem to have a more difficult time with meaningful Tweets…again its only been a day with twitter and I have much more experience with reflections.

On a side note, I have kitchen counters now! …lost the sink…but hey kitchen counters are nice. Anyone know a good plumber for some minor drain adjusting? Or a moderate plumber? As long as it doesn’t leak basically I’m happy. J

Rose’s Article Response

I like this article. I like things that are straightforward and invite discussion.  I have to say that I am still on the side of no “cheating”. I think the problem might be in the way we test or mark success not in the way students get their info on test day. If students need to gather their information from other sources during an evaluation of student understanding, then all we have established is that they have smart friends or good resources. Both are which are advantageous in any field but the evaluation does not tell us what the student understands and comprehends and is able to apply on his own. At the end of the day, you’re testing their knowledge not that of the group. As I said, maybe our testing needs to change but I still want to know if the student has learned and understood rather than if he can ask a friend or google. I think it has absolute practicality in the setting of a classroom to use groups and technology as learning tools but when I put that into the context of paramedicine, those resources may not be available on the side of the road or in someone’s home. I can’t help but think that there are a lot of topics and skills that they need to have a full understanding of and be able to apply or teach or talk about it without the use of aids. I for one would be horrified to have a medic show up and say “just a sec, I need to phone a friend/google this/you tube that skill” I believe in having resources available to reference, especially with those high acuity- low volume calls. I believe that is also where continuing education comes in. Today’s students (generalization here) need to know that yes the learning process involves collaboration and research and using available resources. Also that the learning should continue after the classroom. But they also need to understand that at some point they need to stand on their own feet and draw on their own knowledge and understanding. If we create a generation of people who just use other people’s information, then we end up slowing knowledge progression down the road. Especially if students don’t build on what they are gathering which seems to be a trend I have noticed in the past couple of years. Students grab for the lowest bar and are comfortable with that. Collaboration and research and self directed learning force students to go a little deeper into the information if only because their classmates are doing so and they feel obligated to keep up.

I see value in it for some courses like communications or wellness or even patient assessment. Where discussion and dialogue and research play important roles and are part of the learning objectives. Active participation is knowledge gathering and understanding sharing might be the “testing” in this instance.

To end, I like this quote from the article;

“Learning how to deal with uncertainty… with that feeling of not being sure what the right answer is and deciding anyway – that is the critical step towards knowing.”