Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Success Teams

Application: Dental Hygiene – DH 235: Senior Seminar

Educator: Diane Loera, Faculty, Dental Hygiene, Cerritos College, CA

Implementation: To create interdependence and encourage lifelong learning, I created success teams of students in clinical groups. At the end of each clinical day, I have students reflect on and write about the experiences they had that day with their patient and any lessons learned. These experiences can relate to patient management, instrumentation, giving injections, or anything else of significance. The students then share what they wrote with their success teams. After all students share in their success team, each success team picks the one experience and lesson they think was the most beneficial and the student presents it to the all of the success teams. This strategy encourages students to think deeply and critically about what they are learning from their own experiences as well as to learn from the experiences of others.

2. Strategy: Affirmations

Application: Medical Assisting – MED 270 – Symptomatology

Educator: Kimberly Cannon, Department Chair, Medical Assisting, Guilford Technical Community College, NC

Implementation: We created our affirmation statements in all classes of MED 270 – Symptomatology in fall semester. Students are in their 4th and most stressful semester and I had begun my experimentation with my ON COURSE bag of tricks as a stress reliever and deeper personal introspection. Graduation was in May and I had students email me their affirmations statements. During their pinning ceremony, as they were walking onto the stage to receive their Medical Assisting pin, one of our instructors read their name and then their affirmation statement – the rest of the class said in unison – “Yes you are” as the student stood center stage beaming for all of her friends and family to see. I thought of this idea just a few days before pinning and it turned out to be a very moving experience. Here are a few of the affirmation from the graduating class of 2008: You are a LOYAL, HONEST AND GENEROUS woman. You are a FORGIVING, INDEPENDENT, AND OPTIMISTIC woman. You are a GOOD PERSON, A GREAT MOM AND A SUCCESSFUL WOMAN. You are a STRONG, INFLUENTIAL AND FORGIVING woman! You are a CONFIDENT, WISE AND LOUD woman!

3. Strategy: The Puzzle

Application: EMS Courses

Educator: Beth Clement, Faculty, EMS, Forsyth Technical Community College, NC

Implementation: Use the puzzle activity to first bring students to a self-awareness about how they handle life situations. (How you did the puzzle is how you do your life.) Then shift the focus to how the activity applies to the way they respond under pressure on chaotic emergency scenes. (How you do the puzzle is how you do emergency calls.) Help students become aware of their natural strengths and weaknesses. For example, some students may lean more toward leadership roles, others may prefer to work individually, while others may find they are too afraid of failure to risk making an attempt. By identifying their weaknesses, the students can then develop methods to foster growth in their weak areas.

4. Strategy: The Wise Choice Process

Application: EMS Courses

Educator: Beth Clement, EMS Program Coordinator, Forsyth Technical Community College, NC

Implementation: When teaching methods of patient education, introduce students to the Wise Choice Process as a tool for guiding patients to make wise choices. Place students in pairs to use the Wise Choice Process in a role-play. For example, one student might role-play a diabetic patient whose health is deteriorating because of poor choices such as 1) eating whatever food s/he wants, 2) seldom or never testing their blood glucose, 3) drinking alcohol heavily, 4) going barefooted, and 5) being inconsistent in doing insulin (not based on blood glucose level). Student doing the patient education uses the WCP to guide the patient to identify and commit to wiser choices, as well as setting up a specific evaluation of the success of the new plan.

5. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Veterinary Technology (Allied Health): Teaching Acid/Base Concepts

Educator: No name provided

Implementation:  Each student in a home group chooses and is responsible for researching and becoming an expert on one of the following four topics:  1-metabolic acidosis, 2-metabolic alkalosis, 3-respiratory alkalosis, & 4-respiratory acidosis.  Each person should be able to address the following:

  • What system is responsible for the primary issue?How/why it occurs?
  • Signs/symptoms of primary issue.
  • Which direction does the ph need to go to be corrected or toward neutral?
  • If that is the system that is “broken,” what system can “fix”?
  • What can the system do to move the ph in the desired direction?
  • What would those signs & symptoms look like?
  • What would that compensation be called?

Students meet in expert groups, confirm their concepts are correct, & get at least one new idea about the process or how to communicate it.  Students then return to their home groups & teach the concepts to their group.

6. Strategy: Tracking Form

Application: Allied Health – Medical Lab Technology

Educator: Melissa Hyatt, Chair, Medical Laboratory Technology Department, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, NC

Implementation: On the first day of class, students create a list of inner and outer behaviors they think are essential for successful course completion. Instructor provides input. The instructor inserts the list onto a tracking form and provides one for each student. Students bring the tracking form to each class meeting. During the last three minutes of every class, students fill in the tracking form for that day. Mid-semester tracking forms are collected and mid-term grades are recorded on them. The instructor identifies behaviors that may need more attention, provides additional feedback and returns the form. At the end of the semester, forms are collected again and final grades are recorded on them. Students use the form as a self-assessment of choices they made throughout the semester. Did student change any behaviors and what impact did it have on the final grade?

7. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Nutrition – students learn basic facts about proteins, carbohydrates and fat

Educator: Sherry Best Kai, Instructor, Biology, Medical Assisting, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, NC

Implementation: Place students into groups of three, with one person assigned to become the group’s expert on proteins, another on carbs, and the third on fats. Students use resource material from the instructor, as well as “working” knowledge of their area to create a list of important facts. Potential questions to answer would be “What foods contain protein, carbs, and fat? What roles in the body do protein, carbs, and fat play?” Students meet in expert group to expand their knowledge and check their ‘facts’ to ensure they are correct. They then return to their home group and teach their area of expertise to the group.

8. Strategy: Adapting the Puzzle

Application: Medical Radiologic Technology

Educator: Karolee Brauhen, Faculty, Medical Radiologic Technology, NAIT (CN)

Implementation: Use the Puzzle activity to help students gain self-awareness in a team setting, especially when there are various elements of urgency or frustration which replicates real life work situations such as having to work with a team to perform a portable CXR on a patient at the hospital. With 15 students, have 5 stations with 35- to 50-piece jigsaw puzzles at each station. Have students get into groups of 3. Give the directions: “Your task is to assemble the puzzles as best you can in the time allotted. Each station has special instructions. Every two minutes I will ring the chime. When I do, two of your team members rotate to the next station, with one person staying behind to instruct the new members.” At one station, students can only use their left hand, at another, only the right hand. At the third station, there will be two pieces missing (under the table), at the 4th they must wear sterile gloves, and at the last station the pieces are spread out between two tables. Process the experience helping students become aware of how they deal with stressful situations when working as a team.

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