The Institute for Healthcare Improvement provides several series of online courses dealing with patient safety, respect and dignity of the patient, and quality improvement in all healthcare settings. Faculty of some nursing and medical schools are using the courses as required components of their curriculum. Are any pharmacy colleges doing the same?
This was written in the 90's, but really hits the key concerns that both students and faculty have regarding switching to student centered learning. Too bad that 20 years later we're still discussing how to do this.
Teaching Unprepared Students: The Importance of Increasing Relevance
By Kenneth L. Alford, PhD, and Tyler J. Griffin, PhD
It is difficult to teach if students are unprepared to learn. In a 2013 Faculty Focus reader survey, faculty were asked to rank their biggest day-to-day challenges. "Students who are not prepared for the rigors of college" and "Students who come to class unprepared" finished in a statistical dead heat as the #1 challenge; roughly 30% of the respondees rated both challenges as "very problematic."
Whether students arrive in your classroom underprepared (that is, their high school educational experience did not prepare them for the rigors of college work) or unprepared (that is, they are not ready to contribute and participate in your course on any given day), the way to help them is still the same.
When approaching classroom challenges, it is helpful to first identify the teaching and learning principles involved and then search for practices that follow from those principles. If you want to increase the level of engagement with underprepared or unprepared students, we have three recommendations:
Students who sense a disconnect between what they are learning at college (or in your course) and their future life, as they perceive it, will never engage to the same degree as students who understand the relevant connections between their current learning and their future.
One technique that a teacher can use to increase relevance is to repeatedly ask "So what?" or "Who cares?" If the teacher struggles to answer these questions from their students' perspectives, there is little chance that the students will be able to make the connection on their own. The task of answering these questions does not necessarily need to rest solely on the teacher, though. An engaging teacher will consistently work with students to construct answers to these two questions based on what they are currently studying.
Don't just give assignments. You need to help your students understand the relevance and connection to what they are doing now, and what they hope to do in the future. This is the student's, not the teacher's, "big picture" vision. But it is the teacher's responsibility to guide their students through this process. Unprepared and underprepared students will not do this on their own, but there are numerous ways you can help. Here are a few ideas:
Ask your students to respond, in writing, to a "So what?" question as part of each assignment or major topic within your course.Let students have control over course decisions and direction, as appropriate.Guide a class discussion on why this course should matter to them; play a devil's advocate role, if necessary.
Often teachers will wait until the very end of a semester to talk about relevance or relevant connections. That is a mistake. You will have missed a golden opportunity. A better option is to front-load a discussion of relevance in your course. Provide students with relevancy beginning with lesson one. Then throughout your course, each time you introduce a new major topic or section, update and expand on the relevance.
Assessment and Accountability
Effective teachers do not rely on only one form of assessment when helping underprepared or unprepared students. Begin by assessing where students are, and then find appropriate methods to help students reach the next level of ability and motivation. That process continues by degrees until they reach their educational degree.
It has been our experience that students who are held accountable to themselves, to peers, to teams, and to faculty expectations are more likely to find the motivation to complete required work and succeed as students. That accountability must be:
Attainable. If you give unreasonable expectations, you will probably only increase students' unpreparedness and decrease their motivation—but the bar must continue to be raised throughout the semester incrementally, as appropriate.Firm. You must have standards. Mercy should not be allowed to rob justice, or you run the risk of losing credibility—contributing to increased unpreparedness.Measurable. Students need to clearly understand when they have met your expectations in an objective way.
As a teacher, it is essential to remember that you are not teaching lessons or subjects, you are teaching students, real people. Consequently, the degree to which you win the hearts and minds of your students is the degree to which you can motivate them to achieve in your class and throughout their college experience. Your positive effect on students can benefit them in all of their courses—not just yours and not just this one semester. What we do as teachers matters in the lives of our students. Let's help them become lifelong learners.
Dr. Kenneth L. Alford is an associate professor at Brigham Young University and a retired U.S. Army colonel. Dr. Tyler J. Griffin is an assistant professor at Brigham Young University.
The number of students going abroad to study health disciplines has tripled in the last 10 years, but guidelines for such programs have lagged behind.
Mary Starry's insight:
As more and more pharmacy students participate in overseas healthcare programs, making sure they are properly supervised and only participating in activities they would be legally able to do in the United States becomes important, not just for the student but for the college as well. Other colleges of pharmacy may want to consider having students complete the University of Minnesota's free online course that addresses these issues.
Perspective from The New England Journal of Medicine — Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market? (Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?
Mary Starry's insight:
Unfortunately, as the graphs show, the pharmacy education bubble will likely burst before the medical education bubble. We need to become realistic about what our students will be able to earn in the future when determining pharmacy education costs.
An excellent article on the basic components of team based learning and then specifically the key requirements for each of those components to work the way they should. Faculty who try to utilize only one or two components should not expect the robust learning experience for students that comes from full utilization of the process. Great insights for both individual faculty and for faculty teams.
ProProfs presents you this info-graphic that introduces the concept of flipped classrooms. It offers you information on how teachers and students respond to this new idea of learning.
Also, you may want to check The Educators’ Guide to Flipped Classroom, where you will find answer on how does a flipped classroom contribute to student learning, the top benefits and disadvantages of a flipped classroom, and last but not least, how to successfully Flip your classroom.
Finally, I highly encourage you to check:
Progressive Education: The Rising Power Of Student Voice
Read many current educational articles or twitter feeds, and it becomes pretty clear that progressive educationalists are gaining voice. Project based, constructivist, experiential, problem solving curriculum is lauded and promoted at every turn, and thankfully so. Learning becomes deeper and more meaningful when students participate in knowledge building. However, there are a few educationalists who are really pushing and disrupting the boundaries of progressive education. They are those who believe in student generated content.
A strategy for creating a School e-learning culture
Education is constantly changing the way students learn and how instructors teach. Technology is often the driving force behind many of the world’s changes and innovations. In education, creating an e-learning culture is more about developing and tweaking what already exists, sharing a common vision, and doing things a little differently. The purpose of this article is to identify and outline a strategy for creating an e-learning culture within a school system ready to step away from traditional teaching.
The Concept of Individualized Learning Plans in eLearning
Individualized Learning Plans constitute a user-specific learning program or strategy that resembles a mapped academic plan, reflecting each learner’s unique set of strengths, weaknesses, goals, needs, abilities, preferences, and interests. It constitutes an educational technique, undoubtedly easier to implement in the field of eLearning.
U of Minnesota College of Pharmacy successfully offered a completely on-line course that incorporated on-line weekly discussions, reflections and a final project. Peer assessment was a major component of the assessment process, lightening the workload on faculty. Sounds very interesting and something other college faculty could realistically do.
In more than 20 years of teaching, I have learned that too much information frustrates rather than inspires students. Today, however, with a few clicks of the computer mouse, any teacher can retrieve an overabundance of information.
Mary Starry's insight:
This is a huge stumbling block for clinical faculty in pharmacy colleges. They have so much expertise in their specialty area that they find it hard to keep the focus on the basic starting blocks for their topic. Starting with realistic specific objectives and then structuring content to meet those objectives would be more effective. We want our students to know all the things we've learned from years of experience and end up leaving them in confusion instead.
RT @jryoung: Harvard students express complaints about 'flipped classroom' experiments: http://t.co/bw0jjffW3Z (Harvard Crimson)
Mary Starry's insight:
The Harvard classes addressed were not just "flipped" but also became part of the HarvardX large MOOC approach, so several changes at once. Harvard is doing research on student impact of the flipped approach. Will be interesting to see results.
This professor in the College of Engineering flipped her TILE classroom this fall and is pleased with the results. She's developed a special workshop this November for STEM faculty to share her active learning approaches.
This new publication from the FDA addresses personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics, both historically and in terms of what we will see in the future. There is a nice section on how genetic tests and then the medications to treat the condition tested for are being developed together. Lots of graphs and charts. Looks useful both as a resource for faculty, or as an extra resource to provide students.
Let’s start out by defining our terms. The definition of service-learning differentiates it from volunteering and old-fashioned community service.
Mary Starry's insight:
This excerpt is from a white paper the site editor is promoting for purchase, so realize it's a sales pitch!
However, it was interesting how the authors approach reflection as the key component throughout service learning experiences that differentiate them from volunteer work or community service. While many pharmacy colleges utilize service learning and writing reflections a couple times a year on them, this approach would have reflection as a key component of each service learning activity.
@eschmidt2010 @janetr88 It's been proven that the optimal video length for learning 6 minutes or less. http://t.co/4mLWTvBHi7
Mary Starry's insight:
This data is from edX from the large on-line MOOC courses. However, as we look at videotaping for "flipped classes" I think the data can also be applicable. Basically once your video lecture gets longer than about 6 to 9 minutes, the median amount of time students spend watching the video gets progressively smaller until videos longer than 15 minutes are only watched a median of 2 to 4 minutes compared to about 6 minutes for the videos in the 6 to 9 minute length. This data matches up with the old adage that you really only have students attention for about the first 10 minutes of a lecture.
So we need to keep the key concepts short and to the point!
"I'd like to find a way to scan text, then have that text read to the student." Isn't it great to have these kinds of questions that just wander in?
"While there are a variety of computer programs available for optical character recognition (OCR), I had only encountered this on the PaperPort Notes app. That process, while fine for me, wouldn't work well for the intended use.
"Voxdox is a new free text-to-speech app, available now foriphone, android and tablet that will read out any form of text for you in your choice of human voice.
"With Voxdox you can convert files, papers, articles, contracts and even full-length books to quality speech in over 20 languages, and then share them with your friends, class-mates and colleagues using Voxbox, the app’s integrated social database.
"Voxbox has already become the first choice solution for thousands of people around the world for sharing information in the fields of business and academia. By using Voxbox, your networks can find you in seconds and download high quality audio files generated from your text as well as the text itself. After downloading the text they have chosen, all that is left to do is press "play" and it will be read to them in one of a range of human voices."
Jim Lerman's insight:
This is fantastic! You can have your computer read back to you, out loud, any printed document -- even a pdf. For free! Outstanding.
If you don't have a scanner handy (or a scanner period) then one of these mobile pdf creation apps should save you a lot of time and trouble! (RT @Edubeat: 3 Powerful Apps For Mobile PDF Creation: If you don't have a scanner handy (or a...
Image: USDAgov/Flickr In case you forgot my definition from last time, Education 3.0 is the confluence of three crucial education elements: Neuroscienc (RT @RitwikSwain: @SchoolsImprove @educationgovuk We must employ this knowledge to improve #education...
Mary Starry's insight:
How do we get more pharmacy faculty interested in learning and practicing new approaches to student learning? A tenured faculty member walked into my office the other day and saw I was reading about the "Flipped Classroom". He asked me what was the difference between me and the rest of the faculty on our floor. I answered, "A PhD." and he replied, "No, the time to spend reading about education. The rest of us are working on our research in any spare moment we can find." Is there a way to get all pharmacy faculty interested in learning approaches?
Infographics are interesting–a mash of (hopefully) easily-consumed visuals (so, symbols, shapes, and images) and added relevant character-based data (so, numbers, words, and brief sentences).
The learning application for them is clear, with many academic standards–including the Common Core standards–requiring teachers to use a variety of media forms, charts, and other data for both information reading as well as general fluency. It’s curious they haven’t really “caught on” in schools considering how well they bridge both the old-form textbook habit of cramming tons of information into a small space, while also neatly overlapping with the dynamic and digital world.
Great to see that faculty were able to correlate movement from lecture based to active learning approaches in a series of therapeutics classes to increased retention of the core content covered. Exactly what we hope to obtain from active learning approaches!
Dr. Mesko has developed a very interesting infographic on where technology has already moved us and where it is moving in the future in terms of diagnostics, treatment, monitoring, collaboration with others, patient communication, etc. He then provides a nice summary of the current status of these technological tools. Glad to see there's still hope for the Star Trek Tricoder!
The FDA is encouraging healthcare programs to incorporate these materials into their curriculum. Every healthcare professional has worked with at least one patient who has been mislead into wasting money on these misleading products.
RT @marklipton: Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers http://t.co/OfYRCpRot8 #edtech
Mary Starry's insight:
Not surprised by these results, but good to have data affirming our suspicions. Unfortunately most students will say they are very capable of multitasking and still pick up the salient points of the lecture.
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