Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Technology...The death of me

Well, now that I have retyped all my blog posts to this new site, I think technology has finally gotten the best of me.  But, yet again I will conquer this technology beast yet.  With one more course to go I am determined to win the battle.

 Between blogging, the final paper and all the work in course design I am ready for a short break.  Not to mention in the middle of all the finishing work my computer had to go to the computer hospital for 3 days.  It is having some real problems with its connections.  Hopefully I will have a new laptop for next semester.  I have learned to back up my entire computer.  Well onto my blog topic—course design.

This has been an enlighten course as I look back over the semester.  I have been teaching for many years and just taught as I was taught with tweaks here and there.  As I attended conferences I learned about different learning styles and different ways to teach my nursing students the information.  But, as I proceeded in this class and had to tease out all the pieces of setting up a course in a chart or worksheet format I really learned about course design. 

First there was the student to content issue.  Knowing how my students were going to interact with the content and what content I wanted them to interact with.  I had done this but never really thought about it.  As I read the literature in that lesson I learned some new ideas about student learning and why that interaction is so important.
Then there were the student to student interactions.  This was also an enlightening area of learning.  I had had my students work in groups and teams before because that is part of nursing.  I felt it was important for them to learn to work with others in order to survive on the floor.  Reading
NAVIGATING THE BUMPY ROAD by Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent
I learned that “It's not that SCI (student centered instruction) doesn't work when done correctly-it does, as both the literature and our personal experience in two strikingly different disciplines richly attest. The problem is that while the promised benefits are real, they are neither immediate nor automatic.” This is so true.  When I have students do their presentations or group projects they really learn the content.   They may grumble and complain but they seem to gain that knowledge at a much higher level. 

Dr. Roger Schank stated "The value of the computer is that it allows kids to learn by doing," he said. "People don't learn by being talked at. They learn when they attempt to do something and fail. Learning happens when they try to figure out why."   I always felt this way but now I had someone to support my thoughts.  I was never one to enjoy being the sage on the stage it was just how I was taught to teach.  I was really a rebel in the college with wanting to have students play games to interact with the content.   

With these two concepts in mind I found it hard to keep them separate.  Throughout my design process I would put the student to student in the student to content and vice versa.  Thank goodness between Jan and my peers who were reading my worksheets and giving me feedback I was able to begin to keep them straight.   I think I now know- I think- the way to keep them separate but, I am sure I will need more practice in that area.  I am just glad I know have validation for all the interactive activities I do with my students in the hospital setting, lab, classroom and in the future online courses. 

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