I was writing a post for our Simulation Centre Blog (www.oursimcentre.wordpress.com) and thought further about the post and whether my advice about evaluation being an ‘afterthought’ is limited to simulated environments…. or is the advice from M. Kaas that I refer to really applicable whenever we find ourselves in the classroom?
I reflected on a recent discussion with a classmate who stopped me after my own class to ask if I’ll be able to apply what we are currently studying in either my dissertation or my own practice – if we have to ask the question, do we already know the answer?
We get so busy putting together our lesson plans and HOPEFULLY creating engaging classroom activities…. we think about how we’ll measure and test – but do we really think seriously about the difference that the education will make for our students in their practice? How might we measure that application? What is the critical take away?
I’m always excited when I hear from former students – when they send me an article they’ve recently read that made them think of me. Or, when students comment in an evaluation that they are now excited about a topic because of an expert from industry who came to class and provided them with a way to link theory to practice. Those are the moments I value most.
As Merrie suggests – what do we want the learner to know? Are we designing the technology around the learning or vice versa? In 6 months’ time, will students remember anything that we’ve covered with them? How often do we ask students to reflect on the information and how they might integrate this new knowledge into their practice? Do we discuss clinical situations and provide examples of where this information might prove valuable?
So what next?
For me, I commit to bringing problem based learning (PBL) activities to every class I facilitate from this point forward. The research supports PBL, we know that it works, PBL is engaging and it allows students immediate application of a principle…..and isn’t it really just another form of simulation anyway.
What about you, do you or will you start backward at the outcome and look forward for the answer?