Learning summary…It’s entertaining!!!

I want to thank all of the ECI 834 class and peers Melinda and Twana for being great partners for this project!! Please click on the link to view our Final Learning Summary!!!






Rewind and Reflect…

This final blog post was jointly written by Twana, Melinda and Stephanie.

Start of the tracks


Welcome to our final blog post. The journey of creating our “Medical Terminology Course Prototype” over the last few months could be described in a variety ways. It was a journey that included learning, challenges and at times frustration. Other days were filled with optimism, brainstorming, creativity, team building and collegiality.

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Medical Terminology for the Pre-Nursing student was a course that our group decided to develop to foster success for students entering any general nursing program. Each of us as nursing instructors have seen deficiencies among our various nursing programs regarding this content. Due to the ever expanding and complex knowledge requirements that nursing students require, they are provided with minimal curriculum hours that specifically address medical terminology. Medical terminology, in most nursing programs, is delivered to students over a few short hours where students are introduced to the basic components of the medical language. From there it is the expectation that students Image result for nursing puzzledbecome fluent in the medical language as an adjunct of other courses and clinical experiences. The ability to learn medical terminology is difficult and at times confusing due to the fact that many medical terms are based on Latin, a language that most are unfamiliar with. Picture Source

Throughout the course semester each of us has blogged about our decision to develop such a course and our individual experience with students and their difficulties with the Image result for positive learningmedical language. Further to that discussion our blog posts describe in detail our process of choosing Canvas as our LMS. We underwent numerous growing pains and a steep learning curve on this journey but in the end, we are very proud and confident that our course prototype, after a bit of tweaking based on our peers reviews, could assist nursing students in the attainment of a firm introduction to medical terminology. Picture Source

In the first few weeks and planning phase, we trialled various learning management systems including, Moodle, Brightspace and Canvas.

Image result for winner isFinally, as a team, we jointly decided on Canvas as the LMS for our prototype. Through each of our past blog posts over the course of the semester we discuss the reason why we chose Canvas but ultimately it was because we found it to be the most user friendly of the three LMS systems and wanted to try something that none of us had worked with before. Although some of you as peers blogged about the annoyance of the phone calls from Canvas, we found the support to be exceptional. If we had a question during the project we would email or call and get a response within 24 hours. The “help”Image result for Help link was great and often times watching a quick video would get us up and running if we ran into a glitch. We did find the loading times slow for our content within our modules and perhaps the LMS was not as functional on a smartphone as a computer but overall we would recommend it to others.

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We showcased our learning by incorporating a variety of technological tools discussed throughout the semester for our module teaching content. We incorporated flipgrid for
Image result for hold onintroductions to give students a voice and used assessment tools built into the LMS such as quizzes to demonstrate the functions available within the LMS.
Although we thought our prototype was ready to go live we found through constructive peer feedback some things we would change and fix before we would make this happen. Picture Source




First off we want to thank those peers that took the time to provide our group with such thorough and constructive feedback in regards to our course prototype. It was nice to hear Image result for Thank youthat our course was user friendly, easy to navigate and specific to the targeted audience. We appreciated that our viewers found our activities both engaging and student centered. Here are some of the minor things that we would change.

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One specific comment that was mentioned in regards to our prototype was that it may be nice to provide users more opportunities to interact and ask questions in a more informal manner, such as through the use of discussion forums. This is a great point, and something that our team did contemplate. We decided against the idea of open and informal discussion forums as our course is asynchronous in nature. After receiving this feedback our group revisited this discussion. We have concluded that an informal Image result for student centered onlinediscussion forum might be a nice component to add to our course to foster a feeling of community among the students. Because this course is designed to be taken before students commence their nursing program, one can assume that many of the students registered in this course will eventually be taking their full-time nursing program together. By allowing students to potentially gain a sense of community and develop relationships prior to actually starting in their course could only foster success and develop a potential peer support system.

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Other useful and appreciated feedback was in regards to appearance and ensuring that text size and audio was user friendly. Ensuring text size is at an appropriate size and that screens can be maximised are important pieces of information that would defiantly be addressed if our course were to go live. Furthermore, ensuring audio presentation was delivered in an appropriate form such as screencastify was helpful.

Another thing that we now realize that we could have done a better was explaining our Image result for whyrationale as to why we picked our LMS. Each of us had blogged about this point as to explain as to why we picked Canvas and therefore did not include the rationale in our course syllabus. Here are the links to our past blog posts that describe each of our thoughts and rationals: Twana, Melinda and Stephanie.

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We also now realize we could have included additional resources and specific information on our course profile for EAL and Indigenous students that may be enrolled in our course. We did make the assumption that students would have English proficiency and good academic standing in order to be accepted into the nursing programs but did not recognize this within the profile. We would also include some discussion on socioeconomic and cultural considerations as this is something that we did not include. This was consistent feedback and will definitely be taken into consideration.

We appreciated the feedback that recognized the components that were showcased in Image result for appreciated the feedback our ECI 834 learning and the various tools incorporated within our three modules such as screencastify with google slides, adobe spark and voice over PowerPoint. We attempted to demonstrate our knowledge and the functionality of Canvas by using assessment tools (i.e. quizzes) built into the LMS as well as various other tools which increased student interaction prior to implementing our course. Picture Source



Part of the blog prompt for this week was to include our course profile. Within our course prototype we called this the “syllabus”. We have included what we had in our course below.

EC&I 834: Medical Terminology
Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Spring Semester 2017
Online Course – Asynchronous
Instructors: Stephanie Grand, Melinda Pelletier & Twana White
Email: SMTmedicalterminology@gmail.com

Stephanie Grand

Office: Parkway Rm.252


More @: Stephanie.grand@saskpolytech.ca

Melinda Pelletier

Office: Parkway Rm. 200.10

Twitter: @sauvepelletier

More @: Melinda.pelletier@saskpolytech.ca

Twana White

Office: Wascana Rm.731.2

Twitter: @twanalw

More @: Twana.white@saskpolytech.ca

Video conferencing will be available to students every Wednesday from 7pm-8pm Central time. Facilitator will be available for questions and any assistance you may need with the course. Please join the conference at this time if you so wish!!

1.0 Course Description and Objectives

1.1 Course Description

This online course examines introductory medical terminology to pre- nursing students entering a nursing education program.

This 8 week mandatory non-credit course will be offered through asynchronous online facilitation upon acceptance and prior to beginning a Saskatchewan Polytechnic Nursing Education Program.

Passing grade: 50%

1.2 Course Objectives

This online course will focus on three modules:

  • Describing structure of medical terms
  • Identifying accepted abbreviations of medical terms
  • Exploring body positions and planes

2.0 Resource Materials

Chabner, D. (2015). Medical terminology: A short course (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: W. B. Saunders.

3.0 Special Needs

It is the responsibility of students who may have a disability, injury or illness and feel they require academic accommodation to contact course facilitators following contact and assessment with Saskatchewan Polytechnic Learning Services at (306) 775- 7436

3.1 Attendance and Punctuality

This 8 week asynchronous online course allows the learner the flexibility and freedom to self schedule their learning. Although learners can migrate through the course content at their own pace, we have included a weekly schedule to demonstrate the time most students require to complete each module successfully.

4.0 Assignments

Assignment #1-Module 1.5 (30%)- Multiple Choice Evaluative Quiz

Assignment #2-Module 2.5 (30%)- Multiple Choice Evaluative Quiz

Assignment #3-Module 3.5 (35%)- Describe and document the wound or identified area of images.

Assignment #4- Participation (5%)- Discussion participation

5.0 Saskatchewan Polytechnic Policies

Policies and procedures have been developed to fulfil the vision, values and mandate of the organization and include the following series, academic, advancement and alumni, facilities, finance, general administration, health and safety, human resources, information management, international, materials management, research and scholarly activity, and student services.

An annual policy notification process is in place to meet the organisation’s obligations to ensure employee and students are aware of their individual rights and responsibilities related to Saskatchewan Polytechnic Policies. This notification appears annually at the start of each school year. When you log into your Saskatchewan Polytechnic user account, an online annual policy notification screen will appear and you will be required to electronically acknowledge receipt of the notification.

Please read and refer to Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies to help guide your experiences while you are a student in the Pre-Nursing Medical Terminology course.

For more information and a complete list of Saskatchewan Polytechnic policies and procedures, please visit the schedule and Saskatchewan Polytechnic website (Links to an external site.)at and look for “Policies and Procedures” under the section titled “About–> About us–> Policies”

6.0 Weekly Schedule

Week Content Assignments and Readings
Week 1 Introduction
  • Complete your Canvas profile
  • Complete Discussion Post #1
  • Readings for Module One
Week 2 Module One
  • Compete instruction online video provided
  • Complete learning activity
Week 3
  • Submit Module One evaluative tool
  • Complete Discussion Post #2
  • Readings for Module number two
Week 4 Module Two
  • Complete instruction online video provided
  • Complete learning activity
Week 5
  • Submit Module Two evaluative tool
  • Readings for Module number three
Week 6 Module Three
  • Complete instruction online video provided
  • Complete learning activity
Week 7
  • Submit Module Three evaluative tool
  • Complete Discussion Post #3
Week 8
  • Submit final project
  • Complete online course evaluation

7.0 Online success strategies

Top 5 strategies for success in online learning:

  1. Devote consistent blocks of time to the class
  2. Communicate regularly with the professor
  3. Engage with your classmates
  4. Begin your work early
  5. Remember that online classes vary greatly

If you would like to access our course in full detail, here are the directions to do so.
Click here
User name/log in:

Although we can not respond to all the feedback from all reviews, we have read and considered it all in detail. Unfortunately it was challenging to recognize all feedback when Image result for grow and learnsome of the feedback was evaluative and judgmental in nature. We are grateful to the peers that looked at this exercise as an opportunity to assist colleagues to grow and learn from each other. To those peers that felt this was an opportunity to be overly critical and analyze every small detail our course prototype we choose to respectfully decline your feedback and not respond in detail at this time.

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Once again, we want to thank everyone for the honest and constructive feedback. If we Image result for constructive feedbackwere to go live with our prototype we feel all of the feedback provided would prove to be very useful and ultimately facilitate the student and their success.


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The End Is Near, I Repeat the End is Near!!!

“The End is Near!!!!!!!!”

 Well, the end of ECI 834 is near and with this comes many different emotions. This course has been engaging while thought provoking and I will miss my Tuesday night community!  It has been great to meet with peers through the zoom room and discuss many different tools and pedagogical elements to online/blended teaching and learning.

As Twana, Melinda and I put our finishing touches on the medical terminology prototype this week I am amazed at what we have accomplished. I am actually excited that this course will hopefully provide pre-nursing students with a strong terminology foundation prior to starting their program. Although, we will likely need approval from the leadership team the lunchroom chatter has been positive about implementing this!

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Regardless of the outcome, I feel the process of this assignment that Alec and Katia have designed has made the idea of creating or even teaching in an online course more realistic! I would not have thought this prior to taking ECI 834.

As I have discussed in other posts our group started with moodle but changed to canvas. Like Ashley  discussed in her blog this week we have enjoyed many things about this LMS but have also found some challenges!  Andy  thought canvas was really neat! It was great to be able to easily separate the modules for a group project with individual teaching components. However, the saving feature really drove me crazy. I would edit something only to realize that I forgot to hit save. This was very frustrating!! However, I feel the end product is awesome and I hope my peers evaluating feel the same way!


On week one of this course I remember saying to my group we need to take note of our key learning each week to highlight in our final summary of learning.  Fortunately, Twana and Melinda are more organized than me and actually wrote things down so we have started the process of completing this project as well.  I don’t want to give it away but I think you will enjoy it!!


Most importantly I want to thank my Tuesday night community for entertaining me in the chat, teaching me about tools and apps that will strengthen my teaching and answering all my “non-techy” questions. Although, I may never use a green room or slack, I will be implementing blended learning in my courses!! 



Online spaces, authenticity, and personal experience…these are my thoughts…..

I have been challenged this week to look back on personal experiences with open course spaces. I thought back to my initial experience with forum posting in my first masters class. All students were asked the same questions and required to answer and respond to 3 of our peers. Amy discusses a similar experience. There was very little “room” for original thoughts and thought provoking discussion. Having had nothing to compare this to at the time I thought it was alright but time consuming. Often the responses were all very similar with virtually no “unstructured” critical reflection. I would respond because I had to for marks according to the rubric but not because I was actually interested in what my peers were saying.


After taking ECI 833 I came to understand that open spaces were so much more than what I had been exposed to in the past. I was introduced to online blogging/twittering and loved that through posts I could take theory and concepts introduced in the face to face portion of the course and discuss/utilize and explore them in my own way. This was the first class that I felt I could directly relate my learning to nursing education and try tools that I would actually use in my own classes.

We are given blog “prompts” but I feel we are able to choose how we interpret them and have freedom to post with relation to what we are interested in. I have always been a bit torn about whether I should have taken a Master’s in Nursing as opposed to Adult Education. However, I am starting to feel differently as I am learning so much from my peers through open space learning. Through their posts and tweets I am able to generate ideas for my own students and also for my own elementary aged children. I have introduced my son to Bill Nye thanks to ECI 834 discussions.  https://youtu.be/UtVJdPfm0F8

As the Open Education Consortium says: “sharing is probably the most basic characteristic of education: education is sharing knowledge, insights and information with others, upon which new knowledge, skills, ideas and understanding can be built.”

I have started to think much differently about student centered learning and the importance of peer sharing especially in adult education . Prior to this class I would have students write reflective journals based on their clinical experiences and then be the only person who read and gave feedback. I have come to realize that this is pretty much a make work project for students and myself and does not engage them very well. I still have students write reflections but we take time to read them out load and talk about them as a group. This stimulates great discussions and students have a more vested interest in their writing and research because they know they need to be able to answer questions from their peers and facilitate discussions. I feel the students reflection and self-awareness has considerably increased with the sharing space.


I have even thought for next year of developing a google document that students can post and respond to. I suppose this will be like a forum but with more of an “authentic” purpose. Students will be able to post based on experiences and will not just be answering questions.

I would love to see all of the students in the obstetrics course be a part of this. I believe it is important that students have some freedom to discuss what they find interesting. I am not sure if I am ready to have students openly blog in a public domain because I would be worried about hipa and breaches in confidentiality. Even without the use of names people may recognize certain situations. Given the nature of nursing we need to be so careful about what we post in online spaces. I would be concerned that students would not feel comfortable sharing negative experiences and perhaps even upset others reading their blog posts. I think in this field of post secondary education it may be difficult.

What are your thoughts on blogging for nursing students? Do you think it is an appropriate tool to use in an open space given hipa? I would love your insight!





“Community” the lost has been found!!

This week in class we discussed the importance of making online classes interactive and providing opportunities for engagement and community development. According to TeacherStream, LLC(2009), “Discussion forums provide the ability for asynchronous discussion to occur over a period of time”(p.2). Our group has chosen to adopt an asynchronous online means for our Medical Terminology prototype as a pre-nursing course.  As Melinda discussed in her blog this week we overlooked the importance of building a community and having “student to student interaction” and “faculty to student interaction”. After reflecting on this following the class and after completing the readings for this week, we quickly decided to slow down and look at how creating a community could be possible in our course.

Yield Sign https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_sign_-_Yield_(v3).svg

We needed to incorporate tools that would help build community and relationships. Through the use of the discussion board in Canvas we will pose questions that students will have the opportunity to discuss using their personal examples and reflections. We will ask students to give personal situations of how medical terminology may have caused confusion for themselves or their family members. We hope through the discussion board students will be able to take time to reflect and through writing articulate their thoughts online. Students will be able to to respond to one another and as faculty we will be able to respond to students. We hope to stimulate critical thinking and critical inquiry as these are extremely important skills needed in nursing. In our nursing program we often refer to Bloom’s taxonomy for reflection and this course will provide an introduction to how this is done through the discussion board. We have not highlighted Bloom’s taxonomy in our course prototype as of yet but this post has made me wonder if we should.


As faculty we will be committed to giving clear guidelines for posts. Although we have not developed a rubric for responses we may need to look at assigning some marks for discussion participation. Perhaps this would encourage more active participation. We will be visible within the discussion and monitor for appropriate netiquette(online etiquette). (This was something I had never heard of until these readings)

In my own experience I have found that discussion boards often become dominated by a few eager students. I know this has made me intimidated and often fearful to post for fear of not looking scholarly enough. I have also had peers that have been critical of my thoughts and this has made me pull back and put less reflection into posts. I believe as facilitators we have a duty to monitor the discussion board and give constructive feedback if we see these types of situations occurring.

I agree with many of Kristen Hansens thoughts on discussion boards. She discussed the importance of giving less pre-readings and more time for writing. Many of us have likely experienced this in previous classes. Often the pre-readings are very time consuming. By time we finish the pre-readings we don’t have the time or energy to write a lengthy scholarly post. Alec discussed the importance of wanting to be a participant in your own class. I think this is extremely relevant. Asking the question am “I wanting the students to do something in a class that I would be resistant to doing?”

The article posted this week by Schwier 2002, discussed elements of online communities. Four of these elements stuck out for me. I thought of examples of how our group is using these elements to create community.

Historicity- Through the use of the discussion board and flip grid, students will have the opportunity to discuss what brought them into nursing. They will be able to incorporate personal stories and experiences. As facilitators we used Adobe spark to create a welcome introduction video. Through this we have identified the history and why we chose medical terminology as our prototype. In our personal teaching history we have seen the gap in knowledge of medical terminology as a barrier for success and a means of frustration for students.

Participation- This course will be run asynchronously but will require students to participate in individual and shared peer learning. Through the use of flip grid as an ice breaker students will be able to introduce and put a face to their peers. The video creation in Module 3 will encourage active participation. Twana has modeled the way in her example video.

Technology- By employing technology that is easy for students to use we hope the activities and links will facilitate student learning. Canvas offers many evaluative activities right on the LMS but we have also provided links and examples of other virtual tools. In module one, I demonstrate to use of these links for students in my course instruction. This is link to the medical terminology matching quiz I have developed. I have also shown the students other tools such as an online source for cue cards called https://quizlet.com/.  Furthermore, we will also be using zoom for faculty led weekly Q and A sessions. Although not compulsory students will have to opportunity to zoom in once a week to have questions answered or guidance given.

Future- Having students describe “ways they will use what they have learned in the community in the future” This is something we have not yet incorporated as of now but after completing the readings, I feel vital to include. I think it will make sense to include a discussion question that would have students reflect on how they might use the knowledge of medical terminology in their future education and career. I am known for telling my students “don’t memorize to forget, learn to empower” Our patients expect that we bring knowledge from all classes to provide optimal care.

As Melinda discussed we are not entirely sure where to “cap” the participation as we are running this course over 8 weeks. How much is too much? In a short asynchronous course it may be difficult to build the sense of community that exists in blended and face to face classes. I do hope that our course will at the very least build some peer relationships that will be developed further as students meet face to face in future nursing classes.




Learning for me happens with…….

This week we looked at pedagogical differences of various types of media. Therefore, I will be reflecting on my own experiences with learning from digital sources in light of the Bates reading.  When asked “what are your learning preferences when it comes to digital resources (e.g., print, audio, video, other)?” I had to stop and think. I believe my learning styles have changed with age. If I was to answer this question when I was in primary or high school I definitely would have said audio and video. I disliked reading and was the student that would hit blockbuster to find a movie of the book I needed to complete a book report on.  To Kill a Mockingbird was one that I remember well!


In my nursing undergrad program I found text with visual pictures helped me to initially understand concepts. When further reinforced with video, things seemed to make the most sense. I began to enjoy reading in my undergrad and perhaps this was because I had a choice in what I was learning and the readings were relevant to my goals. I wasn’t forced to read an anatomy and physiology text but chose to in order to become a competent nurse that could provide evidence based care to people. 


This makes me wonder if students had more of a choice in the material they were assigned to read if they would be more engaged with text. Especially students in primary school. Having a child in a reading resource program that dictates the books he “must” read has been a challenge in our home. I have said many times to his teachers that if they gave him a comic book he would be much more willing to participate. In fact I have actually stopped making my son read his assigned homework and have resorted to Captain Underpants as our primary source of supplemental reading homework. I am sure many would disagree but I grew up with Archie Comics and I eventually learned how to read fluently.


Throughout my Master’s I find most instructors assign readings/texts as the primary source of learning. I do find reading text online difficult on the eyes after long periods of time and prefer paper text but given the digital age it seems wasteful to print off every article. I appreciate when instructors use a variety of tools as it makes class content more interesting but I agree with Adam who wrote about the downfalls of relying too much on one. He spoke mostly about the use of too much video and I would agree instructors need to be cautious with video as a primary teaching strategy.

What are your thoughts? How much is too much?