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Archive for philosophy of online teaching

February 10, 2015

assignment 1 philosophy of on-line teaching

 My Philosophy of On-Line Teaching and Learning

Sue Koch  Feb. 9, 15

I have not had the opportunity as yet to teach on-line. That is my next goal in my teaching career. At present, I teach at a university in a health care assistant program. (HCAP) This is a vocational program which carries on for eight months. Previously, the program at our and other institutions was five to six months long. We have added quite a bit of clinical time in the hospital, a computer course specific to our program and more emphasis on the person-centered approach to providing care to the elderly.

My goal as a teacher is to encourage the students to take ownership of their own learning. The learning needs to be meaningful and associate with their past experience and knowledge.  They need to be part of life-long learning and continue to improve their critical thinking skills. They learn about providing safe, competent personal care to seniors in the lab courses and then practice their kinesthetic skills in the hospital extended care areas in the hospital.

Many of our students have not done well in school or have been out of school for twenty years working or raising their families so relearning how to study, use computers and their opinions to produce scholarly papers is a challenge at times.  They do often have sound knowledge from their child-rearing   experience which transfers to taking care of the elderly. The basic understanding is there. (Generic nurse aide clinical skills checklist-Prometric, p. nd)

We begin each course with the objectives and expectations for the students so there are clear understandings.  (Boettcher, 2006 – 2013)

The teaching methods I use are varied. I use lectures including a Moodle site for each course with readings, simulations, and small group work for case studies. I try to vary the groups so they have to use their communication skills and do not just work with their buddies all the time. In their clinical work, they are assessed by a mastery/non-mastery process.  If they are able to perform skills at a mastery level, they continue on to the second term. If they are not able to, they will not complete with their group and can chose to repeat their clinical experience or change careers.

When we assess the student learning, many of the appraisals of student learning are traditional tests. If, on a test, there is a question the majority of students has difficulty with, I will delete the question. I think their lack of knowledge on a topic reflects the fact that I have not covered the content well enough. I cannot blame them for my actions. I review the exam with them so I can clarify the problem at that point. Some involve singular projects and others are group projects and poster presentations.

One way I assess my own teaching ability is by reviewing the course, Moodle site and links I give to the students about various topics. I recently reviewed the information about giving to a client in home support. One thing I did during one of my professional development course was create a digital story about medication management in home support. I am including it here. It explains the anticipation of what our students will do when they work in home support or assisted living.

Our courses are evaluated by the students and they also evaluate us, the instructors. It is something that is mandated by the university and can be useful but it is something of a popularity contest as well. If some of the student do not receive the marks they expect, they can get very personal and say some cruel things. I am in favour of feedback about my teaching and areas where I could improve but I do dislike personal attacks. I enjoy comments that are appropriate but become annoyed with the personal attacks.

One of the” advantages of e-learning technologies include an ability to provide just in time learning; increased access; removal of time, place and situational barriers; cost effectiveness; greater accountability; increased interaction;

provision of future employment skills for students; and effective support for lifelong learning.”(Kanuka, 1980) I have found this to be a great advantage to those of us who like to do our learning at home by ourselves. I do not enjoy sitting in a class with students who are several years younger than me. I cannot study and learn in that context. I need time to mull over ideas in private so I can formulate my thoughts and add to my understanding. Group endeavors can be accomplished in an on-line context very well as long as communication and collaboration within the group works well.

Success in learning environments depend on many things; the perseverance of the students, their engagement, interests and prior knowledge; the context of the learning environment and evaluations or assessments of the program/student experience.  A course that has clear objectives, assignment directions and ‘makes sense’ to the overall nature of the course is also essential. If the majority of the learning experience is positive, the student/learner can thrive in this situation.

I have been teaching in a face-to-face setting for eight years and I find I enjoy the people with whom I work, the students thinking and growth as health care assistants. I also enjoy lively discussions with the students about cultural differences and how they affect the clients they will care for.

I hope to teach in an on-line setting by next year. I plan to retain my philosophy of teaching and support for my future students and my ethical stance in this new situation. My values stem from my nursing ethics and personal view that in order to complete our program, I have to feel comfortable with the progress of students. I need to feel they are safe in all aspects of care-giving for seniors who are one of the most vulnerable populations with which we work.

My goals for my students are that they will be the change in caregiving they want to see. They will treat seniors as people not tasks or ‘the fractured hip in bed four’. Older adults need to be seen as viable human beings who have a history and important things to teach us.


Boettcher, J. (2006 – 2013). Designing for Learning: Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online: Quick Guide for New Online Faculty . Retrieved from Ten Best Practices for Teaching Online: Quick Guide for New Online Faculty:

Generic nurse aide clinical skills checklist-Prometric. (na). Retrieved from

Kanuka, H. (1980). Understanding e-Learning Technologies-in-Practice through Philosophies-in-Practice. University of Alberta.

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