Grounded scholar

Right now, there is too much focus on myself when I am teaching. I want to make a change!

After participating in a workshop held by The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Malmö University (about student-centeredness) I made a promise to myself and now it is time for me to embody it. Stop the talking and start making it into a real shape. I want to model with clay and I want to create digital visualizations of “real life” patient scenarios.

Two things inspire me. First, I participated in yet another workshop held by The Centre for Teaching and Learning at Malmö University, this time on the topic storytelling. Secondly, at a rhetoric lecture some years ago, I learned that what we remember from a lecture is the stories that are told and I do believe that is a truth!

Usually, when I lecture in acid-base balance I tell the students a story about when I was working in Copenhagen at a Thoracic Intensive care unit and we used a medicine called Diamox (which is an example of a specific carbonic anhydrase inhibitors who slow the acid-bace balance down). My other “story” is when the football player Henke Larsson broke his leg in 2006 (which is an example of acid-bace disorder, putative respiratory alkalosis). Thinking of it, this is NOT the stories I want my students to remember!

I want them to remember stories about different patients’ symptoms and treatments. I want them to remember how the amazing human body compensate for the disorders and I want them to remember how they as nurses’ can prevent the acid-bace disorder to happen. I want them to remember “real” patients!

My idea builds upon enhancing student-centeredness since I will give them the patients´ stories and I want them (the students) to give the answers. By recording stories and edit, those into short movies (eBites) I hope to keep the students interest and attention. After watching an “eBite” I will encourage the students to discuss with each other about for example the patient’s symptoms and suggested treatment. I would like the student to have different stories to discuss and at the end of the lecture present their discussions and answers for one another.

In conclusion, I want to enhance student-centeredness by using storytelling.

This spring I got an excellent offer to participate in a “Grounded scholar” at Malmö University. The grounded scholar will be an ongoing activity during 2017/2018 containing of,

  • Six whole day seminar sessions
  • Identification of outcomes and outputs (e.g. conference papers, learning and teaching materials etc.)
  • Tutorial support
  • Discussion based seminars
  • Dissemination conference/publication
  • Explore the concept of the ‘blended HE professional
  • In-seminar time to develop scholarly outputs

I am super excited and tomorrow I will present this idea about storytelling for my colleagues. Let me get back to you regarding the process of this project.

Photo: Pixabay

Totally not right

Hopefully, we all have visions of a brighter future and then there is the harsh reality…

In his own words, John Biggs tells us how it suddenly stuck him of how irrelevant it was to ask students to tell, in a final exam, of how he had told them about how psychology could be applied into teaching. Instead, he asked the students (in accordance to the intended learning outcome) to do a portfolio in where they themselves described how they knew psychology could be applied to improve their teaching decisions. Biggs describes this event as one of his peak regarding to teacher ratings and luckily for us the constructive alignment was born. Constructive alignment is a concept of how to use outcome-based education (Biggs & Tang, 2011). It all starts with the intended learning outcome and in my case, in this particular course, it is:

“To administer and handle central venous catheters in a way that is patientsafe”.

The active verb is to administer and handle and that is what my students are intended to learn. According to, my institutions own educational platform (MAH, 2016), all teaching and assessment are supposed to harmonize with each other as well as to the intended learning outcome. The students are expected to participate in an active way and the design of the course should be in accordance with this alignment.

So, I have a dilemma – what I am doing now is totally not right.

The ultimate assessment to administer and handle should be something practical. As I see it the student should be tested in how they administer and handle instead they are asked to answer a web-based multiple choice quiz about how they are supposed to administer and handle. I tried to think about this when I constructed the questions. Most of them are about how different skills in action can avoid or prevent complications…but still, now actually action only words about it. As you see, the reality isn´t always inline with the intentions. But I think I have a good position for negotiation with my employer.

References
Biggs, J. B. & Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for quality learning at university. (Fourth edition). Maidenhead, Open University Press.

MAH, Pedagogisk plattform för institutionen för vårdvetenskap (2016) Fakulteten för hälsa och samhälle, Malmö högskola. (In Swedish)

Photo:Wrong by Kerry Lannart (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)