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Call to Action

My original innovation plan was created because I was seeing a lack of mastery among our radiologic technology students after we switched to 8 week semesters vs 16 week semesters. The amount of content and exposure to the material did not change, only the pace at which the students were receiving the material. I was observing a steady decline in the mastery of the content before they moved on to the next set of classes.  The original plan was to combine some blended learning elements into the 2nd and 3rd of 3 procedures courses so that they could have continued access and engagement with the course materials. Since the beginning of this process and all the incredible tools and research I have encountered since the beginning, I have adjust my proposal to include multiple other courses and different cohorts of students so that we could have collaboration in the groups with students of different skill levels. They bring a breadth and depth of understanding of the materials that the brand new students don't have yet.  It is my assertion that the quality of our graduates was decreasing. My goal is have courses more mirror the real world with the use of technology and collaboration. Radiologic Technology is often a team sport in the hospital as we work in tandem with so many other departments in the hospital and so many levels of experience within the imaging team. Further, the technology in the hospital more close mirrors the abilities of the students today. They are very well versed and typically incredibly comfortable using digital platforms for their learning. John Dewey was the first to argue that experiences should be included in learning (Bates, 2014).  Those connections happen by making the education mirror real world experiences.

       The original plan has evolved to include not only the procedures courses.  Those courses address the anatomy, positioning, and patient care elements. Those courses will typically always have two cohorts of students at different levels, now the imaging course which addresses image acquisition will be included and then the clinical students that are working inside the hospital with real patients and real scenarios will also be involved. 

       The big question is how will I convince my fellow faculty, who all have skin in the game to update and upgrade their teaching to add these blended learning elements across the curriculum. The research shows that a great deal of money is spent in professional development. The majority being in the "sit and get" type of seminar, with no assistance in implementation or modeling. We know as teachers that this doesn't work for our students so it certainly won't work for us as educators either. I often go to seminars and appreciate the many great ideas and come back to the college and can't remember enough of anything to implement it effectively. We have to have an actual plan of action to make these ideas into a reality.  Everyone has a great idea but how you present is the difference between an idea and changing the world. (Duarte, 2019). The only real way to do that is to first appeal to their sense of pride in both the profession and the reputation of our institution.  Our profession as a whole is showing signs of distress. The quality of the images, the pride in professionalism and our standards of practice have been slipping. We don't want to add to this dilemma by graduating students that not only don't possess the mastery of content that we would expect buy that are not self-starters and don't have the ability to think outside the box.  I thought the best way to make that appeal would be to create a video addressing those elements and that our ownership in the process had to be addressed. I created a power point video and used voice over recording and then uploaded to YouTube. I investigated some other methods but as I continue this learning of what is the most creative way to make these videos, I also have to consider what I already understand and what my time allows.  Although I have worked hard to understand and utilize the elements I need to be effective in modeling the software and tools for my fellow educators in implementing my innovation strategies and changes, I am still lacking in the "producing a video" piece.

      Gulamhussein(2013) offered 5 principles for effective professional learning which I have included in my plan. My professional development  implementation plan will occur over the beginning of 4 cohorts of students (significant and ongoing). We start a new group of students every summer and spring. It will include both support in person and online (ongoing support during implementation) to first model the changes for the faculty who will be participating (actively engaged) in the process, we will then assess the outcomes both personally and as peers. The 2nd group will have faculty and the implementing faculty as the lead (modeling) but the support faculty will stay  to ensure that implementation is happening and making adjustments for student changes and from feedback from the first round assessments. The 3rd group will start with updated processes if necessary, still technical support, but having the implementing faculty switch roles with the support faculty. Again, assessment at the end both personal and peer and students will be included in that assessment of the processes. The last cohort will have the implementing faculty only but still with technical support and faculty support as needed. Again, assessment of the process by all parties involved (discipline specific). Including all of these elements and paying attention to the changes that need to be included should give us the best opportunity to have effective implementation. 

References

◦Bates, T. (2014, July 29). Learning theories and online learning [Blog post]. Retrieved                                                     from https://www.tonybates.ca/2014/07/29/learning-theories-and-online-learning/

◦Duarte, I. (2009). Nancy Duarte uncovers the common structure of the greatest communicators [Video].                      YouTube. https://youtu.be/1nYFpuc2Umk

◦Gulamhussein, A. (2013). Teaching the teachers effective professional development in an era of high stakes              accountability.Center for Public Education. Retrieved                                                                                              from http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/system/files/2013-176_ProfessionalDevelopment.pdf

◦All images in this presentation are used under the Creative Commons License.

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