Tips for a Great Course
If your students can’t use it, they won’t learn it. Anyone who has ever had to sit through a movie that was of absolutely no interest can relate to this characteristic of adults. Yes, MCE can make them attend, but no one can make them learn, especially if they don’t see the point to the course. If post-licensing and continuing education courses are simply repeats of their prelicensing courses, they are probably not going to be of much interest.
If you use obscure wording or legal jargon, the students may think you’re a genius, but they won’t learn anything. If you’ve ever had a physician deliver what she considers an explanation of a medical problem, you probably can relate. In that situation, you are highly motivated to understand what the smart doctor is saying, but she seems to be saying it in a language you don’t understand. While that might be acceptable treatment from a physician, it is definitely unacceptable from instructors. Use simple English, avoid legal jargon, and cut out the acronyms. Don’t make your students as confused as the doctor can make you.
Even in small and crowded rooms, it’s possible to have discussions of problem scenarios. Maybe the physical set up or the sheer number of students in the room restrict student movement, but we are usually portable. Ask questions that require thoughtful answers and wait until you get them. Move around as much as possible. Do in-place stretches during mini-breaks. Ask a question in a way that will make your students laugh. Simply put, keep everyone active, attentive, and involved.
This will allow students to insert their experiences into developing the answers. Students are very good at asking questions that call for our opinions. We should be just as good at turning the question over to the class for a discussion that will ultimately yield one or more lawful, correct, and complete answers.
This simply doesn’t work. No one learns anything, everyone gets bored, and a lot of time is wasted. Instead, use the time for the techniques suggested above. Of course, you learned despite your university lecturers, but you devoted hours of study time outside of class. How many hours do you think your students will study once the class is over and they have their CE certificates?
If you’re thinking none of the above matters because a course is mandatory, please keep the following in mind. They may be required to take the course, but they only have to take it from one of us. Word tends to get out if a given instructor is particularly good at making the course material interesting and relevant.
Problem scenarios should illustrate the portion of the course materials currently being discussed. The discussion arising from reviewing the possible answers to instructor-supplied questions should encompass many of the doubts, incomplete knowledge, and misconceptions held by the licensees. In this way, students make contributions to the class, help each other out, and help themselves to learn in the process. And in most cases, the instructor will learn a thing or two as well!