Innovation Project: Where it Stands

Everything I have learned so far in the EDLD program has contributed to the success of my innovation project. Originally, my innovation project involved moving toward a more collaborative model of healthcare, where students from different disciplines learn to communicate with each other more frequently and better. The purpose of this model is to encourage collaboration among healthcare professionals so that they will see healthcare as a team effort that will result in better care for our patients, and possibly even save lives. Although this goal is still in my mind, I am putting it on the backburner for now because somewhere around September of last year, I changed my project to one that I fell in love with: blended learning.

As of right now, my plan to implement blended learning is on a positive trajectory. My program director loves the idea: I showed her my work so far, and she is completely on-board with letting me try it in my Dental Radiology class. Next, I will have to convince our Academic Dean. The problem is, we don’t have one right now. Whoever takes on that role will be the deciding factor.

I’m hoping the new Dean will be open to trying new things and will have that growth mindset that Dr. Harapnuik instilled in us.

After doing so much research on blended learning, I decided that it would be ideal for a program like ours, which is an accelerated one. We have such limited time in the classroom, that we spend so much time just going over the concepts, teaching the foundational knowledge. The students rarely have the ability to take that knowledge and go deeper with it. A blended learning model would help students learn that information in an online classroom at their own pace, so when they get to the brick-and-mortar classroom, we can do projects, case studies and group work that moves their understanding further towards the top of the learning pyramid.

I will always design my classes in a way that creates a significant learning environment. We learned how to do that in EDLD 5313, using UBD and Fink’s 3 column table. This is how I created my blended (half online, half traditional classroom) Radiology course, and I might be a little biased, but it’s absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to implement it!

In EDLD 5304, we learned how to communicate our ideas more effectively, how to have those crucial conversations. This is where I need to do more work. It was easy talking to my Program Director about my ideas because she is very tech-savvy and open to change. Now that we will have a new Academic Dean, I’ll need to revisit what we learned in that course so I can come to the table prepared and confident in what I am proposing.

After I launch and test my blended Radiology course, the next step would be to share it with the rest of our school. We learned in EDLD 5388 about how to host successful professional development, the kind that consists of more than just a one-day sit-and-get style of PD. In order for it to be successful, it needs to be on-going, hands-on, and adapted to that instructor’s classroom. I would love to help others implement blended learning in their classrooms as well.

Blended learning won’t be my only innovation project. My next one will be incorporating e-Portfolios into the entire dental hygiene program. I saw how much of an impact it had on my own learning, and I want to give that gift to my students as well. Just as I did with blended learning, I will know how to look at the research and figure out how to incorporate e-Portfolios into a program like ours. I will take similar steps in research, planning, executing, reflecting and evaluating. I am hoping that blended learning will be a huge success and will pave the way for more growth and change. I owe it to my students and the future of our profession.

Reference

Clayton Christensen Institute. (2014, Dec 22). What is Blended            Learning? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSPgvwZMdS8

Author: cruzconnect

I'm a dental hygiene instructor in San Antonio, TX. I want to share my passion for dental hygiene with other hygienists and create a place where hygiene educators can meet and collaborate. I received my A.S. Dental Hygiene from Southwestern College in San Diego, CA in 2003. After ten years of clinical practice, I returned to school to earn my B.S. Dental Hygiene from Northern Arizona University. I'm currently working on my Master's in Education with an emphasis in Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University in Texas. I have an amazing husband and three kids: Matt (15), Chloe (10), and Silas (21 months). When I'm not fighting plaque and gingivitis, I like to hang out with friends and family (a little BBQ here and there), garden, play with the kiddos, travel, and remodel our house (a never-ending project!). I ride horses, speak a little French, and I'm a great shot with a bow and arrow (must be the Cherokee in me!). Most of all, I love to learn and share ideas. Thanks for stopping by!

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