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Design Your Online Health Professions Course with Connect® Based on the Quality in Online Learning Certification

We interviewed College of Western Idaho Associate Professor, Rhonna Krouse, about the best practices for planning your online Health Professions course with Connect.

How would you recommend a new faculty member get started?

“The best way to get started with McGraw Hill Connect is to visualize the big picture. What do you want your students doing throughout the week to ensure they are remaining active and engaged in the content you are teaching? Next, I would address what your needs are as an instructor. For example, you may need simulations, ability to record audio, case studies, etc. The good news is many of these assignment types are available within Connect for health professions. A good place to start is by contacting your Learning Technology Representative to see the OLC and/or Turnkey course that has been built for the textbook. These courses usually highlight key features of the textbook you are using. Feel free to start small and grow from there. Connect has an abundance of material, and it all does not have to be used during your first time teaching online.”

What are some of the standards you need to keep in mind?

“Once you know the “big picture” for your course, you can develop a plan of action. The plan needs to be specific and be created in a way that supports the learning outcomes for your course. Most of the content in Connect is aligned and can be selected by the chapter learning objectives. This can be extremely useful for creating assignments and assessments that cover exactly what you need.  This plan should include:

  1. Formative assessments
  2. Homework (practice)
  3. Adaptive or application-based activities
  4. Summative assessments

The next step in this process is diversity! What in the list above can be converted to active learning? Engagement means retention!”

What specific Connect tools would you recommend using?

“Now that you have a plan, it is time to make things easy! Here are a few of my favorite things:

Formative Assessment: Nothing beats SmartBook®! Students are engaged in the material, and learning is dynamic and responsive to their knowledge base. The best part? Students are taught how to study while they study.

Homework and Activities: I love the Connect question bank that is associated with each chapter. There are tons of auto-graded questions, including multiple-choice, drop and drag, sequencing, etc. Every book is different, but there is a lot of variety. This is important for engagement.

Adaptive or Application-Based Activities: I love these because they are typically videos, simulations, or case studies that the student walks through and complete. These are great for higher-level Bloom’s learning that require students to be actively engaged, and it brings the content I love to life! This is so important in an online environment.

Summative Assessment: What is amazing about developing a quiz or exam in Connect is you can select each question by what learning objective it is aligned with. Therefore, you can develop an auto-graded quiz with multiple pooled questions that measures the learning objective that you need. You can then run a report on those specific objectives! Developing a quiz or exam in Connect is super easy and not time consuming.

How would you take McGraw Hill’s Connect Virtual Labs and recommend deploying it online?

“Connect Virtual Labs can really give students a great “hands on” experience when they are in an online environment. When implementing labs, it is best to line up the lab with the chapter that has similar content. This way the students are working within the content in multiple contexts.”