See One, Do One, Teach One

By K16 Solutions in Blog  |  May 17, 2021

Blog Post by Dr. Rachel Waite

See One, Do One, Teach One

How high-quality course design in the online classroom supports high-quality teaching and learning

 

My first opportunity to teach came to me some 24 years ago while working as a provider at a multispecialty clinic. I was a young clinician, only two years or so into practice as a Vestibular Audiologist, and our department chair approached me about teaching a course in Vestibular Disorders and Assessment at my alma mater. 

“What would you think about teaching this class for me next semester? My plate is pretty full,” he ventured, to which I off-handedly replied, “I’d think you’re nuts!”

A quip and youthful response, to be sure, but in truth it was an exciting, albeit intimidating, prospect. And I had a lot of guidance: textbooks and old notes, previous course outlines, projector overheads (I’ve just dated myself), and plenty of my own patients for case studies. In clinical training, the rule is to “see one, to do one, and to teach one.” We first learn by observation, we then learn by doing, and our learning is evident once we can explain it, apply theory to it, and demonstrate it.  This was my chance to solidify my knowledge and pass it along to an upcoming cohort of practitioners.

Clinic to Classroom

The Socratic nature of that course, which I taught for a few years, provided the foundation for my next teaching opportunities which, out of the necessity brought on by new motherhood, turned out to be in the online classroom. My horizons expanded from the ear and hearing and balance to the human body as a whole. I tackled the subjects of human anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, and pathophysiology for a much wider audience of students, including billing and coding students, nursing students, and general studies course takers in need of a science credit. If I mentioned the term “Socratic” earlier, it’s because that interaction between teacher and student, and between student and student, was at the forefront of my classroom. That it was online made no difference. I didn’t just lecture, I posed scenarios and we

discussed. I strove to be, as my first online mentor described, the “guide on the side” rather than the “sage on the stage.” As a result, I had a real relationship with my students. We investigated, we evaluated, and we practically applied. As a clinician, I knew no other way.

This teaching and learning environment was possible and was supported by the online classroom that had been developed for me. It ran practically seamlessly. Great care had been poured into its course structure and content structure, and diligence had ensured that topics and assignments were available and covered when the syllabus said it would be, that links and teaching

tools were working and were current, and that students found their materials where they expected. The rest might have been up to me and my ability to engage with my students, but that my course and materials were of high caliber and polished to a sheen made it possible for me to do my job.

The Art of Simply Letting Teachers Teach

Soon enough, it was my turn to provide subject matter content for a new course development, and soon after that, it was my turn to oversee other subject matter experts in the development of their courses. I followed the same excellent examples and quality measures provided to me and produced courses that would allow our faculty to do their jobs. Our teachers were simply allowed to teach because excellence had already been baked into our courses and curriculum.

Clinician to teacher, teacher to SME, SME to program architect, and program architect to curriculum manager. Did I mention my years of training as a programmer and application developer? No, I didn’t because I have none. I’m a clinician and a teacher. So many excellent teachers are just like me: experts in their field and desiring to impart their knowledge to the next generation, but the process of building a course can be overwhelming. Where and how to start? 

Built with a Purpose

Scaffold Designer was created for just this purpose: providing guidance where needed, subtly recommending course structure and an inherent synchronicity throughout, and offering an ease of building without compromise. Its strength is in its Course Design Guide, 

that unique-to-Scaffold approach to course development that leaves no syllabus or content stone unturned, that guarantees alignment between syllabus, assignments, and gradebook, and that demonstrates outcome mapping to content. A tool that simply lets teachers teach.

My students succeeded because I had an online classroom that was built with purpose. My well-structured course allowed me to succeed. Scaffold Designer imparts to course builders that which we’ve learned from years of observation and practical application, permitting faculty the structure they need to shine.  And when faculty shine, our students do too.

Questions about improving your own course design? Email me here. Interested in seeing Scaffold Designer in action? Request a demo here.