John Boulton presented Poster Sessions for his PIDP 3250 digital project. I was immediately drawn to this strategy as I thoroughly enjoy watching the students create a work of art based on something they are genuinely interested in.
For the past year of teaching, both my main classes (Pathophysiology and Cardiology) have a myriad of learning objectives to cover when it comes to diseases. When I first encountered these LOs, I was in the doldrums: So much work for me and so much content for 1st year students. Visions of students sleeping in class while I try (in vain) to instill the importance of etiology, risk factors, pathology, signs, symptoms and treatments...well, I think you get my drift.
Again, reflecting upon my own paramedic education proved to be the life-jacket to my sinking emotions. Of all the pathology I knew most vividly, my own project on Diabetes had stuck with me for the last 15 years. I remember taking so much pride in devising the presentation and speaking to my fellow classmates.
Therefor, it was decided that the students would each present a main pathology for each of these classes. A list was devised and the students chose their topics.
Reflecting back, I think John's presentation offered some very useful tips to increase buy-in from the learners. In the future, I plan on creating a list of diseases with the learners, so they can decided what interests them. A group discussion about possible topics could allow me the chance to offer anecdotal stories from work (as I've seen most of the diseases in the clinical setting,) which would serve to pique the learner's interest with "infectious enthusiasm."
Generally speaking, the students have been able to devise whatever presentation style they would like. Invariably, they tend to mimic what lessons I have delivered prior. I believe this hampers their creativity, and to circumvent this I would provide a list of 10 different presentation styles, in which no 2 can be identical. This would keep things fresh and interesting for the entire class. This is where I'd deviate from just the posters, although that would definitely be one of the options.
Lastly, I would like incorporate and aspect of another engagement technique into the exhibition phase: Triad Listening. This strategy was profiled by Bryce Walker's digital project, and I believe it has a natural fit with the presentation.
In Triad Listening, the 3 components to the activity involve a speaker, a listener and a referee. In the guise of a being a follow-up activity to poster session, the speaker would be the presenter while the listener would be the observers. The referee would be the facilitator, which would allow me to not only enforce rules but also to suggest guiding questions if the listener cannot fathom what to say.
Since the inception of my student presentation activity, I have assigned a listener to each presentation with the guiding question as follows: "What are the TOP 5 things to know about this disease." This, in turn, usually provides the class with a summary of risk factors and distinctive (i.e. "cardinal") signs and symptoms of the pathology presented. This accomplishes a two-pronged approach to peer teaching and ensures that both the speaker and listener are engaged.