Can a health science teacher successfully provide differentiated instruction for a diverse student body? Barbara Coyle at Delaware Valley High School in Milford, PA has found a way to meet the needs of her diverse students. Barbara teaches three different levels of courses in the health science career cluster at Delaware Valley. In these classes she sees a very diverse group; from students with IEPs, to students who are taking Advanced Placement courses. Finding a curriculum that is able to be used productively by all students is difficult.
Her Health Occupations course is part of a program that is leading students towards three certifications that include a CPR certification, a 5-hour OSHA General Industry certification, and a Pennsylvania Personal Care Attendant certification. And Barbara is happy to report that the pass rate for these exams if very good.
Meeting the Needs of Diverse Health Science Students
How does Barbara use HealthCenter21 to teach such a diverse student body? She uses the digital curriculum along with more traditional teaching styles such as lecturing and textbook reading to create a blended learning classroom setting.
“I do a couple of different things for the three levels. Level one is health care foundations. It's really, really very basic stuff. Level two does a lot of certified nurse assistant skills and material. Level three does a lot of medical assistant skills and materials. I put together big chunks of big modules for each of those levels. For the third level, I also have a separate course for job seeking skills and a separate course for math.”
Barbara goes on to describe in more detail how she uses HealthCenter21 in a few ways. Because her students' knowledge and ability vary, using HealthCenter21 to differentiate instruction saves her a lot of time and effort.
“I use it in one of two ways. I use it as supplemental material for students who work quicker than others. I have a very, very diverse student body. I have kids with IEPs, with learning support, all the way up to students who take advance placement courses. The level at which they finish things and the depths at which they do things is very, very diverse.”
Blended Learning Helps with Differentiated Instruction
“In some instances, I'll use HealthCenter21 as a supplemental material for the quicker kids. It all depends on what we're doing. Other times, I have integrated with the book work so they would read the chapter, do their work book and then move to HealthCenter21 for a more in-depth coverage of it.”
Along with HealthCenter21, Barbara fosters a blended learning environment by including lecture and the use of relevant textbooks. However, she emphasize that with a subject like medical math, HealthCenter21 works best:
“I find that doing medical math with HealthCenter21 works best because, again, I have students who can go through the entire module in a day and finish it and not need anything else because they use their skills that come very naturally for them. Then for the students that need lecture practice, I can provide that as needed.”
For Barbara, the usability of HealthCenter21 is a plus. Being able to review how students are performing at the click of a button saves time and helps her know where to focus.
“The ease of checking in and seeing what's going on in there is terrific, especially through medical math. If they are having trouble getting through or they run into a roadblock in a specific place, I can then go back and look at their answers in the quizzes and assessments. I can see exactly what it is that they're doing, and exactly where and why a roadblock went up. I see what needs to be remedied.”