Health science teachers are often looking for ways to save time in planning for their Health Science Foundations courses. They try their best to keep students engaged and meet curriculum standards, but it’s difficult to do when they struggle with other things. Because most health science instructors came to teaching from a health care career, they face challenges that other teachers may not.
At Tampa Bay Technical High School in the School District of Hillsborough County, Florida, instructors have found a way to not only meet the Florida curriculum standards for Health Science Foundations, but overcome other challenges. By using eLearning curriculum, many frustrations and extra work are taken off of their plates, giving them more time both in and out of the classroom.
Meet the Health Science Foundations Teachers at Tampa Bay Tech
At Tampa Bay Tech there are a few different “teams” of health science instructors - Donnalyn Good and Melodie Rivenbark are the instructors who teach Health Science Foundations. There is also a Medical Skills course, an Allied Health Assisting course, and a program focused on CNA.
Like many CTE health science instructors, both Donnalyn and Melodie started out with careers in the health care industry. When Donnalyn first started teaching, she had a big obstacle to overcome - the previous teacher left no resources for her to use.
“It was a lot of work. I look back on it now and think: I don’t really know how I made it through that. There wasn’t enough time in the day. On top of teaching all day, I had to do everything. I got nothing from the previous teacher… It was a blur.”
In dealing with the stress, frustration, and amount of time it takes to prep lessons, the teachers at Tampa Bay Tech needed help. Melodie was introduced to HealthCenter21 and knew that it would solve many of the problems she and her fellow instructors faced. Even before using it with students, she could see the benefits of eLearning for a health science classroom.
How eLearning Curriculum Made Teaching Easier for Health Care Professionals
So how does eLearning curriculum save time and make teaching easier? Donnalyn and Melodie shared 3 benefits they have experienced since starting to use HealthCenter21:
- Less time is spent on lesson planning
- More variety and differentiation without extra prep time
- Students are more engaged and interested
Saving Time in CTE Lesson Planning
Like many teachers, Donnalyn and Melodie wanted to spend less time on planning their lessons. When asked how HealthCenter21 helps her save time, Melodie shared:
“I’d have to do more planning and more teaching… We would have to come up with something else that provided the variety that HealthCenter21 does. If we didn’t have HealthCenter21, we’d have to come up with something else. Students learn a lot of different ways, so we’ve got to have that variety. It would mean a lot more work for us without HealthCenter21.”
Providing More Variety and Differentiated Instruction
For most teachers, adding variety and ways of differentiating your lessons takes a lot of time and energy… which you don’t have to spare. Melodie shared how the eLearning curriculum makes it easier to do differentiated instruction without doing any extra work. Some students complete the work at home, which makes for more time in the classroom for other things.
“HealthCenter21 allows students to work at their own pace… some students work at a snail’s pace, but it doesn’t keep other students from getting anything done. If they show me they are done with the work for the day, they are free to work on other things.
You’ve got to mix up the teaching. It’s really boring to just have lectures and students get tired of constantly doing group work. You’ve got to mix it up and HealthCenter21 helps with that.”
Increased Student Engagement with eLearning Curriculum
Teachers are always in search of ways to better keep students engaged, especially in CTE health science courses with a lot of detailed topics. The instructors at Tampa Bay Tech have found that by using HealthCenter21 as part of their curriculum, students are more interested.
“They like HealthCenter21 because it’s computer driven. That’s what they want to learn from. They prefer anything with technology over a textbook.” - Donnalyn
“They enjoy it and respond well. My students will complain about anything that makes them unhappy, anything. They never complain about working with HealthCenter21. They like it because it’s at their own pace.” - Melodie
Donnalyn shared a great tip that by giving students the reigns of completing the digital lessons, they are more invested:
“The first thing I tell them, especially to students that are procrastinating, is ‘Ok don’t review it, see how you do without and then you’ll know what you need to study.’ It gives them a quest to do the work.
Also, I like the option for 3 attempts at a quiz. I think they get more out of it, because they want to beat their previous score… It’s like beating their best game. It’s like ‘I got a X... I can do better than that!’ They go back and it forces them to review it again.”