Adapting during Covid
Due to covid, students have unfortunately missed out on a lot of practical aspects of their courses, which may have been the main reason they decided to take the course in the first place. The Branching Scenario tool in H5P can be used as a substitute of sorts to allow students to have a more meaningful learning experience.
How have we adapted since last March to try and make our courses more content-rich? The use of videos is far more prevalent than before. Videos are great! BUT we need to also use them in conjunction with other learning tools. If you’re asking students to watch video after video it becomes a passive experience and then we fall into a similar situation when we ask them just to read ppts, notes, etc.
How can we show there is “added value” to our courses?
Interactivity is key here, good synchronous sessions can help engage students, but often there are issues that mean students are unable to attend or the experience of the session is spoiled by a student’s connectivity issue. It’s important not to neglect asynchronous resources. A mix of both makes for a good module and better student feedback!
The following branching scenario is more of an asynchronous activity but you could also deploy it in a live session if needed.
In late October 2020, I was approached by a member of the nursing academic team to film some scenarios within our own simulation suite, to be used as an online resource/substitute for activities that could not go ahead due to covid restrictions. The three scenarios involved a student nurse and a patient (played by actors) and covered various aspects of Patient focussed care.
Being interested in filming (Read my previous blog post), I jumped at this opportunity but I further suggested that we make certain elements interactive, to put the student in charge of making decisions. They would play the role of the student nurse and based on how the scenario panned out they were given 3 key decisions to make with one “good” and one “bad” choice at each decision point.
Set up and execution
The filming was set for the end of November in Covid secure conditions and two of the three scenarios were scripted to have these decision elements within them. In terms of filming style, I decided to go with a three-camera setup, one on the patient, one on the student and a wide-angle also so that students could see the whole environment these characters were in. If I could do it again I might go for a POV (Point of View) style which might give an even more immersive experience.
The editing process was interesting as I had to be creative in some places where audio quality was not as good as I’d hoped and splicing the scenes to make them run more smoothly.
Creation of the H5P object was in itself very easy to do. Once I had exported the individual video files, it was a case of dragging and dropping them into place within the Branching Scenario editor. I would certainly advise anyone who’d like to do this, to map out exactly how you think it will look beforehand so it makes the actual building of the resource much quicker.
Did it work?
I received some fantastic feedback from both the academic in charge and the students who used it. I honestly believe that this could be a way forward in bridging the gap between practical elements and online learning. Whilst these types of resources lend themselves well to medical courses where students will need to take important decisions in their future careers, I can also see that this has a broader appeal in Languages, Law, Criminology, Coaching/management and many others.
If you want to have a go at one of the resources I’ve made, check out this link:
(You don’t have to be a student nurse to complete this! There’s no difficult terminology or complicated procedures to understand.)