They Didn’t Want Online! How Paramedic Students Came to Love It!
Concurrent Session 10
Students weren’t clamoring for online paramedic courses. In fact, they were resistant. Yet, we had to find another option to better serve our students who were commuting long distances to attend class. We piloted online synchronous (remote attendance) Paramedic courses and have now moved into full implementation. Join us to learn more about the challenges we faced, the process, tools, and approaches we used, and how we are moving on to next steps. We will even share an inside peek into how we do Paramedic skills demonstrations online!
We had a problem. Students in our Paramedic program work all day and then had to attend courses at night. Some of them were driving upwards of two hours for a four hour long class and then having to make that same long commute home again late at night. They were tired and the interactions and overall learning in the course were affected because of it. We needed to find another option to better serve our students. Initially, the group was very hesitant to consider online. They were worried about the loss of interaction and engagement with the instructor. They didn’t consider themselves “techy”. They didn’t think it was even possible.
To address the demands on student travel time, yet honor the concerns, assumptions, and perception about “going online”, we found online synchronous Paramedic courses (remote attendance), complete with skills demonstrations, were the answer. This session will highlight how the instructor created his first attempt at an interactive, online synchronous classroom for $14 per month using some “found” items and a good roll of duct tape. The students, who were very hesitant about remote learning because they assumed they would lose interaction, quickly adapted and found they were getting a similar classroom experience to their fellow students.
The major challenge for an online synchronous experience is how to address skills practice. Paramedic is a very skills heavy course and even though students were required to come to live onsite labs once or twice a month, there was a lot of skills practice in class, especially skills demonstrations. We found a way to overcome that challenge too. Others at the college took note, and with the support of an amazing Dean and other colleagues who helped find solutions, the online synchronous remote attendance Paramedic course is moving to the next phase, a more systemic, supported approach that no longer has to rely on $14 a month, a “found” webcam, and a thrift store tripod. Join us to learn more about how we did it, what we learned, and how we plan to evolve it in the future.
Attendees in this session will…
Learn how our online synchronous remote Paramedics course has evolved thus far and where we hope to go in the future.
Learn about best practices in teaching Paramedic and other “hard” skills that we can implement online.
Learn about the technology limitations, possibilities, and options for online synchronous remote courses.
Learn about strategies for gaining support from colleagues, leadership, and students.
During the presentation, attendees will submit questions to a backchannel. We will use some of these as a spark for discussion. However, we will also come with our own questions, including:
What possibilities exist at your own college for online synchronous remote courses?
How could online synchronous remote courses better meet student needs at your college? Is there a particular content area or program that would lend itself well to this format?
What barriers are difficult to get past (at your college or within your own framing) when considering online synchronous remote courses?
Attendees in this session will be engaged in 10 minute Q&A and group discussion in the following ways…
Attendees will get post-it notes to add their thoughts about the above three questions and post them in a designated spot in the room.
Attendees will partner up with someone who chose the same question and will either discuss or provide considerations/ideas to any barriers or challenges.
The larger group will then share insights and ahas from their partner work.
When possible, the presenters will follow up with the group (using email
Attendees will be provided with a resource handout as a takeaway from the session.