This blog written by:
USDLA Board Member
Associate Dean, Online Higher Education Andrews University
Department of Digital Learning and Instructional Technology
To say that the Adventures in Health Science and Medicine program® is “awesome” is an understatement. The Cleveland Clinic Civic Education Department’s connected learning experience, which plays on its acronym’s phonetic pronunciation, is truly “AHweSoMe”…
An Award-Winning Experience
Adventures in Health Science and Medicine (AHSM) was awarded with this year’s USDLA Innovation Award in the K-12 space, and this connected learning experience designed for middle school students is exactly as billed: it’s an experience. AHSM is not a class, it is not a lecture, and it is not a presentation. It is an immersive and multifaceted learning experience which leverages the best practices of instruction and learning in a distance learning/webinar environment. The experience includes real healthcare professionals facilitating the sessions, an AHSM kit full of experiments, and a video case study, which catapults AHSM into a whole different instructional realm that most students have never experienced. It is real, it is tangible, it is kinesthetic, and it is all happening in their classroom.
Real Engagement With Healthcare Professionals
Eight middle school classes engage in seven, hour-long interactive sessions that are offered via interactive webinars, blending virtual facilitation by real healthcare professionals and interactive, hands-on activities that the students perform as they work through a case study. With guidance from the healthcare professionals, students conduct experiments and peer-to-peer discussions to discover and diagnose a disease using the knowledge they gain from each of the connected learning sessions. The engagement with real healthcare professionals, paired with the AHSM case study, gives students an inside look into a variety of allied health processes, from having a blood workup in the medical laboratory to a bronchoprovocation test in a respiratory therapy lab. Over the course of the eight-week experience, students will learn about 15 different allied health professions and see those professionals in action, in their work environments.
The hands-on experiments are the cornerstone of the AHSM experience. Each session includes two experiments, one provides context to the underlying science behind a medical procedure and the other is the application of that scientific principle in the diagnosis of an illness. In the second session, for example, the students explore the concept of density by layering a variety of liquids (including molasses, dish soap, and vegetable oil) in a plastic cup and then shining a penlight through the liquids to observe how light travels through each layer. This activity helps the students understand the underlying principles of how an X-Ray machine works. The students then analyze real X-Rays with the Radiology Technician leading the session to make a diagnosis.
AHSM also capitalizes on the capabilities that webinar technology provides for students to interact with their peers from different schools. The culminating capstone session, called the IDEA$ Challenge, has students presenting an innovation that they have developed based on a real-world health problem. All eight classes present their innovations using videos, slide decks, CAD drawings, and even prototypes printed on 3-D printers. While each class presents, the other classes are the judges, using a rubric to score the presentation and an online polling tool to generate real-time results for their peers. The two classes with the highest rubric scores are declared the “AHSM Innovators of the Year” and are awarded AHSM Innovator sunglasses.
The AHSM program actively promotes learning about health sciences and career opportunities in healthcare while engaging and inspiring students along the way. The program unites caregivers, students, and teachers to provide a unique learning experience that builds on students’ foundation of scientific principles and fosters creative and critical thinking. By merging distance learning technologies with active learning, the AHSM program is a truly innovative approach to health science education.
It’s also important to note that the Adventures in Health Science and Medicine connected learning experience is provided free of charge to Northeast Ohio schools by the Cleveland Clinic Civic Education Department. Tower Health in Reading Pennsylvania is also providing the AHSM connected learning experience to their local schools.
For more information about Adventures in Health Science and Medicine, visit the Cleveland Clinic Civic Education Department’s website.
November 5th – 9th, 2018 – National Distance Learning Week (NDLW)
November 28th – 30th, 2018 – International Forum for Women in E-learning (IFWE) – San Antonio, Texas
Learn more about the USDLA and how you too can be a member. The association supports all core markets including Enterprise, Government, Telemedicine, Education and others.