Pitfalls (Don’ts), Solutions (Do’s), & Practical Examples
Designing lab activities in an online curriculum can seem challenging, however, you don’t need to wait until face-to-face classes are safe and permissible. Taking advantage of the opportunities available in the online environment for the teaching, learning, and assessment of lab activities can be easy to design and implement. Below is guidance on how to take advantage of these opportunities using the best practices in distance education.
|Pitfalls (Don’ts)||Solution (Do’s)||Examples of Best Practices|
|Do not try to replicate your face-to-face lab in the online environment. Where the lab is a one-way teaching event introducing the content.||Use synchronous time purposefully and sparingly.||Provide required pre-lab activities for the students to “arrive” to lab prepared with the ability to meaningfully apply and demonstrate the content. Examples of required pre-lab activities:
|Use small groups (10-12 students max if possible).||The lab instructor facilitates application of the content during the synchronous session rather than re-instructing the content
|Do not re-teach skills that the students have video examples of.||Use lab time to clarify common errors and/or ‘muddy points’.||To avoid the lab turning into you re-teaching everything the students have a video example of, before lab have the students submit ‘muddy points’ of skills or areas they need clarification for/having trouble with. Demonstrate/re-teach those skills as needed.|
|Do not have only one video example/resource demonstrating the skill being instructed.||Have multiple videos and instructional resources for the lab skills (instructor-created, student-created, publisher/outside resource).||
|Do not wait until face-to-face labs are permissible/safe for the students to practice skills||Provide the students guidance on how to best learn and practice skills. Break this down into cognitive and psychomotor activities.||Cognitive practice
|Do not portray that lab activities online are lesser/not as good as face-to-face||Instill and portray confidence to your class that online is a different environment that has different opportunities.||
|Do not wait until face-to-face labs are permissible/safe to assess skill acquisition.||Create virtual verbal (clinical) reasoning skill checks and psychomotor skills checks.||
For additional resources please visit our Online Teaching & Learning Educational Series here. At Rehab Essentials, we also support online teaching & learning through our licensed courses, by adding expert-led foundational content. This frees up your faculty to focus more on these high impact, engaged learning activities. Learn more here.