Motivation for On-Line Teaching

Motivation… that is an interesting idea.  What motivates me to teach online?  This question has at its core the question of what motivates me to teach.  Many things come to mind when I think of this question.  A desire to shape the future- but not just my future but the future of women, babies and families.

But to get here, I must start by asking myself what should my students be able to do as a result of the learning they receive?  How can I as a teacher assist a student in their acquisition of knowledge and skills to be able to do this?

The process of being a student is an evolution… In thought, in skills, in world outlook.  As a teacher, I desire to help shape this process so that the nurse-midwives of tomorrow are equipped with the ability to adapt to anything they confront.  My goal is that these future nurse midwives are capable of knowing how to respond or capable of figuring this out.

Immediately, this fall, I will be teaching the MSN students about advanced practice registered nursing.  The curriculum has undergone evolution but the teaching techniques remain hybrid between face to face experience and on-line experiences.  My desire is to figure out how to mesh these two interfaces and create the basis for a positive learning experience.  My biggest challenges involve keeping the level of interest and motivation through the different forms of interaction.  A second challenge will be to help the students learn to be effective at positively critiquing each other in the on-line interactions.  Some of these students are forming new relationships with each other, so there is a hesitancy to be effective at critique, as these student are still learning the benefits of critique and are not necessarily comfortable calling each other out on ideas or issues.  This is a process that is difficult regardless.  As an APRN, we ask these students to be able to speak up for evidence based practice, especially in situations where they do not see it being applied.  Typically, they will be providing this critique to providers or administrators above them in the health care hierarchy.  This requires a skill for pointing out ways to improve in a positive manner, yet often based in electronic forms of communication.

Bain, in What the Best College Teachers do, discusses that learning is most effective when the student seeks to answers their own questions.  It will be my goal to figure out how to shape the questions the students will be asking and learn to support their process of discovering answers via on-line methodologies.

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