Fictitious social media policy for the medical school

This week my assignment in Edtech 543 (Social Network Learning) was to develop a social media policy for my school. I need to review at least 10 schools’ social media policies to guide the development of my policy.  A few of the  policies I reviewed were thoughtful and useful. Some were not well thought out and likely drafted by lawyers and not reviewed by end users. The key is to teach responsible social media use at a young age. It’s critically important for everyone to realize what you post online reflects upon you (obviously) but also upon your institution. Institutions have a right to expect that their employees will help promote a positive image for the institution.  I never even knew UAB had a social media policy.  These policies need to be disseminated periodically to remind all of us of our duty to our employers.

Review the policy I created here. NOTE: this is a class exercise and the linked policy is a class assignment and not the policy of UAB School of Medicine. In the references section I link to UAB’s actual social media policy.

Twitter for Just-In-Time Professional Development

In this module of EDTECH 543 (Social Network Learning) I had to follow several hashtags in Twitter that would be useful to me professionally. I use TweetDeck to organize my hashtags. Prior to this course, I had never used a tool like TweetDeck. I will from now on. It really helps organize my Twitter feed.

 

hashtag1

Screen shot of TweetDeck with columns for each hashtag

Prior to this week I never followed any hashtags; only people on Twitter. This seems like a more efficient way to find information that I care about but I am worried that I will miss information because most Tweets don’t have hashtags applied to them. I know I often forget to put a hashtag on my Tweets and choosing an appropriate hashtag can be challenging.

What new hashtags did I follow? #edchat #onlinelearning #edtech #oer #elearning #connectedlearning and #BlendedLearning. In just the 1st hour I learned several new things: 1) EdChat (“discuss and learn about current teaching trends, how to integrate technology, transform their teaching, and connect with inspiring educators worldwide”) occurs every Tuesday and users can choose the topic of discussion, 2) OfficeLens is a tool I didn’t know about that can “scan documents, cards, and whiteboards with your phone, making them more readable, and in some cases editable”, and 3) most important, I realized I need to pay attention to hashtags in Tweets and follow ones that relate to my interests. I previously only focused on the thought leaders I wanted to follow.

I have been using Twitter (along with several blogs) for a few years for professional development. It has been an invaluable resource. I found so many useful resources and interesting bogs/papers that I don’t think I would have found otherwise.  I use it in more of a push mode in which I get information pushed to me randomly instead of a pull mode where I search for specific information and pull it in. I periodically review my Twitter feed during the day (usually while waiting for the elevator, standing in line, or waiting for a meeting to start) and if I see an interesting link or resource I open it and review it. If I know I want it for later I favorite it or retweet it (that way it’s saved in my Tweet list).  When I need specific information on a topic I tend to Google it. So I have no experience searching Twitter for specific information. The challenge of using Twitter for professional development is two-fold I think: following the right people and hoping things get Tweeted that you need.

Now it’s your turn. How do you use Twitter for PD? What are some of its limitations and how have you overcome them?

 

EDTECH 597 Was Transformative

open-hero

©opensource.com via Flickr

EDTECH 597: Introduction to Openness was a new course added to the Master of Educational Technology program this summer. Dr. Fred Baker did an amazing job teaching this course.

This is a studio model course examining major areas of openness, the impact on education, and instructional design. Students will create and revise several project artifacts, and will interact heavily throughout the development cycle. Key elements include examining the centeredness of education, questioning what human-centered education might look like, and exploring openness in education through a human-centered design lens.

It’s always a bittersweet time when a course ends but this one is especially so as this was a transformative course for me. I came into this course with a very naive view of openness. My only exposure to openness was via open access medical journals which are looked down upon by the elitist academic establishment. I emerged from this course changed in how I will approach my teaching and publishing in the future.

What are the most important things that I learned?

  1. Open does not just mean free. Lots of stuff is free but not open.
  2. Open resources are all around us and we use them constantly in all aspects of life.
  3. Openness is variably defined but its 2 primary components are transparency (visibility and accessibility to all parts of something) and freedom (ability to do what you want to with something free of legal or technical barriers).
  4. Wiley’s 5 Rs are a useful way to explain open use (freedom) activities: reuse, revise, remix, redistribute, retain.
  5. We need to create more open educational resources (OER) and not just consume them.
  6. Open access journal articles are used & cited more than traditional journal articles. They are also cheaper to produce.
  7. Open scholarship: making courses open to the public, making course materials OER, publish in open access journals, use open tools like blogs, make research data open.
  8. There are 2 types of MOOCs: cMOOCs and xMOOCs. They vary greatly in their openness.
  9. Open access journal models: green (authors self-archive), gold (authors pay article processing fee).
  10. Design thinking and human-centered design principles.

How has my thinking changed? Why was it transformative?

Dr. Patricia Cranton defines transformative learning as. . . “an individual becomes aware of holding a limiting or distorted view. If the individual critically examines this view, opens herself to alternatives, and consequently changes the way she sees things, she has transformed some part of how she makes meaning out of the world.”

There are many aspects that have changed and it’s hard to express them all but I think I have fomented a greater sense of the implications of my view of learning as a social event. We maximize learning with and from each other. For knowledge to be socially constructed there must be sharing of ideas and resources. To share fully, things must be open.

Learning is a societal good. As such, everyone should be able to learn what they want, when they want, and how they want. We currently have too many barriers to learning. Open education ideas, open scholarship, and OERs can reduce these barriers.

What will I do differently in the future? How was I transformed?

If someone is transformed they change their beliefs and behaviors. My beliefs about the quality and benefits of open have changed. My beliefs about open scholarship have changed. Without realizing it I was already doing some open behaviors prior to this course. I regularly published my PowerPoint slides to SlideShare for anyone to use and made my teaching videos public on YouTube. What I didn’t do (and I will in the future) is to make sure I put a Creative Commons license on them that clearly allows for open use with attribution. I will also strive to make publications open access (when I can’t publish in an open access journal) and to publish in open access journals when possible. I will also encourage learners to publish materials they create in an open way.

So as I close out another chapter in my MET program I will always fondly look back on this course as one of the most important and enjoyable of my degree program. I learned a lot about the benefits and limitations of openness. I discovered a university that is open. I learned to use some new tools in creating course projects. I used witty comics to develop a comic about the differences between MOOCs and I created a HyperDoc to present a workshop on creating OERs.  I learned about several open source tools to create and edit video, create and edit audio, and create and edit graphics. I learned about open access clip art and photo sources. I learned about sources of open access textbooks (and even used one for this course). I learned about human-centered design.

I am forever changed.  Thank you Dr. Baker.

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Organization

Week 6 Graphic_ Fluid Analysis-3

Organizing information (or at least helping our learners organize information) is one of the most important roles of a teacher in my opinion. Chunking, using visual cues, and hierarchy are all ways to organize information.

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis. The graphic describes the types of fluid that can be obtained from a joint and its diagnostic characteristics. I created the image using Google Drawings. The cells are labelled for reuse from Wikimedia.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They would recognize the cells in the graphic and understand all the terms.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I use chunking to help organize the information. Chunking is grouping of information in meaningful or related clusters (Lohr 2008, p. 125). Shape (the circles) facilitates chunking and comparison of the types of fluid (Lohr 2008, p. 252). Each circle is a chunk of information that is related. I also limited the amount of information (5 pieces) in each chunk so as not to overload working memory. I don’t have a lot of white space between my chunks but the circle outlines help delineate the chunked information (Lohr 2008, p. 126). I depict hierarchy (as you go left to right the diagnoses get worse) in this image in 2 ways: increasing WBC from left to right and darkening of syringes from left to right. Also using the horizontal makes the most important information standout (Lohr 2008, p.128).
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 4 learners to evaluate the image. I asked for their overall gestalt about what the image was depicting and then specifically about what each of the circles was depicting. I also asked them what stood out in the graphic (ie what drew their vision).

Learners understood that the graphic was depicting the possible types of joint fluid and what the testing of the fluid would reveal. They said they noticed the circles in the middle of the graphic mainly.

  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). Learners had no suggestions for improvement.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Selection

Selection is the “cognitive process of attending to particular visual and auditory stimuli” (Lohr 2008, p. 100). We select things we want to remember from other stimuli and then we organize it into a mental model and integrate it into long term memory. One of the jobs of the instructional designer is to help learners to select what is important. We can help our learners select by using contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (CARP). We use tools like type, color, shape, design, and space to accomplish CARP. I helped you pay attention to “selection” by having it contrast with the surrounding text by making it blue (color) and bold (type). These same principles can be used in graphics.

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic demonstrates two bony landmarks that guide the location of insertion of the needle for arthrocentesis of the shoulder joint. This graphic will be used in the “Shoulder” section of the course. I created the image using Google Drawings.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know the terms used in the graphic.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. Initially I was going to use drawings of the shoulder to demonstrate the anatomy and landmarks but as noted in our text “in areas such as medical education and engineering, realistic images are considered more effective” (Lohr 2008, p. 101). Also, my learners are advanced and familiar with shoulder anatomy. As such, their visual cognitive processing will not be overloaded by the realistic image as might a novice’s visual processing. While this is not an elaborate graphic I think the use of a bright, contrasting color (blue) to outline the bony landmarks serves the role of selection (Lohr 2008, p. 108). I also made the text in a different color than the bony outline to serve the role of contrast. In this image the landmarks are the figure and the rest of the image is the ground.

In the second image, I use a black circle to note the point of needle insertion. The use of shape (circle) guides the learner and the black color contrasts with the skin and blue outlines of the bony landmarks. I removed the labels of the landmarks so that the focus becomes the point of insertion and not the labels. In this image I wanted the circle to be the figure and the shoulder with the landmarks to be the ground.

  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 2 faculty to evaluate the image. They thought the images easily demonstrated the anatomic landmarks and where to insert the needle. They didn’t feel the syringe gave enough information about the intricacies of the angles and directions of needle insertion. I use the syringe with an arrow just to convey the idea that the black circle is where you stick the needle.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I didn’t make any changes.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: ACE and PAT

Week 6 Graphic_ Fluid Analysis-3

I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic above describes the types of fluid that can be obtained from a joint and its diagnostic characteristics. The circles (I chose circles because when you look in a microscope the visual field is circular) indicate what would be seen under a microscope (the cell is demonstrating the predominant cell type for each type of fluid and the numbers below the cells indicate the cell count in that type of fluid). The syringes depict what the fluid would look like when it is drawn from the joint. This graphic will be used in the “Basic Principles” section of the course. I created the image using Google Drawings. The cells are labelled for reuse from Wikimedia.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They would recognize the cells in the graphic and understand all the terms.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I believe my design will work because it demonstrates the types of fluid with an image vs the traditional method of demonstrating these findings using a table. I use shape to facilitate comparison of the types of fluid (Lohr 2008, p. 252). I also use shape, via arrows, to make connections between the microscope and the circles (Lohr 2008, p. 254). Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense what the circles were depicting. I use a sans serif font (Trebuchet) to improve legibility of the title of the graphic and the text inside the circles. I am more concerned with legibility than readability as there are only short bursts of text instead of long passages of text (Lohr 2008, p. 227).
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked 4 learners to evaluate the image. I asked for their overall gestalt about what the image was depicting and then specifically about what each of the circles was depicting, the cells in the circles, the numbers, and the color scheme of the circles (previously they were colored to depict the fluid color as shown in the syringes). I also asked them about some other elements I had in the graphic (triangles to depict the circles coming from the eyepiece of the microscope vs a dashed line below the microscope to each circle).

Learners understood that the graphic was depicting the possible types of joint fluid and what the testing of the fluid would reveal. Learners preferred the dashed line instead of the triangles coming from the microscope to each circle. They didn’t realize that circle color depicted fluid color and suggested putting a syringe with colored fluid in it to depict this aspect. They understood the cells and numbers below it. I thought the microscope looked weird but the learners liked it.

  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I changed the image by removing the triangles and using dashed lines from the microscope to the circles. I created colored syringes to depict what the color of the joint fluid would be in a syringe and placed them under the corresponding circles. I changed all circles to the same white background.

 

EDTECH 506 Assignment: Designing Words to Express Their Meaning

506 w4 final grahic

For this week’s assignment, I chose to do the challenge activity that involved designing four words that express the meaning of those words. I am designing a blended course on arthrocentesis (inserting a needle into a joint to either remove fluid or inject medication). The graphic I designed describes the indications for performing arthrocentesis. I made the warmth word in Photoshop (following a 30 step process) but the others were made in Fireworks. The background was made in Google Drawings (thanks Norm for the inspiration to use something I didn’t even know existed). I think it captures the essence of each of the indications.

Write a justification paper for the activity you select. Describe the following:

  • Your users and the assumptions you make about them (such as age, reading level, and assumed skills). My users are internal medicine residents who have graduated from medical school. They know the meaning of each of these words but may not know all the indications for arthrocentesis. This graphic will be used in the introduction section of the course. I hope the design of the words will help them remember the indications.
  • Why you think your solution will work; include at least two ideas from the book, including page numbers and your interpretation of the passage used. I believe my design will work because they are representative visuals which are “used to convey information quickly and easily” (Lohr 2008, pg. 17). They are words that convey their meaning. I think the learners will “notice the important information” (Lohr 2008, pg. 56) because of the design of the words themselves. Pain has an expletive after it (#*@!) which often gets said when we hurt ourselves. Erythema (redness of anything that’s inflamed) has redness around the word. Warmth has flames coming out of it. Finally, swelling has part of the word that is larger (or swollen) compared to the rest of the word.
  • What you learned from a “user-test” (have someone look at the image and verbalize their thoughts while looking at the image). I asked two physician colleagues if the words expressed their meaning. My initial design of warmth (red glow around it) and erythema (red font only) weren’t as representative as I thought they were. They felt the other two words (pain, swelling) adequately represented their meaning, especially with the expletive behind pain. Interestingly, both felt that designing words this way was not needed to teach residents the indications for arthrocentesis. They felt advanced learners likely wouldn’t need this extra cue to remember the indications. They also felt the words would be better around a joint or showing a joint demonstrating all these features. I agree that would be better but wouldn’t meet the needs of this assignment.
  • The changes you will make based on user comments (or create a revised image). I initially wanted to have fire or steam rising from the warmth word but couldn’t do that with Fireworks. I then decided to use Photoshop to redesign the word to its current format. I added red glow to the erythema word to actually make it erythematous. After my alterations I think all the words better represent their meanings.