Here is my link to Plectica: https://www.plectica.com/maps/H9UR3TFQK/edit/LQYCTT9NF
I. Swarm Learning
- What is Swarm Learning?: Mostly the concept of group learning/group projects. Everyone shares information with one another.
- Strengths: You can learn from others, interacting with the group helps to improve your interpersonal skills.
- Weaknesses: Other people may not work well with others. The comments from others aren’t always related to the map concepts, which I think might decrease the effectiveness of Swarm Learning.
- Opportunities to Improve: Focus on 1 or 2 concepts per assignment so we can break those down instead of flooding our concept maps with 10+ concepts. That way, we will really have time to understand concepts in detail.
- Threats: Not everyone likes grade competition, it might cause anxiety or high levels of stress. Commenting on peoples’ posts is good, but it might be better if we all shared our ideas of a concept in 1 map instead of commenting underneath posts.
- Principles of Swarm Learning: Group learning provides a wealth of knowledge when learning & discussing new concepts.
- Analogy of Swarm Learning Structure: Swarm Learning is like a tree; it starts with 1 idea (trunk) & it branches out with the combination of new perspectives and thought processes.
- Analogy of Swarm Learning Function: Swarm Learning function is like having the pieces of a puzzle border already finished and using everyone’s help to fill in the middle, completing the puzzle.
- Analogy of Swarm Learning Logic: Similar to using your friend’s help to do something that would be difficult to complete on your own.
– Ex: building a house
II. Swarm Learning Mechanism
- What did you think of the CMs? Did they help?: I liked them because they forced me to look at a concept more deeply. Sometimes I don’t focus as well when I just read over the concept without applying it.
- What did you think of the EMs?: I liked these. I’m usually pretty good at creating an appropriate flow in my essays, but they did make me think about my future blog more seriously earlier in the semester.
- Did you convince me to write a blog?: Yes, a blog doesn’t seem that different from an essay to me. The extra credit points were definitely the extra push I needed.
– The video helped, but I honestly just need to work through it myself to understand it best.
- What did I think of the Essay/Blog topics?: I had no clue what any of these were when starting this class. They were overwhelming to look at, but I feel better about them now.
- Did I connect with an expert to assist me with my blog?: No, I never received any information on the expert to connect with about Red Teaming after I confirmed my topic. Maybe it got lost in my e-mail?
- What did you think of Swarming the Canvas? Ways to improve on this?: I liked it, it was hard to start because we didn’t initially know what we were doing, but it was fun to see everyone respond in real time. Sometimes, it was hard to find the new questions you asked, so maybe you could write them out beforehand with a numbered order & “uncover” them as we go along?
- What did I think of the FMs?: These are highly time consuming. I understand why they are used & I like that you change the class in response to our feedback. Maybe just ask less questions & make sure the questions aren’t repetitive?
- Syllabus- Blog format?: 1st thought: “Woah!”
– It was really intense. I’m not used to the syllabus explaining concepts in length about the class, so I found that confusing. The blog format made it a little confusing because I wasn’t used to that.
- Tableau & Showing Grades?: I didn’t really like Tableau. It just confused me, and the only way I completed the assignments involving Tableau was following the exact example in the videos provided. I didn’t know what you wanted us to graph or create.
– I think showing grades on it is fine, it just could easily be done through Blackboard as well.
- WordPress?: WordPress was helpful, I liked how easily we could look at comments and past assignments. If we could limit the # of other apps besides WordPress and Plectica (or Thortspace), that would be ideal!
- Facebook Group?: I don’t usually use FB to post, I just look at content. I tended to forget about the group because I was using WordPress to look at my classmates’ work. I probably won’t continue to use it because I didn’t use it much beforehand.
- Plectica: I thought Plectica was an efficient tool, I liked setting up our maps using it. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy! I don’t use presentation or mapping tools much outside of class, but if I do, I will definitely consider Plectica & its’ Waypoint funciton.
- Thinkquiry: I didn’t love this, I found it to be kind of repetitive. Anytime I looked at it for a different assignment, I just felt like I wasn’t getting any more insight than if I were just going through DSRP in my head.
- Thortspace: I like Thortspace! I like visuals, especially 3D learning aids. For some reason, I actually found it easier to use than Plectica. The only thing I didn’t like was how little info you could fit into each bubble. If I have to present anything, I might use this.
- Rationaleonline: I didn’t like this. I think it could be useful, but I didn’t want to pay money for it when I could only see very limited features in the free trial. It could be interesting, but I just wasn’t invested enough to purchase it.
- Other Programs: I used the Thesis Generator, and although it mixed up words and created run-on sentences, I liked that it gave me an idea of what a good thesis should be. I also liked our textbook.. it actually gave me a good idea about how healthcare admin works in professional healthcare.
IV. Specific Class Rules
- Read the textbook so you can connect concepts to healthcare more.
- Constantly apply your knowledge while creating maps, expand your creative thought process.
- Keep up with the pace of the class as best you can, you will have assignments piling up if you wait too long!
- Delve into your blog/essay topic since only 1 or 2 assignments summarize the general idea of the topics.
V. Instruction Methods
- Favorite Topic? How was the delivery?: I actually liked the later chapters, exploring patient autonomy & patient-provider interactions. I just always wish for more healthcare examples in your presentations, but otherwise, it’s good!
- Structure of Class? Learning community structure?: The class structure was a little crazy at first, but it comes together once we start doing maps. It feels very “free-spirited” in a sense, which isn’t really a bad thing.
– The learning community was initially a little confusing, but I had just gotten used to BlackBoard and then got switched to a new format. I like that once you get to WordPress, everything is neatly organized.
- How-to Videos? Improvement?: I thought these were necessary, at least to begin the class because I’m not sure that many of us knew what we were doing!
– Some of the longer ones where you read the questions and statements already written down become a little tedious, but the shorter ones are really helpful.
- Different structure to help with ambiguity?: I think it might be helpful to ease us into the idea of ambiguity… it was a little scary after reading the syllabus and having to do the first assignment without knowing what to expect. I’m fine with a little ambiguity, but I need time to get used to it! Eventually, this class helped me become ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable’, but it took almost the whole semester!
- Favorite article and/or video?: I personally loved the video on Scout Mindset, the speaker made things simple, but deep enough so that I understood how to apply it. But, I also liked looking through the Red Team handbook, it was nice to have a fully explained concept right there in a nicely organized handbook.
- DSRP: DSRP was fine, I think it is good for when you really need to break things down, but for some assignments, I’m not sure if it was always necessary.
- Red Teaming: I like Red Teaming obviously, I chose to use it as my blog topic! I think it’s a good way to let everyone be creative and make sure no one’s ideas are shut down or ignored.
- Textbook: I like the textbook, it’s needed for the concept map assignments, and I think it helps connect healthcare to the concepts we look at.
- Systems Thinking: I think Systems Thinking is a good concept & method of learning, but I think it got lost between all the other concepts we were learning about. It seems like we broke it down into 10-15 pieces and I find it hard to remember Systems Thinking as a whole anymore.
- Lean Six Sigma: This method is fine, I didn’t’ use it much after the one or two assignments we did. I feel like it’s really similar to Systems Thinking and it’s a reiteration of it.
- No Formal Tests: Tests always give me anxiety, so I appreciated the new way of evaluating us. However, it was sometimes difficult to tell where we were at in the class without having a definitive grade in the class.
- Assignment Grading: I think you graded assignments fairly, I did not have any issues.
- Assignment & Type: I don’t think you had too many assignments, I think sometimes they were a little long, which made the work more tedious. It was also difficult to focus on a particular concept when the assignment had us work on multiple concepts at the same time.
– Some more focused assignments would be really helpful to increase our learning retention.
- Learning from Other Students: I liked looking at the other posts from students to make sure I was on the right track with my understanding of the concepts, it also helped motivate me to stay more creative.
- Empowered to Create?: Yes, I definitely had to use my creativity to help myself create maps in a way that helped me understand.
VI. Key Takeaways
- How would you describe this class to other students?: It is a little bit insane when you start the class, but the instructor is willing to work with you. You have to be creative, but it lets you use a different thought process than what you’re used to!
- What advice would I give to a student who wants to drop out?: Give the course a little bit longer, it takes a while to get used to everything required of you. If you are looking for a more healthcare based class, make sure to also read the book because it provides healthcare examples.
- What can you do to improve this class?: Provide more healthcare examples in the presentations and in our assignments. Hopefully make the Feedback Map assignments shorter.
- Prepared me to work in healthcare?: Honestly, I don’t know.. I will most likely use some of the different methods of thought in healthcare, but I wish we learned a little bit more about insurance, liability and possibly even scenarios that come up in healthcare.
- Did this class make me think?: Yes, it forced me out of my comfort zone and it changed my thought process a little bit. I don’t typically do assignments in this way (mapping them out).
- Most Important Takeaway: Use creative problem solving to speak with co-workers and use methods like System Thinking to break down large concepts.
- Least Favorite Part: I felt like the long feedback maps were excessive. I don’t mind feedback, but it just seemed like some of the questions were repetitive.
- Favorite Part: I liked the Concept Maps and the Swarming the Canvas assignment because it helped me understand the concepts and also work with my classmates.
- Swarm Learning in my Life: I might use Swarm Learning at my job or if I ever teach a class part-time, but I feel like all of my decisions in life have a thought process that already uses Systems Thinking and Swarm Learning automatically, without having to think about it.
- Did I know about this class beforehand?: No, this is my first semester of graduate school, so I didn’t know much about any classes that I would be taking!
- Have I had a class similar to this?: Nope. This class is very unique in how it has been structured. The massive amount of creativity necessary and the unusual thought methods we learned are unlike anything else.
- Can I be honest in this?: I am a little scared of being honest, and I think even unconsciously it might impact my grade. I think your intention is to not let it impact my grade, but I think it’s hard for anyone to take criticism…
I’m hoping it doesn’t affect anything though! I know you want honest feedback.
- One Thing to Add: I know I’m like a broken record, but more healthcare examples and scenarios, please!