About two months ago I wrote a post called Why Are Students Taking Health Ed In College because I wondered why college students felt a course on basic health was necessary when, let’s face it, most of them knew the basics to healthful living. Regardless of their motivations, my main objective was to discover methods of making student learning experiences about health & fitness be more meaningful. I wanted to know how I could extend this class beyond the textbook of “eat your veggies and exercise.”
After many discussions with Shelley Rodrigo and leaning from the classroom experiences of Alisa Cooper, who have both inspired me to continue thinking outside the box in my teaching, I have come up with a new class project for this semester’s online fitness & wellness course.
The assignment is called HEALTH SLIDES. Every week students create 3 PowerPoint slides around and assigned topic. I, then, compile these slides into one large presentation and post them on the class blog (which is slowly growing into a repository of student produced health media). I realized that while their individual messages were informative, when combined, their messages are more powerful.
Here are two presentations that were compiled by the collaborative efforts of 13 to 15 online students whose independent efforts aligned into educational messages.
At the end of every week, students watch these presentations and learn from each other’s slides. At the same time, the online community can also learn from these messages, as well.
As I continue to pursue the question of WHY students take health education courses in college when they already know the basics (or more importantly, what my role as an educator is besides going beyond the basics), I realize that I am also in charge of educating them on how to educate others about health. It’s when students share their work and what they’ve learned with others, that matters, too. It’s when a student can say to a friend or family member, “Hey, check out this presentation that we did in my health class last semester” where you can see student learning extend beyond the classroom.