Daniel Geller

Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Occupational Therapy), Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Professor Daniel Geller shares his experience with hybrid teaching in 2020.

I teach Physical Disabilities (PD) 1 & 2, which is a clinical course, held in the second year of the two-year Occupational Therapy (OT) masters program. Both courses have two components: 1) lecture with PowerPoint presentations, case studies, and group discussions; and 2) lab that entails demonstrations, hands-on practice, and case studies. This course is usually held in the fall and spring; however due to COVID and programmatic changes, PD 1 moved to fully on-line in summer 2020 and PD 2 to hybrid for fall 2020. 

The summer course, delivered to 54 students, was delivered synchronously through Zoom and asynchronously with pre-recorded lectures posted on Canvas.  

Synchronous lectures entailed PowerPoint presentations, Poll Everywhere questions, group discussions and breakout rooms. The breakout rooms were used for smaller group work on case-studies, video analysis and group presentations. 

Asynchronous delivery required students to watch the pre-recorded lectures prior to class, thus the class focused on patient videos or written case studies related to the lecture topic. A variety of videos were watched to allow for different experiences, such as evaluations, treatments, manual techniques, patient education, clinical reasoning, different settings and multi-disciplinary approaches. These videos came from ICE Learning Center, which is an innovative streaming video collection created to assist with clinical excellence for OT faculty, students and clinicians. Students also had access to these videos, thus could view them again after class. 

Students were provided with evaluation and treatment planning forms and questions, made by the professor, to guide the breakout rooms discussion and to hand in at the end of class to assess student learning. The breakout rooms were followed by full class discussion regarding the questions and the video. Similar procedures were implemented for the written case studies. 

Physical Disabilities 2, the current course (fall 2020), is hybrid, as the students are virtual for lecture content (as previously described) as well as in-person for the lab component. Lab was delivered in-person as this content is best learned through hands-on practice.  For safety and social distancing, classroom capacities were limited, thus all 54 students were unable to meet in the same classroom. Thus, the class was divided into 4 smaller groups and each student was assigned to 1 of 4 classrooms. Students were placed in pairs, in order to reduce contact with multiple partners, and were 6 feet apart in the classroom. All classrooms were connected through Zoom, thus all content was broadcast from the main classroom to the other 3 rooms, with one instructor per room. 

Lab started with opening comments from the professor regarding lab content. Pre-recorded video material, which was uploaded to Panopto, was broadcast to all rooms followed by student practice time and instructor verbal feedback. After practice, the entire class would virtually regroup for comments and proceed to the next video and so on.

Competency was measured through instructor observation with a checklist form. Instructors would meet after the lab to discuss student concerns and to prepare for the next lab. In addition, the students had access to the videos on Panopto to review. 

The students reported enjoying the poll everywhere questions, the videos, breakout rooms, and the case studies; however, had a hard time with longer virtual lectures due to zoom fatigue. This semester, I provided more rest breaks, added more poll everywhere questions and breakout rooms for the lecture component. The labs have not been completed as of yet; however, students so far have reported being happy to be back, love the hands-on work and also feel safe. 

 

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What is it like to teach and learn at Columbia in 2020-2021? Share your hybrid/HyFlex or online teaching and learning experience.