Are you teaching in higher education? Are you teaching remotely? This article from Dr. April Bice will make you rethink your use of virtual platforms for pedagogy.
As a doctorally prepared coordinator of the pediatric courses in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) track at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), I'm responsible for delivering fundamental learning content focused on infant, child, and family advanced nursing practice.
Higher education courses in this program are hybrid in format and nearly 100% of my teaching occurs remotely.
My graduate students may or may not have ever laid hands on a pediatric patient prior to starting the class. So with this in mind, I met with the instructional design team at UNCW in order to redesign the pediatric course.
This is where students get all of the “juicy learning” about caring for children and families from an advanced practice perspective.
The stand out winner was...Book Creator! 🎉
I researched various tools which could help me deliver the course effectively but the one tool that stood out to me the most was Book Creator. I immediately began investigating and playing around!
Initially, I loved this platform because it was easy to navigate and stress-free to implement. This playful introduction led me to explore all the different ways that Book Creator could be used to present pediatric topics to my graduate students.
Book Creator has been impactful for my own teaching and also impactful on the learning outcomes of my students. I regularly hear feedback from students about the positive impact that the books had on their learning.
There are three main reasons Book Creator was AND continues to be such an great fit for my higher education teaching and learning goals:
🔈 Reason 1: Ease of use
Book Creator is simple and easy to administer. As an online instructor, I need a program that is self-directed and can be worked on whether it be 2am or 12pm.
Once my book is finished, I can easily administer the teaching! This involves me publishing the book and simply copying and pasting the link for students. I post these books in course modules, announcements, and/or emails so students can read them whenever, wherever.
I can also save a copy of a PDF version of the book and send it out to students so they can take notes in a digital or printed version.
🔈 Reason 2: Addresses all learning styles
Book Creator allows me to address various learning styles coupled with my own teaching style. For learners, I can address audio, visual, and kinesthetic needs ALL in the same book!
I use lots of colorful pictures, tables, graphs and fonts and backgrounds for visual learners. As well as that, I add in audio hotspots which allows me to record the lecture material in my voice .
Another way to get audio and visual teaching in the book is by importing videos that you create - students LOVE this in distance education! It gives them a way to learn by seeing and hearing meaning they don't focus just on reading materials. For my kinesthetic learners who need to touch and feel something, I recommend printing the PDF copy of the book which they can write on.
🔈 Reason 3: Ability to add all types of content in
I can provide all of the teaching and learning I need for the week or module ALL in one book if I want to!
✅ Want to include your learning content and presentations? You can!
✅ Want to attach documents such as articles or guidelines? Done!
✅ How about links to external websites? No problem!
Anyone can use Book Creator!
One of the biggest learning opportunities for me is that I CAN use digital and virtual learning tools in my courses without being intimidated by technology.
💡 Book Creator helps teachers deliver knowledge and helps students gain knowledge.
Many educators can use this program but they just need to get started. As well as that, students will instantly gain a lot from your Book Creator designs. My students, for example, were able to:
- Utilize various learning styles
- Have a lot of material in one place
- Take advantage of online reading or printing out the book and reading it by hand.
The results paid off 🏆
After using Book Creator and other virtual platforms in my course, I submitted an application to an excellence in eLearning contest at the university.
I was recognized in the top three courses among those that applied and I was invited back to an expert panel event where I discussed and taught others about the implementation of Book Creator.
🎊 It was a success! 🎊 Lots of professors in higher education appreciated the concepts presented and took them forward with their students.
How will you use use Book Creator in your higher education teaching?
Dr. April Bice is an Assistant Professor, Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and nurse researcher at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As a 17-year seasoned nurse, Dr. Bice has focused 100% on the pediatric population and connected subpopulations. Her teaching revolves around primary care of infants, children, and adolescents.