Become an Innovative Online Nurse Educator

Creating Engaging Online Assignments

Oct 29, 2019
One of the things that make me the most excited about teaching online (other than creating mini video lectures) is creating fun assignments for my students! I think that in an online setting there are so many options for creating engaging assignments. Recently, I learned about a fun “Virtual Escape Room” assignment that seemed like it could be lots of fun! I haven’t experimented with it yet, but I did share the instructions in the Facebook group with the permission of the educator that originally posted it. Join the Facebook Group HERE to find out more about this assignment. 
For this blog post, I thought I would share instructions for 1 sample Discussion Board assignment and 1 sample VoiceThread assignment that I have used:
  1. SAMPLE DISCUSSION BOARD ASSIGNMENT: The Lived Experience Assignment: This Discussion Board assignment is one that I use when teaching about phenomenology. The challenge with discussion board assignments is making sure that the students make a substantive response that is also meaningful. As much as possible, I try to give assignments that reflect real life. Students enjoy this assignment because it gives them a chance to tell their unique story. Here is the sample assignment: 
    • For your activity in this section you will practice the art of phenomenology and give myself and your fellow classmates a chance to know you as a whole person. Please write a 250-300 word essay on the lived experience of being an RN and coming back to school to get your Bachelors degree. You may want to include such things as life-work balance, stress, family or financial concerns, etc. Remember that there is no wrong answer to this question since it is your own experience. However, you must include citations from your readings as always.
  2. SAMPLE VOICETHREAD ASSIGNMENT: Noah’s Story: In this VoiceThread assignment I use a patient story from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to express the importance of listening to patients. The fun thing about VoiceThread is that students can use their voice to answer questions. At times, with this assignment, students get choked up after hearing this touching story so it is always great to hear their responses. Here is the sample assignment:
    • Activity:
      • 1. Read "Noah's Story" [PDF]  . This is the story of four-year-old Noah and his mom, Tanya. A surgery, a series of miscommunications, and an early discharge from the hospital contribute to an adverse event that changes the family’s life forever.
      • 2. Complete the VoiceThread activity by clicking HERE "Therapeutic Relationships". Answer all questions with a video or audio comment
I hope you enjoy these assignments. Head over to the Facebook Group and share your thoughts on these assignments and why not also share one of your own assignments!

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