Health Science Course for High School Students

Jul 13, 2016

Hello All!

I am currently working on developing an introduction to Health Sciences (medical careers) course for high school students. I am the SME and Instructional Designer for the course, and I am stuck. I am trying to make it an experience for the students instead of a dry, boring online course. I have been working on real-life scenarios but want the first part of the course to be the "education" portion. I want to start the course out as if the student is a new employee at the medical facility. In this orientation they will get small, short lessons on the health science standards, as well as a "tour" of the facility to learn more about the different departments and careers.

My issue is I am stuck. How do I get this started? How do I put it together so that it is not too much, but enough content? Also, considering it is high school students, I mostly want to expose them to the information instead of great detail.

Any help or ideas appreciated!!!

16 Replies
Kelly Meeker

Hi Amanda! Renaldo Lawrence just wrote a great guest article on creating e-learning for the K12 audience. He's got a great example in there, as well. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas. 

We've also got some great interactive tour examples that you might find helpful in this E-Learning Challenge. That's a great way to make "education" content a little more interactive.

I'm sure community members will chime in with some other suggestions, too!

Bob S

This one calls out for gamification...   Provide the learner a virtual clipboard to use as they make "rounds" throughout the healthcare facility.  Each experience they have they get a check mark on the clipboard. 

If you want to go deeper, have optional experiences/content as Phil mentions and backing pages to the top checklist sheet on the clipboard where the "special" experiences are captured in  more detail. Sprinkle these special experiences around and don't be afraid to hide them a bit.... young people are quite resourceful in uncovering things.

Then... Create a leaderboard-type mechanic where you display not only the rankings for who has the most regular experiences but also the hidden special ones.

PS: And just in case it wasn't clear...  the experiences would include the teaching points you want/need to get across. Structure each experience so it involves interacting with one or more of the knowledge pieces somehow so they learn the basics of the health science standards as they conduct rounds.


Jackie Van Nice

Hi Amanda!

I just did a similar course for a client and structured it a bit like Bob's suggestions. Engaging opening scene to draw them in, then free navigation, lots of variation in the activities, and a clipboard to mark off the items they needed to complete. Interactive video was one of the things that worked especially well.

Best of luck - and have fun!




Brett Rockwood

As Jackie and Phil said, make it open navigation so users can explore on their own. Use realistic scenarios that involve the student making choices. I believe I first read about the 3 "Cs" from Tom Kuhlmann but I think it's great advice for scenario building: Create the Challenge, then the Choices the student must make, followed by the Consequences of the decision. This means your feedback is not the standard, "That's right!" or "Sorry, that's not the correct choice" but is the actual consequence of what would happen if you had made a particular choice. Cathy Moore also has some create examples of this type of scenario.

Bob S

Hi Amanda,

Hopefully you have a chance to let us know where you landed on this exciting project.

In the meantime, one more thought on the "hiding" of the special content....  Young people are quite resourceful and used to having to figure out puzzles, manipulate things in an online environment (think: the ubiquitous escape games for example). 

What you want to do is get a "buzz" going across the learner population on where/how they found certain experiences and info....

"Oh yeah that one was easy, you just have to click on the patient chart on the end of the bed"

"Yikes, I still haven't found that one but heard if you speak to the nurse again she gives a hint"

Don't underestimate the power of competition (ie leaderboard) and this particular group's ability to share information with each other for mutual success.

Good luck on the project!

Amanda Bell

Thank you everyone for your input! I love ALL of the ideas and want to implement as much as I can. Right now I have it setup as a clipboard as open navigation. In each mini-lesson, they will get a scenario, story, or real life example, and they can click on "more information" if they would like to learn more about the subject matter (definitions, explanations, ect.). Right now I am building all of my lessons in PPT and then handing them over to the graphic designer to be put on our platform, Smart Sparrow.

I really like the idea of the leaderboard and having hidden or special content, I guess I am just no sure how I could do that on this platform (this is my first time working with it). Do I make when I am making my PPT's?

I have attached an example of a mini-lesson, Would love to hear thoughts.

Thanks again for all of your help and input!

Kristin Savko

We build a ton of health science curriculum for high school aged students. I think one of the best things that you can do is make sure that your images strongly support your material..and that you make as much use of graphic organizers, etc, that you can. Also, keep your chunks small...multiple shorter lessons are better than one long one.

As for your written comm sample, I think it's a great start. If you can, it's great to have worksheets for them to complete as well...or activities where they actually go though the process of writing.  Or maybe an on screen activity where they find the part of a written communication that is incorrect (like click on the word or phrase that's wrong). Things that get them DOING.

Good luck!

Marti Stemm

I noted that your question is how do I get started, "I am stuck".  I know the feeling.  One of the things that helps me is to put in writing (into slides, in separate scenes if necessary) all of the key points or things that I want to cover.  At this point don't worry about the order. 

I actually publish them into Word, cut the slides pictures apart and try to put them into some order.  After I have that done, I begin to look at techniques that would provide the best learner interaction and student retention for the content on a slide 

I actually designed some college courses for on line courses as an adjunct faculty member, and the method was always a good place or way to begin putting things into "boxes" so that I could create and develop the interactions, techniques, games, and sometimes even graphic animations to deliver my content.   

Destery Hildenbrand

Hi Amanda. Your first mini lesson looks good, I second Kristin with the Doing part. I find high school to early college age tend to do better when the vehicle for content involves them and resembles what they are using on a daily basis. Smaller chunks of information, quality images, interaction is what keeps them moving forward. It's unrealistic to expect rapid development of the same quality of apps that they have on their phone, having lessons resemble this feel and flow seem to resonate better. 

As for a leaderboard idea here is a link to another discussion about it using google sheets or possibly wordpress. ,  Good luck!


Rebecca Hay

It definitely needs to be entertaining. You could start off with a short scenario about a "goofus" type character that gets lost and makes a couple dumb mistakes to grab their attention. Then have them select and avatar. Let them choose from departments/areas of the facility to explore. Self directed and game like is the key.

Alison Woodage

I work in the corporate sector, so while not the same target audience, I think there are commonalities.  I am in the final stages of a mandatory training course covering why we have policies, business principles, values and beliefs.  This is a rework of what was originally a dry, wordy, and not very contextualised course.  I created a challenge for the learners, where they had to visit various areas within 'the workplace', identifying things that were happening that showed how policies, business principles, values and beliefs were being put into practice.  Learners could visit a 'discover more' section where all the information about these topics was available - if they needed it or wanted to find out more.  To pull it all together, learners created an action plan. identifying things they needed to do, to ensure their work practices were in line with policies etc.....

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