The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care
Two allied health programs at Genesee Community College have combined forces to design a structure for clinical training courses (or instruction) using TopClass. The Physical Therapy Assistant and Respiratory Care Programs are using an allied health format so that common needs are addressed and resources and ideas can be ?pooled? to enrich the learning experience of all students and minimize redundant tasks between programs. The needs were identified using feedback from students, Clinical Instructors (CI), Center Coordinators for Clinical Education (CCCE), Academic Clinical Coordinators of Education (ACCE), and concerned Administrators. By far the largest area of need identified was communication. Students are matched with CI's from individual health care facilities, placing them remotely from one another, the ACCE, and the college campus. Top class not only enhances the existing lines of communication, but creates new lines of communication that were otherwise impractical or impossible.
Enhanced communication achieves more collaborative communication between the student and ACCE. Self-reflective journal writing in the electronic medium addresses development of interpersonal skills, professionalism, and a method of communicating the student's perceptions of problems and concerns. Also, the students' progress in experiential learning is more closely monitored (and corrected). New areas of communication that the Top Class format allows are communication between individual students, as well as, communication within student groups and communication with experts in specific areas of study or interest.
Additional identified areas of need being addressed are; access to class materials, early intervention by ACCE when problems or concerns occur, students receiving feedback on progression through the course, and students' lack of consistent computer literacy skills.
The program is being run using e-mail and Top Class tools combining personal communication via e-mail with group discussion sections on Tip Class. A pilot course was introduced to the first year students of both programs enrolled in ?Clinical Practice I? courses offered summer semester, 1999 at SUNY Genesee Community College.
Additional information can be obtained from the co-authors at: