Mental Health Studies Module #1- Lumi

In the first module of my Mental Health Studies course, I have used several H5P activities. When I first started working with H5P’s it took me quite a while to get the hang of it, but now I am quite familiar with them and enjoy using them to create interactive content for my online classes. What is really convenient about H5P’s is that I can create them through Lumi, download them and embed them into Moodle.

In this first module, I will use a combination of formative and summative assessments

Welcome Module!

Lumi Activity#1: What Brings You Here?

Module 1- Introduction to Mental Health

Outcomes: MHS20.1

  • I can understand what positive mental health is and how it affects my well-being.
  • I can advocate, raise awareness and reduce stigma for positive mental health.
  1. Pre-Quiz: Students will complete a questionnaire  Lumi Activity #2 to see what they believe they already know about mental health.
  2. Lesson #1: Introduction to Mental Health Presentation Lumi Activity #3 I have embedded questions in the presentation, so as students go through the presentation, they will be asked to answer questions and check their understanding.
  3. Lesson #2: We are going to explore the difference in Mental Health States. In the video, Dr. Kutcher explains the different states of mental health Lumi Activity #4
  4. Assessment on lesson 1 and 2 to test understanding of the various mental health states. Lumi Activity #5

Different times. Different locations. Disconnected.

I have been teaching asynchronous classes for four years. Students enroll in courses and then complete the course on their own timeline. There are a lot of benefits of asynchronous learning; however, one of the downsides is the lack of personal interaction and engagement. To be honest, sometimes I find asynchronous teaching to be very robotic and logistical. I don’t see my students daily or weekly; all communication is through email or Moodle Messaging. Michael Welsh encourages teachers to “build relationships” and “humanize online classes, “WOW! Did that ever hit me hard! Sadly, when I look over my courses, my students have very little opportunity to connect with one another or me.

In an ideal situation, students would actively participate in their online classes by confidently posting videos, participating in forums, and providing feedback to their peers. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The challenge of asynchronous learning lies in its inherent flexibility, where students progress at their own pace. As a result, forging connections becomes a difficult task.  While synchronous interactions are limited or non-existent, building meaningful relationships and creating a supportive learning environment is still possible.  In order to improve my community building in my asynchronous courses, I  am using the guidelines outlined by Lindsay Harris in her article Building Community and Connection Between Students and Instructors in Asynchronous Course.  and the strategies outlined in this week’s readings  to vet my courses and make changes to improve community building.

  • Getting to know each other
    • Teacher Intro Video (Screencast-O-Matic)
    • Student Get to Know You Survey
    • Forum that students post on: grade, hobbies and interests, favorite classes, food etc.
    • New idea: Students create introduction videos,  complete a personality test (color test) and share results on our collaborative platform such as Discord or Padlet. (I love the idea of class collaboration platform! An opportunity for our class to share, post and ask questions!)
  • Empathy
    • Provide check-ins through Moodle Questionnaires
    • Teacher Welcome Email sent out as soon as students are enrolled in course. I always require students to respond to my email so I know they have received it.
    • Provide clear and concise videos walking students through my course.
    • Use more empathy statements “I am here for you”, “If you have any difficulty, please reach out”
    •  New idea: Course empathy statement sheet
        • I am here for you.
        • My goal is for you to learn and understand the material and see how it applies to your life.
        • I am here to support you.
  • Communication
    • Be very clear how students can contact me and when (email or message me in Moodle)
    • Moodle Messaging allows me to select which students (or all) to send group messages to
    • Monday Morning Memos go out each Monday through Moodle Announcements Forum
    • Create Meili’s Motivational through Moodle Blocks
    • New idea: Send out a Weekly Wrap-Up Video Message on Friday’s either through message or our Collaborative Platform
  • Feedback
    • Give praise when students demonstrate effort and strong understanding of the content
    • When students struggle with an assessment, provide specific information on how they could do better in the future.
    • Provide feedback in a timely manner.
    • New idea: Provide individualized audio feedback through Moodle Poodll

 

Mental Health Education in Schools

As an educator, I aim to create an inviting, inclusive learning environment so my students can succeed. Some of my students can succeed in this environment; others cannot. Unfortunately, for some of my students, coming to school each day is a struggle no matter what environment I create. The mental health struggles of our students are a concern for all stakeholders in education. When our students struggle with their mental health, they often struggle in silence. They feel stigmatized. They have no one to turn to. It isn’t until poor academic performance, that someone notices and begins to ask why. Multiple factors affect mental health and they extend beyond the academic. If so many students are struggling, what can the education system do to contribute to the enhanced positive mental health in children and youth?

Currently, in Saskatchewan schools, students are not required to take a mental health course, despite stats showing that 38 per cent of surveyed children and youth in Saskatchewan reported a decline in their mental health as a result of the pandemic.With statistics so alarming, we have to ask the question, what are schools doing to promote mental health literacy and awareness?

The Government of Saskatchewan has acknowledged the urgent need to address the mental health and well-being of students since the pandemic by including Mental Health and well-being as one of the four pillars of the Provincial Education Plan Framework and with its recent funding announcement, it solidifies its further commitment. To further support Mental Health in Schools, The Mental Health Capacity Building Program is an initiative that the Government of Saskatchewan is investing in and promoting. The program is currently in a number of schools, and “focuses on prevention and mental health promotion, early identification and intervention.”

As part of this comprehensive approach to student well-being, I am so pleased that some school divisions are offering mental health courses as a proactive effort to raise awareness about mental health. I have had the privilege of teaching a Mental Health Studies course face-to-face, in previous years, however there was never an opportunity for online students to take the course. The course I am designing is a fully online Mental Health Studies 20 course available to students. My prototype can be found below.

Mental Health Studies 20

 

 

 

My Relationship With Technology

My relationship with technology has been rocky for most of my teaching career. Whether it was moving from one management system to another- Powerschool to MSS to Edsby; going from a TV with a VCR to a SmartBoard and now a TV with Airtame; or flipping between learning platforms such as Google Classroom or Moodle, technology has always been something that has intimated me. 

My introduction to online learning happened right before COVID hit.  In early 2020, I was asked to develop high-performance online courses and although I knew NOTHING about anything online-related, I said yes. When COVID hit, I was at home trying to figure out how to not only, connect with my students virtually and try to teach them through Google Classroom, but I was also trying to build courses on Moodle that were to be ready by the summer. 

When I look back on that time, yes it was incredibly stressful, but I believe it was the best thing that could have happened to me in my teaching career. Technology was something I feared. It frustrated me. When I said “yes” to creating online classes without any experience or knowledge, little did I know the impact it would have on me and my career. 

  • It forced me out of my comfort zone and that it is okay to take risks and try new things! 
  • I have gained more confidence in my abilities and skills. 
  • It has made me a more engaging face-to-face teacher.
  • I am able to assist my colleagues with questions and concerns about online and blended learning.
  • It has sparked an enthusiasm and excitement for learning. 
  • It has presented new opportunities.
  • It has kept me current with educational trends. 
  • It has kept me relevant and relatable.
  • It has made me believe, that no matter how long you have been teaching- we are all capable of learning new things!!

Technology no longer scares me. In fact, I actually get excited when I learn about something new I can try online or in the classroom. Whether it is about a new platform, like Mentimeter, Padlet or Flipgrid, or a new Chrome extension like Momentum, which I can share with my students, technology is now something I embrace. 

 

My First Ever Blog

Hi! My name is Leanne and this is my first ever blog! I am thrilled to be stepping into the world, offering a platform to share the experiences, insights and reflections I have gained over decades of teaching.

As a veteran educator with 26 years in the classroom, I’ve witnessed the ever-evolving landscape of education – from curriculum changes to technological advancements, and everything in between. Through it all, one thing remains constant: my passion for teaching and guiding the next generation.

When you visit my blog, I hope you find something that piques your curiosity, challenges your thinking, or simply captivates your interest! Whatever it may be, I am glad you are here!