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Personal Philosophy of Teaching and Learning for Health Education

Evaluation Criteria for Assignment 1

Your personal assessment of your philosophy of teaching and learning should be unique to you. This assignment will give you a good base for enhanced learning through the remainder of this course and will provide you the opportunity to achieve the course learning outcome: describe the complexities and realities of health teaching from a personal and theoretical perspective. Supporting information and assessment of your philosophy of teaching and learning is addressed in Units 1 – 3.

Assignments must be submitted via the appropriate dropbox on the course home page.

Evaluation Criteria for Assignment 1

  • Articulate clear statements of your personal learning style and your professional teaching philosophy.  (3 marks)
  • Link at least one of the theoretical underpinning (e.g. Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Social Constructivism) to support your teaching-learning philosophy.  (10 marks)
  • Provide one clear and detailed example to demonstrate how your values and beliefs related to both teaching and learning affect your role as a health care professional.  (5 marks)
  • Provide evidence of application of course concepts from Units 1, 2, and 3 and references from external sources as needed to support your teaching-learning philosophy. (7 marks)
  • Accurate APA format including:
    • Title page, headings and subheadings (1 mark)
    • References in the body of the paper (2 marks)
    • Reference citations in the references list (2 marks)
  • Accurate scholarly format including:
    • 3-4 pages in length, excluding title page and References list (1 mark)
    • Introduction (1 mark)
    • Scholarly language and professional tone  (1 mark)
    • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation (1 mark)
    • Conclusion (1 mark)


Designing the learning environment matters.

In most health care situations, teaching has been largely based on first-hand experience: experiments with different teaching methods, observation of the teaching strategies of others, and application of common sense. Such teaching may be remarkably successful, or it may fail badly. To teach effectively we must understand how people learn. Unit 2 introduces learning theories of behaviourism, cognitivism, and social constructivism. Additionally, theories of learner motivation are examined and ways the learning environment influences motivation are reviewed.


One Minute Self-Debate

This learning activity involves a one minute do it yourself debate (this may be a perfect example of our "hurry up" society)!

Here are the steps to follow..

  1. Consider the following resolution: "A patient care conference involving a multidisciplinary perspective and the patient's family is necessary to accomplish optimum health education."  
  2. Agree with the resolution and write down one point for your side (the affirmative).
  3. Disagree with the resolution and write down one point for the other side (the negative).
  4. Rebut yourself a few times. Any heated self-discussions?

Learning Objectives

When you have completed Unit 2, you should be able to achieve or exceed the following:

  • explain two theoretical models (health belief model and the transtheoretical model) used to assess and stimulate motivation,
  • describe the behaviourism, cognitivism, and social constructivism theories of learning, and
  • outline 10 specific ways a health care provider can design a learning environment that motivates learning.


Learning Activities

Activity 1 - Design a Motivation Model

The open educational resource (OER) selected as the learning resource to support this learning activity is once again Health Education: Theoretical Concepts, Effective Strategies and Core Competencies (WHO, 2012). After considering the health belief model and the transtheoretical model discussed in this OER, design your own model related to motivating people to learn.

You may choose to describe your model design in words or develop a brief presentation using photos and so forth to creatively express your thoughts. Feel free to incorporate elements of the models presented in the WHO (2012) Health Education: Theoretical Concepts, Effective Strategies and Core Competencies document that fit with your experience in motivating people to learn.

Activity 2 - Practical Ways to Motivate Learners

  • Encouragement as a Motivating Force 
      • Consider the following questions: How does providing nonjudgmental feedback and using encouraging responses motivate learners? Can you think of other ways encouragement can be provided that would also be motivating to learners?
  • Design a Safe, Motivating Learning Environment
      • How does keeping the learning environment safe for the learner motivate learning?

Activity 3 - Lecturette

Read the following "lecturette" or summary of learning theory and consider the reflection that follows.

Theories of Learning Lecturette

Learning = Change

Three Theories of Learning

1. Behaviourisim

    • Key principle - behavior changes according to its immediate consequences
    • Key concepts - reinforcement, extinction, punishment, shaping, randomness

2. Cognitivism

    • Key principle - learning is the development of insights that provide a guide for behavior
    • Key concepts - learner schemata, mental models, levels of learning

3. Social Constructivism

    • Includes elements of behavioral and cognitive learning theory
    • Key principle - people respond primarily to cognitive representations of the environment rather than the environment itself
    • Key concepts - observation leads to learning, modeled action, cognitive rehearsals, expectations, extrinsic reward, self-evaluation

Designing the Learning Environment

Activity 4 - Word Cloud Exercise

How could your work environment be changed to enhance patient and family education? For example, are there specific changes you could make to the physical environment, resources available, or staffing levels that would motivate learners? Can you draw an image of an ideal teaching-learning environment? Imagine the changes you would make, create a word cloud by entering the search term create a word cloud into your browser search! Discuss your word cloud with your colleagues and use it for brainstorming possible ideas.


Health care professional teach. They teach every time they interact with learners.

Many of you may be thinking, I really don't need a course on teaching and learning, I have been doing health teaching for years and I do it very well. Besides, I am so busy that I don't have time to teach.

If this is similar to what you believe, you have chosen the right course. Hopefully, through the next few months, the activities of Health Studies 320 will add to what you already know about health education and assist you to become an even better educator. In addition, this experience will help you realize that health teaching is not optional, and although work is hectic, there are practical ways that excellent teaching can be incorporated into your day. The result should be rewarding for you and those you care for.

Good teaching requires creativity on the part of the instructor. If you are to be a successful teacher, the first thing you need to do is to capture the attention of the learner. In order to model this, many elements of this course are designed to be attention getting. For example, you will find each unit contains a warm-up, work-out and cool-down component. This approach demonstrates one way to gain the attention of the learner while providing a structure for organizing the components of the unit. In your own teaching you may wish to adopt a creative structure that is suited to your learner group and your personal style.

Learning Journal - Keeping a learning journal might be advantageous if you are planning to utilize aspects of this course to demonstrate having met continuing competency requirements for ongoing licensure within your profession, completing course assignments, when you interact with your tutor and fellow students, or in the future as you participate in teaching activities. The learning journal is optional - it will not be read or evaluated by your tutor. Your learning journal can be a blank notebook or binder in which you record insights, ideas and thoughts that result from your experience in this course. If you prefer a paperless learning journal you can use a blank page in your word processor and keep adding to the page or you may consider starting to build an e-portfolio. One of many e-portfolio sites to consider is the Student Nurse EPortfolio. On this site look to the top right of screen and select Use Template and follow the directions.

Theories of Learning



Think of a time when you felt good about something you taught. Try to identity specifically:

  1. why you felt positive about the experience?
  2. what you did that made the teaching successful?

Learning Objectives

When you have completed Unit 1, you should be able to achieve or exceed the following:

  • describe some of your strengths as a teacher,
  • explain the process of health education,
  • describe why health education is an essential element of quality health care, and
  • list four ways to include education in caregiving when time is limited.


Learning Activities

Effective educators strive to meet the learning style of those they are teaching. Some learning activities may be more appropriate for your personal learning style so please feel free to select those activities that are most helpful to your learning.

As you may recall from reading the course introduction there is no required or recommended print textbook for this course. The learning activities are supported with open source online resources (sometimes called Open Educational Resources [OER]), links to other online multi-media resources, and electronic references from the AU library.

The open educational resource (OER) selected as the learning resource to support your attainment of the learning objectives of this unit is the World Health Organization document entitled Health Education: Theoretical Concepts, Effective Strategies and Core Competencies  (2012).

This OER was selected based on the credibility of the World Health Organization, the overall comprehensive discussion of the concept of health education, and the use of systematic reviews to support the recommendations related to the examples of effective health initiatives and strategies. The process for sourcing this document was:

  1. entering the search term definition of health education into a browser
  2. selecting WHO Health Education
  3. selecting Health Education (Eastern Mediterranean Region)
  4. selecting the document from the featured publications.

Activity 1 - Story Time - Let's start with a story

Joe, an elderly man, has just been hospitalized with a blood clot in his leg. Upon discharge he will be taking a medication that will thin his blood. As you help him to prepare to go home Joe mentions that he "doesn't believe in taking any pills except those he can get at the health food store."

As Joe's caregiver how would you respond?

Activity 2 - Role Play

You are a pharmacist on a surgery unit in a busy acute care hospital. A registered nurse named Julia comes up to you in despair and says, "My patient, Mrs. Burns, is going home this afternoon and I haven't even started her discharge teaching related to her medications." You can give Julia 4 wise thoughts. What would you say?

Activity 3 - Short Snapper Questions

Test your knowledge related to reasons for health education by answering the following "Short Snappers" questions. You may complete these short snappers online by clicking on what you consider is the correct answer.

Activity 4 - Coffee Table Discussion Question

Write the question below as a memo on your phone and take it with you to your next coffee break. Show the memo to your colleagues to initiate discussion. Make notes summarizing your colleagues' responses.

Do you think that the educator role is valued in the organizations in which you have been employed?

What can you do to make the educator's role more valued?

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