Kim – We are a fully online degree program. The first official program was known as the Medical Records Technician program and began in the fall of 1972, it included one full time instructor and a part time instructor. Prior to 1972 the program was located at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma and began in 1965. Students that successfully complete the Associates in Applied Science in HIM can sit for the RHIT certification which is nationally recognized by the American Health Information Management Association, (AHIMA). We also offer the e-HIM certificate that give students experience in information technology that will help them be successful team members in the implementation of the electronic health record across a variety of health care facilities. Lastly I want to point out this beautiful photo just last month the governor and state legislators signed a bill to fund a new Health Careers building which we are very excited about as this will enable us to increase enrollment in many of our allied health programs.
Kim – Our curriculum consist of a variety of classes that prepare the student for positions in the HIM profession. Our students take 105 credits, 15 which include pre-reqs, math, English, and Anatomy and Physiology. We have two tracks that the student can select, our students can focus on the coding track that allows students to become professional coders or they can pursue the IT track that allows the student to work more on the IT side of healthcare. Many of our students actually complete both tracks. As I mentioned on the previous slide we also have an e-HIM certificate which allows HIM students to also obtain a certificate that is more in depth regarding IT classes. It compliments the RHIT credential and shows potential employers that our students are well versed in IT classes such as networking, data modeling, database implementation, etc. We also encourage IT professionals to obtain their e-HIM certificate because it exposes IT professionals to the HIM profession by having them take HIM classes such as Healthcare Delivery, Medical Terminology, Health Data Structure and Content Standards. Etc. The e-HIM certificate is 43 credits.
Kim- Our students typically are working in the health care field and do not have the credentials to move up into higher supervisory positions so they come back or enter the program to obtain their credential. On average 80% of our students are full time students. The average age is late 30s to early 40s. However, we are starting to see some younger individuals entering the program. We are still predominately female in this profession. When we moved the program online we had 35 students. These students entered the program as campus based students and finished up the program as fully online students. Every day our chair gets phone calls, emails, and questions about how to enter our program. Our program is currently filled each quarter. Char can address the numbers with you in more detail later.
Kim- Communication is essential! Communication with your students and the faculty. Online does not mean no work! In fact online classrooms are a lot of work. There is no ad lib, no spur of the moment course content being online means you have to plan and then plan for when your original plan does not work out!The saying “hindsight is 20/20!” Is true! We learned a lot, let’s look at the next slide!
Kim – Some of the errors we made was not training faculty to use the learning management system, at the time we went online we were using Blackboard. We now have our faculty learn the LMS through our e-Learning department. All faculty had a different set up in each of their classrooms which was fine but it was confusing to the student. We had to create templates to ensure consistency in the classrooms and yet preserve academic freedom.We totally underestimated the time commitment for initially moving the program online it took many, many hours setting up 10 weeks of content for each course. Ensuring that links worked correctly, Power Points had audio, quizzes, exams, and assignments were well written. Remember once something it out online it is there forever and if there is an error the student will find it and he or she will point it out immediately. We had limited resources if we had had some of the software that we have now we may have not had to spend so much time creating content, things would have worked out much easier.Let’s look at the next slide for one of our biggest errors we made!
Kim - Don’t cut your curriculum up into bite sized pieces. Makes perfect sense because you think it will be easier to handle – but it is a huge mistake. We deconstructed our classes by breaking them down for example we created two reimbursement classes, we broke out a coding class that just addressed one aspect of coding. This was a catastrophe! We created so much work for our faculty! Our students were confused as to why we did this and we heard about it! We are currently gluing our back together after 3 years of trial and error.
Char -Some who is awesome in the classroom might not translate the same way online IF THEY ARE NOT TRAINED CORRECTLY. We hear all the time – you can’t do that online. I believe you can do ANYTHING online you can do on campus – it might takes us a while, but we will figure it out. If you don’t train your instructors and show them all the possibilities then you are taking away their toolbox.You also cannot assume because someone knows how to use MS Word and PowerPoint that they automatically know how to use learning management systems, screen recorders, lesson builders. If you want your instructors to have a shot at doing this thing right them give them training in it.
Char - During this conference you will learn so many cool new things. Write them down and then choose just one to implement. If you do too many then you wont do any of them very good.
Char - Your classroom has to make sense TO SOMEONE WHO IS SCARED AND UNSURE OF HOW THIS ONLINE THING IS GOING TO WORK.
Char - You thought your syllabus was important in your campus class – think of it as double important online. Sometimes, it is the only way you have to communicate your expectations with your students. It is a living document. Use it to tell them how they can get ahold of you – when they can expect to hear from you How you grade their papers – when you plan on returning their papersWhere to find things in your classroomIf you proctor tests what does that mean – can they do their tests online – are they open book – can they talk to each other?Where to go if they need technical help – NOT YOU – get eLearning involved.
Kim- Communication is essential and even more so in an online program. Talkthree times as much as you think you need to. Let them know you are a person and that you are in the class in real time. Talk about current events. Talk about things happening in the classroom this week. Let them know you did not just record this whole thing last quarter and are just “managing” it – teach it! If someone is struggling send them an email. If someone is rocking it send them an email. If someone asks a great question then point it out. If someone makes a discussion posting that is completely wonderful then point it out. Remind them of things that are coming up – share great accomplishments with them – make them feel like you care.
Kim- When you have the luxury of having a cohort of students over multiple quarters then build in consistency for them. Instructors can still have academic freedom over the content they teach – but don’t make students learn completely new formats each quarter. As I previously mentioned we created templates for our faculty so that students would be comfortable navigating through our classrooms. The syllabus could be found in the same place in whatever class they were in but the instructors could have the academic freedom in how they created the syllabus. Remember this makes the student comfortable and it is much easier to update classroom content for the faculty. Come together as a faculty and talk about what will work for everyone – there is always middle ground.
CharWe found that periodic cupcakes are essential. Make sure eLearning knows you as a person. Volunteer for their beta tests – be willing to help them when they need it. It will be worth it for you in the long run. Most importantly – when your students have problems send them to eLearning. You are the expert in content, but eLearning should be the expert in computer problems. Don’t muddy the waters
Wake me up From This Nightmare: How to Make Your Online Program A Dream Come True
•Medical Terminology for all •Medical
Record Managementallied health •Data Quality and Performance•Pathology of Disease Improvement•Healthcare Delivery •Healthcare statistics•Legal Issues/HIPAA •Management•Reimbursement •Professional Practice•Coding Experience (hybrid)•Electronic Health Record •Project Management
WE MADE IT HARDER THEN
IT NEEDED TO BEWe should have done formal Faculty TrainingWe did a poor jobCommunicating the changes withstudents and our local HIM communityWe underestimated the initial Time Commitment.When we initially moved online, our CampusResources were not ready to support online students.