- Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation
How many students are in the class? Is the course lower division, upper division, or graduate level? How long and frequent are the class meetings? How will the course be delivered: live, online, or in a classroom or lab? What physical elements of the learning environment will affect the class?
There will be approximately 6-10 students in the class, a lower division course (but with the target audience of healthcare professionals working within the emergency department); the class will be in a hybrid format with online weekly meetings and once a month in a physical classroom. There will be online materials for students to review before meetings and journaling. As well as the physical practice of conversations. Students are encouraged to lead the class with discussion to encourage feedback.
- General Context of the Learning Situation
What learning expectations are placed on this course or curriculum by: the university, college and/or department? the profession? society?
The course aims to increase the understanding of healthcare professionals in the context of caring for neurodivergence populations within the community. Increase accessibility and provide an inclusive environment. The course expects to enhance communication between healthcare professionals and patients living with ASD and their families during their emergency visits to the hospital. As well as improving the quality of care delivered within the emergency department.
- Nature of the Subject
Is this subject primarily theoretical, practical, or a combination? Is the subject primarily convergent or divergent? Are there important changes or controversies occurring within the field?
The nature of the subject is primarily a combination. First, theories on different styles of communication and sensory needs are introduced, and then, through physical practice, learners are to explore different formats of communication to guide their potential communication challenges with the population’s needs. It is in a divergent style of learning. Guiding course participants to identify multiple possible solutions to caring for the neurodivergence population. It also simulates learners’ critical thinking to develop communication and assessment styles that can be tailored to the different sensory needs of the neurodivergence population. It is important to realize that there is more than one style of communication when interacting with the neurodivergence population.
- Characteristics of the Learners
What is the life situation of the learners (e.g., working, family, professional goals)? What prior knowledge, experiences, and initial feelings do students usually have about this subject? What are their learning goals, expectations, and preferred learning styles?
Although this is a lower-division course, all learners must be healthcare professionals working in the emergency department. With some exposures of caring for the neurodivergence population within the past year within the emergency department. Learners must have the basic foundation of head-to-toe assessment and critical thinking skills. The course only offers different communication styles and techniques to assist learners with their head-to-toe assessment and critical thinking during challenges while providing medical care for the neurodivergence population.
- Characteristics of the Teacher
What beliefs and values does the teacher have about teaching and learning? What is his/her attitude toward: the subject? students? What level of knowledge or familiarity does s/he have with this subject? What are his/her strengths in teaching?
As a mother of two children who have autism, I have personally experienced how neurodivergence can have a significant impact on the care and support provided to individuals who have it. Unfortunately, we have faced ableism and exclusion not only in healthcare settings but also within the wider community. There is a significant gap in knowledge and understanding of what neurodivergence is, which leads to stereotyping and prejudice against the neurodivergent population. However, this prejudice is not the view of the population. With increased community awareness, knowledge, and involvement in neurodivergence, we can create a more inclusive and accessible community for the neurodivergent population. I have completed the level one certificate of the ASD caregiver program from Kinark Autism Services and attended multiple caregiver education workshops based on evidence-based practices from services such as Kinark, Kerry’s Place, 1to1 Rehab, etc. Furthermore, my major paper for my Master of Nursing program focuses on the lived experience of the caregiver (professional healthcare provider) in emergency department settings while caring for the neurodivergence population. I am also a critical care nurse in an emergency department that services different age groups, including the neurodivergence population. Creating this course allows medication professionals to provide high-quality care to the neurodivergence population during emergency visits and identify any knowledge gaps that we can improve within the medical system in Canada.
Following the Worksheet
The worksheet is an indispensable tool that provides a clear, step-by-step methodology for creating a well-structured and effective syllabus and course content. Its systematic approach helps to organize the course material logically and coherently while providing a sound justification for each step. Furthermore, it provides a comprehensive overview of the crucial topics and their relevance in the course, thus ensuring a comprehensive and cohesive learning experience. Whether you’re designing a face-to-face or online course, this versatile tool is an excellent resource that can help you achieve your teaching objectives with ease.