May 2, 2007

The technology-enhanced learning tools selected for the pain module were Wimba Voice Tools, a videotaped case, and a brief discussion board exercise. The "aha! moment" during development was when Wimba Voice Tools were introduced. Adding vocal qualities to an online discussion seemed to generate honesty and openness; there was a spontaneity with the tool that elicited sharing. While using the voice tools, we tried scripting the response and it fell flat, void of emotion. Unscripted talking seemed to personalize the sharing. When we demonstrated the tool for the project, it was apparent that many participants seemed comfortable responding to personal questions. Also, listening to others' responses on the Wimba tool was enjoyable and elicited an emotional response in the listeners.

The videotaped case was of a young woman who talked about pain from her own experience. She was a student in the program and the presentation became a student-to-student listening event. Rather than a list of "how to talk to people in pain" rules, the case sensitized students by presenting the techniques within the story. The use of a videotaped case had several advantages: You can edit the video and control the content displayed, video is able to capture the emotion, students can replay the video, you do not need a guest speaker every year, and there seemed to be a greater ease for the guest who may not have been comfortable in front of a class.

Along with the online content on pain, there were three readings: one technical; one from a novel, The Gift of Pain; and a textbook chapter on interventions to use with clients in pain. A discussion board question served as a brief forum on strategies for alleviating pain. Students returned to using the Wimba Voice Tools at the conclusion of the module to explore attitudes that were reinforced or altered by the learning experience.

In designing the learning experience, after selecting the teaching/learning elements in the modules, the decisions were around the order in which the elements would be presented.