Summary of Learning

Well that is a wrap on another course! Thank you to all that contributed to my learning over this short semester and good luck on the rest of your education!

Below is my summary of learning of what I learned over the course of the semester!

Course Walkthrough – Mental Wellness 30

In reflecting on my journey through developing a module for Mental Wellness 30 I am proud of what I have accomplished in a mere 3 weeks of time. I have managed to provide students with accessibility tools, interactive lessons, and variance in my lessons that have audio as well as text. I have attempted to provide an online community in an asynchronous course that did not come without some frustrations, while wracking my brain to accomplish the best atmosphere for my students to learn in. I am happy with the process of my course and feel as though it will be very beneficial to the youth that “walk through the doors” of my classroom. I was able to produce eight weeks of material over the course of the class, and it is by no means perfect I have a starting point that can be changed as I learn more about my students. I hope to learn more about enabling a community for online learners as well as further my learning on accessibility tools for students.

I was not able to attend the last class of the course, however I received some positive feedback through the duration of the course from my blog posts. One of the pieces of feedback I received was on my Lumi video and to write “click here” when the student was to complete a task throughout the video. I implemented that in my Lumi video to make these aspects more noticeable to the student. Another aspect was regarding community of online learning where my peer suggested to make all blogs seen through the class as opposed to just the individual and the student. I, however, did not change this aspect as students may be sharing some sensitive material where they would be less likely to engage in blog at hand. That being said there are still four blogs that are seen as a class to help promote that sense of community as well as allowing students to learn from one another. I received a lot of positive feedback from my peers that allowed me to improve my course modules.

Here is a link to my course walkthrough: Course Walkthrough – Mental Wellness 30

If you have any thoughts on my course I would love to hear from you!

Community in Online Learning

How do you build community online? Online community is difficult to build online as opposed to in the classroom, but there is importance to building an online learning community as well. An online community is allowing students to engage and gain knowledge with each other and promote active participation within the online platform. I would argue that community is harder to grasp in an online learning platform, but is essential as there is “potential for students to feel isolated and alone” according to K Patricia Cross Academy article 6 Strategies for Building Community in Online Courses.

Community Within Mental Wellness

  1. I have set up a blog page within the course framework where they are incorporated into the lesson or direct learnings/lead up to the topic at hand. In Bates’ article, they describe the need for blogs or discussion to be core component of teaching materials, otherwise students see these forums or blogs as secondary and perhaps even optional. I have included blogs that are individual (only I see them) and class blogs that others can learn from students and comment on other people’s blogs to promote a sense of community. I find this is a slippery slope in Mental Wellness as not all blogs can be public to the class, and if they were all public students would not fully reflect or engage in the prompt at hand. Therefore, it is hard to develop a online community with sensitive material students do not want to share, and the course is fully asynchronous with the exception of check-ins once a week.

2. Students have a check-in meeting weekly to address any concerns, questions, conversations they wish to engage in. The population of students that attend check-in meetings will be a small number if students are asynchronously learning, as well as have different schedules within their own base schools, therefore students are not always able to attend at specific times when those times work in the instructors schedule. That being said, the small group of students that can meet at that time will be able to develop their sense of community with other learners in the classroom as I will ask or voice a prompt for students to engage in, in a small group setting and then discuss as a whole group. Are check-ins are done through Microsoft Teams where students that don’t feel comfortable using their voice can still engage with the chat feature.

3. Jamboard – I have created a Jamboard for students to collaborate and learn from others viewing other student responses. However, this platform only enables students to form a sense of community within their comfortability level. Students will be given a prompt to discuss on the Jamboard and must comment on other students posts, and all posts will be anonymous in order for students to feel more willing to share with their peers.

These ideas are starting points to build a sense of community online, but there are more platforms I can use in order to help students connect collaboratively and learn from one another. Alternatively, within an asynchronous online class there feels to be restrictions as to how collaborative you can make your course shell, and the question that remains is will their be buy in from your students. I find that a lot of the students that are learning online are avoiding peer interaction all together, and one student did not show up to class for two months after he was put in a break out room with other students. I will leave you with a final question, how do we promote a sense of community within online platforms with taking into consideration the students that struggle to learn in these types of environments and do not want to have peer interaction?

Accessibility For All

First off, I learned new ideas and ways of looking at how accessible our courses/lessons are surrounding accessibility. Which, in turn, allowed me to reflect on how accessible my module on Mental Wellness is. One aspect I would like to look into and understand better is screen readers on various different platforms, in an effort to see what they need to operate to their full potential for students and which screen readers do the better job. When I worked at SECPSD our technology gurus really liked the screen reader from Microsoft Edge, however Blackboard operated better through Chrome. How do we bridge this divide of one platform working better via Chrome verses the better screen reader through Edge? Throughout my course I have links that open in new tabs which screen readers have a hard time navigating. The reason I have them opening up in a new tab is because it is more accessible for me when teaching, but not for students that are dependent on screen readers for learning. I will have to adapt this aspect in my module.

Regarding accessibility, I am going to input a landing page that directs students to different tools they could use to allow their education to be more equitable. If you have any suggestions on which tools I should put on the landing page I am all ears! Which tools do you use the most? What is your go to? By providing students with tools at their fingertips and teaching students about these tools will help each learner reach their full potential. I think it is essential to prepare students with online tools for not just their courses, but for future uses in their job settings perhaps.

Reflecting on my module of Mental Wellness, I need to be cognizant of type sizes, alternative text, text of high contrast, ensuring links are properly labeled, changing the size of any targets that need to be clicked, and being aware of the reading level the as well as difficult or unusual terms are eliminated or defined. Within my course I frequently have “click here” as opposed to listing the link, therefore accessibility is lacking for students that need to use screen readers. Another aspect I will have to change is the size of the targets that students must click, as they are the same size as the rest of the text. When I created my Lumi video, I embedded one of the questions to have dragging features. In an effort to provide an accessible learning environment for all, I must be aware of how this drag feature could be restricting to some learners and to ensure that these words could also be clicked as opposed to dragging them (one of my classmates tested this in Lumi and they can also click words). Lastly, I will need to embed alternative text for some of the pictures that are within the course. Full disclosure, I had no idea what alternative text was until Tuesday’s class. These are just some of the many aspects I will need to change and be aware of when ensuring my course is accessible and equitable for all learners.

Education has changed immensely over the last 10 years, especially with technology and diversity in the classroom. One of the aspects our group spoke about was the cuts in the classrooms and the class composition becoming more diverse. There are a lot of moving pieces in order to ensure all students in the classroom have all the tools for them to reach their full potential. For myself over the years this is becoming trickier and trickier to accomplish. For my learning process in equity and accessibility, this is just one more aspect I have to think about for my students. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that accessibility and equity for all students is the priority of the teacher, but the diversification is getting higher within the classroom setting and teachers are burning out.

Tools I can incorporate to help accessibility and equitability in online learning

Brief overview of Google Read and Write
  • Google for Education – Google offers a wide range of tools to help with accessibility regarding vision, hearing or cognitive. One of the tools that Google offers is Google Lens where it helps enable high-contrast, screen readers and dictation help people who are blind or low-vision access information and collaborate.
  • Blackboard Learn – has a screen reader embedded into the platform, as well as a whole website page on accessibility

Now that I have had my eyes opened to the needs for accessibility within the online and blended platform specifically, I will be more cognizant when I develop my material for students. That being said, diversity within the classes will change every semester where I am sure I will learn about new needs to promote accessibility and equitability in the classroom.

Creating Interactive Content with Lumi – 5 Dimensions of Health

Lumi is an interactive tool using H5P technology that allows you to use existing YouTube videos or create your own content to make them more interactive for the learner. This is the first time I have heard or engaged with Lumi and the task was a bit daunting at first, but after reviewing the tutorial Lumi was straightforward and easy to embed the interactive tools. I had a few challenges while creating my Lumi video. One of the challenges was learning how to operate each of the tools offered and how they worked on the platform. Another challenge was the timing, as I had to pause the video at the exact time the speaker stopped speaking or when it moved to another slide. Getting the timing correct was the most time consuming part of creating the interactive video.


For this module, I decided to start with the basic dimensions of health as an introduction to mental wellness. I decided to start here because in the first week of course work we will be investigating and learning about the dimensions of health, as well as the dimensions students need to focus more on or which is lower than others. The first week of lessons will be simplistic in nature to get students used to using the online learning platform. Again, my goal of mental wellness is not to overwhelm and stress out students as that is not helping their own mental wellness.

  • Lesson 1: So what is mental health anyway?? – First students will watch an introductory/welcome video on the course and what mental health involves. Secondly, will be the Lumi video on the 5 Dimensions of Health that is an introduction to the requirements for the assignment – Wellness Inventory.
  • Lesson 2: Wellness Inventory completion
  • Lesson 3: Medicine wheel introduction – video introduction, visual of the medicine wheel, and description from We Matter.
  • Lesson 4: Create your own wellness/medicine wheel based on your wellness inventory
  • Lesson 5: Create your own wellness/medicine wheel based on your wellness inventory

QR Code & Link – Lumi video

Below is a QR code to access my Lumi video or click here for the link.

I hope you all enjoy the interactive video, and if you have any suggestions or insight for improvement I would like to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

Course Profile

Course Overview

I am developing an online asynchronous course for Mental Wellness 30 which will cover eight weeks worth of material. The course will touch on, but not fully analyze nine outcomes as there is some overlap in this locally developed curriculum which is an elective for high school students.

This course will focus on Mental Wellness and within there will be 8 weeks of material delivered to students.  We will cover various learning outcomes over the course of eight weeks such as PSK.1, PSK.2, PSK.3, PSK.5, EPGM.1, P1.1, P1.2, P 2.1, P3.1.  We will explore mental wellness where they will have to do their own wellness inventory as well as a medicine wheel/wellness wheel aiding in the cultural aspect of First Nations youth in school, as they learn about the dimensions of wellness and the meaning of the medicine wheel. We will also touch on biases and stigma that is present in mental health, giving allowance for students to understand their own biases and stigma as well as identify it in society. Additionally, there will be incorporation of media (current events), screen time and sleep and how all these factors affect our own mental wellness. We will look to individual support in their own communities and understand the differences between intervention and prevention. Lastly, we will scratch the surface of coping strategies for mainly stress and anxiety while differentiating between worry and anxiety.

Target Student Population and Demographics

The target student population for the course is grade 11 & 12 students from all across the division. This course will suit the needs of students that require flexibility within their schedules, as well as providing equitability to students in small schools as they do not have the resources to offer a substantial amount of classes. Students should be self-driven, responsible and self-learners as this course will be taught asynchronously with weekly lessons to be completed in a timely manner.  Students must have access to technology and internet access to access and complete the course requirements. Although I do not know the exact demographics of my students, as it varies every semester, based on other years there will be varying races, cultures, ages, abilities, and socio-economic status. I try to ensure there is less reading in the course and more videos for students that learn better that way, as well as reaching out to students that learn better with text there is captions on each video. One year I had a dyslexic student, which made me be more aware of inclusivity and differentiation within the courses I have taught.

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Course Format

The format of the course will be scaffolded into weeks as opposed to lessons as the course will be accessible in an online format that is purely asynchronous learning. Students have once a week help sessions where I review the week for a hour and can set up individual meetings or can reach out via email and Teams chat.

Course Toolset

I will be using Blackboard for my LMS.

There will be a variety of other instructional tools I will use such as: Group discussions via blogs, YouTube, word cloud (worditout), Jamboard, Canva videos.


All assignments will be summative, and some will be just a quick participation mark to ensure all students are on the right track and keeping up with the course. I find from previous teaching experiences online that if you do not have completion marks the work will not be examined by students. Assignments will consist of a wellness wheel, wellness inventory, reflections, blogs, circle of support, case study, poems, worksheets, current events assignment, word cloud, Jamboard and a research project. 

Course Content/Learning Outcomes

  • PSK 1 Compare the historical evolution and development of the study of mental health and wellness from different cultural perspectives
  • PSK 2 Analyze negative stigmas around mental illness and use appropriate terminology from different cultural perspectives to promote positive change.
  • PSK 3 Discriminate the factors that affect the mental wellbeing of individuals and explain consequences on their health.
  • PSK 5 Appraise one’s personal mental wellness.
  • EPGM 1 Connect gained knowledge with others through proactive practices.
  • P 1.1 – Primary Prevention  Explore current issues and events that impact the mental wellness of others for positive change.
  • P 1.2 – Primary Prevention  Incorporate action within the local community to direct positive change for the community’s mental well-being.
  • P 2.1 – Secondary Prevention  Discover the symptoms and treatments of selected mental health issues and disorders.
  • P 3.1 – Tertiary Prevention  Justify different individual interventions for individual use and positive change.

Considerations for Common Concerns

Technology issues/Socioeconomic Status: Embedded in the course are links to Blackboard online help as well as access to their teacher to help navigate these issues. I will use Loom to give instructional videos to help students with technology issues they may be having. I will embed common problems that students have in the format of “how to” videos. Students can also get technology from their school division or base school if their technology becomes unusable. That being said, I cannot possibly have videos for all tech issues, however problems will be navigated when they are presented in a timely fashion. If students do not have access to technology they will be given a computer from the school division they are in so they have equitable opportunities for learning online. The problem of navigating socioeconomic status’ is a tricky endeavor. Therefore, weekly lessons will set up so that all students can access technology and internet access from their school and finish the work within the allotted time (5 hours per week). If students require more time to do their activities and do not have access to the internet at home I will combine assignments to make them shorter in length to help these students. My goal is to have success for all students regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Attendance: Attendance in an ongoing issue for asynchronous online classes, especially because teachers don’t have access to theses students in a physical setting. There are supervising teachers in every school which I will contact weekly if students are not completing coursework in a timely fashion. Students that are base students to the online school are harder to contact if they have poor attendance, but parents will be contacted weekly to help with regular attendance in the course. That being said, sometimes students still slip through the cracks depending on their home life.

Photo by Yan Krukau on

Cultural Considerations: Authentically placed where possible are Indigenous perspectives, for example, the medicine wheel and explanations of the elements of the wheel. I encourage all blog/reflections to incorporate a part of their culture as well as embedding various different coping skills that are representative of their own personal cultures.

EAL Learners: With an online asynchronous course it is harder to adapt everything for EAL learners, although I am very conscientious of their learning abilities and what they require to ensure equal opportunity. Within the course content I suggest interactive readers and videos have open captions in order for them to be able to see the words as opposed to just hearing them. I encourage all learners to reach out to me via email or Teams chat if they require further explanation where I will set up a individual meeting . I can teach students to use a variety of online tools such as text to speech translation tools. I could also create a community within the course so students can get help from their peers to help with their understanding and learning.

Course Rationale

I am creating this online course to serve small schools that do not have the resources to teach Mental Wellness 30.  This course will be taught asynchronously fully online and will serve to help students with their own mental wellness, as well as not limiting those students that are in a small school where they will not have access to the course.  We have seen an increase in the need for mental health resources across the province especially after COVID, therefore if this course is not offered online, we are not delivering or providing educational means to address the growing concern in our youth.

Link to ADDIE Template

Blog #2 – Course Development Introduction

What content/topic have you chosen for your course development assignment?

Mental Wellness

For my course development I have decided to create an online course for Mental Wellness to be taught at the high school level (grades 11 & 12) asynchronously. I decided to create this module(s) because there is a demand and a need for youth to learn about their own mental wellness, as well as to break down the stigma and learn about various different mental illnesses. I find that the students I teach struggle with their own mental health and need coping skills and knowledge to aid them in their own mental health journey. The goal is to help small schools that do not have the resources to also offer the course in their own schools through the online platform provided through Blackboard.

Insight into why I have chosen this topic and what the topic entails. What are the major learning outcomes?

As previously stated, small schools do not have the resources or the staff to teach much more than the cores in their own school settings, therefore if the course Mental Wellness is offered solely online it can outreach many more students within the school division. Furthermore, mental health in youth is apparent especially after the pandemic as anxiety, depression and social withdrawal have seem to be at an all-time high (perhaps they always were?). By fully offering this course online allows for a more equitable learning experience for all students that is not dependent on their location. This sample course will include an introduction to mental wellness where they will have to do their own wellness inventory as well as a medicine wheel/wellness wheel aiding in the cultural aspect of First Nations youth in school, as they learn about the dimensions of wellness and the meaning of the medicine wheel. We will also touch on biases and stigma that is present in mental health, giving allowance for students to understand their own biases and stigma as well as identify it in society. Additionally, there will be incorporation of media (current events), screen time and sleep and how all these factors affect our own mental wellness. We will look to individual support in their own communities and understand the differences between intervention and prevention. Lastly, we will scratch the surface of coping strategies for mainly stress and anxiety while differentiating between worry and anxiety. If I were to further develop this course, I would look at mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression and substance use and how they affect individuals to help alleviate stigma and promote understanding.

Why do you feel that this content will work well in a blended/online format OR why do you feel that there is a need for offering this content in a blended/online format?

I feel that not only giving access to all students across the province to provide equitability, but that students will perhaps be more willing to share and fully engage in their mental wellness journey by not feeling judged or criticized by their peers or people in the school that they know well. Seeing as though the course will be offered fully online and asynchronously where they do not have to engage in discussion with their peers or teacher will allow them to understand and hopefully find what they need to aid in their own mental health. The course work will include projects, blogs and worksheets where students can feel comfortable with the material they share as only the teacher can see their blogs etc.

I am excited to create a portion of this course as I will be teaching the material in the fall. I hope the mental wellness course will help students with their own mental health as well as breaking down the confines of stigma and biases that are present in our society. Feel free to comment with any suggestions of topic incorporations you feel is important to youth mental health. I look forward to your input!


Hi everyone!

Regarding online learning, there are a number of challenges to provide differentiated instruction based on student need.  The reason I find differentiated instruction challenging is because you cannot just walk around the classroom and see a student struggling with the material and provide the tools, they need to be successful, rather you must either wait for them to submit their assignment or complete whiteboard problems as a group (or other platforms) to see their abilities.  However, not all students either participate in the in-class activities or they do not submit their assignments, therefore it is hard to understand the needs of each student.  Students, especially in small schools, have access to more options of courses when they also learn online, as small schools do not have the resources to provide much more than the cores in their schools.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both online and blended learning, but it is important to understand which students can be successful within these platforms of learning.