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.
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.
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.
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.
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