Spring Term DC Student Blog No. 4

Tips from Dr. Lester Partna and Dr. Cortny Williams

By: Caitlin Jones, Q7 UWS doctor of chiropractic and sports medicine student

If you’re a current University of Western States (UWS) doctor of chiropractic (DC) student, don’t forget to check out the course “Navigating Your Spring Term DC Courses” that you’ve been enrolled in via webCampus! There are a ton of great tips including a “Quick Guide” created by student services. They reiterate much of the advice our professors are giving us along with other helpful tidbits!

And to help you succeed even more, here is some advice from Dr. Partna and Dr. Williams.


Q&A No. 1

Dr. Lester Partna, chiropractic sciences associate professor

How are you adapting your lecture material for online learning?

Instructors have been using a number of different formats to deliver material for their lecture courses. I started off by using Panopto recordings supplemented by optional Zoom meetings. Hopefully, this allows for the clearest presentation of the material and gives some flexibility to the students for convenient viewing times. The optional follow-up Zoom meetings provide an opportunity for discussion and questions about the material.

Do you have any recommendations for how students can succeed in your class this term?

I recommend staying up-to-date with the material and not falling behind in viewing the lectures and reading the notes. I think that attending the Zoom meetings is also helpful, even for those who don’t have pending questions.

With labs being postponed, are there any at-home, hands-on activities that students can do to help reinforce your material?

This is the most difficult question. Students could definitely work on impulse drills and other things that they learned back in their adjustive skills class. I’m hesitant to recommend that students—at least those who are third through seventh quarters—practice adjustive setups unsupervised. Without appropriate instructor supervision and feedback, I would be worried that students might develop bad habits that would have to be corrected later.

That being said, I think that it might be beneficial for sixth quarter students to look through the adjustment videos for my sixth quarter cervical class and become familiar with the names of the adjustments and what they look like. That might speed up the process of learning those adjustments when we’re back in class again. The only drawback to that idea is that we might have to abbreviate the number of adjustments that we teach due to the contracted amount of time that we will have to teach them, and any pre-class preparation might go unrewarded.


Q&A No. 2

Dr. Cortny Williams, basic sciences professor

How are you adapting your lecture material for online learning? 

I chose to give all my lecture hours as synchronous, because I believe that having structure and purpose in a day promotes wellness. I use Panopto webcast, a live recording that allows discussion forum postings during the lecture for Q&A. After the webcast, I open a Zoom session so that we can have an interactive discussion that begins with polling questions and dives into open-ended questions to explore the material.

Do you have any recommendations for how students can succeed in your class this term?

My learners need to embrace self-directed learning and be open to asking questions and providing feedback when the learning outcomes or directions for tasks are not clear. Students need to be prepared to do the work. My expectations for learning did not change with the transition online. I did alter the way we engage with the material by removing high-stakes exams and creating essay assignments instead.

With labs/team recitation being postponed, are there any at-home, hands-on activities that students can do to help reinforce your material?

I have been trained in online team-based learning and I am excited to use my new skills! My course is entirely online this term. I refer to preparation in question two to help learners reinforce the material.

And for fun, what did you do during the quarter break?

I have two daughters and I have become a third grade teacher, a sixth grade teacher, a maestro and a physical education (PE) coach! My favorite is PE time because rain or shine, we go outside and run around our neighborhood and do calisthenics in the driveway full of laughter. This is a very special time for me, because I have an opportunity to engage with my family and develop our relationships in so many new ways.  

Next time, we’ll hear from Dr. Mia Crupper and Dr. Beth Dominicis!