Putting Learning into Practice – Christina Davis

Name: Christina Davis, MPAS, PA-C, MBA 

Christina Davis

Title: Director of Curriculum and Assistant Professor 

Program: Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program at the University of Pittsburgh 

Program URL: https://www.shrs.pitt.edu/pashybrid  

What PAEA learning activity did you attend and when? PAEA Universal Design Intensive Workshop (August 2021) 

Would you recommend this learning activity to other members and, if so, why? I would recommend this learning activity to other members because it not only provides many specific ways to bring equity, inclusion, and connectedness into courses but also allows for the attendees to collaborate in small groups to create an action plan for implementation. 

What was your biggest takeaway/”aha” moment? The biggest takeaway moment for me was the understanding that students may require different approaches to an online learning environment and the importance of using learning design principles to create an environment that meets the needs of all students. 

Tell us about what you have put into practice because of this learning activity.  As a result of this activity, I am more intentional in the creation of my courses. I plan on checking for my students’ understanding early on, not just waiting for an assessment, and then adjusting as needed. I will be offering multiple different assessment opportunities and allowing different submission formats. To foster connection, I will be providing video feedback, since I cannot provide this feedback in person. I will also be creating takeaway summary videos. Additionally, I plan to incorporate different interaction and engagement strategies into my courses. I will assign roles during group discussions and will make a stack of notecards with each student’s name listed on one, to use when calling on students during online discussions, to foster engagement of all. Because of this activity, my courses will be more equitable and inclusive and foster better connections. 

This article is part of the Putting Learning into Practice article series. We love to feature how our members are taking what they have learned through the professional development opportunities offered by PAEA and applying it to practice. Interested in being featured? Submit your Member Story on the PAEA website.