Headed Towards a COVA Approach in Respiratory Care Education

Class of 2021 observing a Neonate Baby being shipped out to Houston, TX from a local facility.

I was not aware before I began the Master’s Program in Digital Learning and Leading at Lamar University Online that I would be allowed to create my own learning through choice, ownership, voice and authenticity. I thought it would be the usual type of learning, where you would write paper after paper and read this book for continuous research that is expected from you in master’s programs.

I did college a little different than most of the other students in the program with me. I originally went to undergraduate school for Agriculture Development where little choice was ever provided. We were expected to learn exactly how the professor taught it and regurgitate the learning for the exams. I graduated with my BS in Ag Development in 2005 and was not sure what I wanted to do with my degree at that time. It was hard to find jobs locally or set in on a career in our town. Therefore, I went back to school for Respiratory Therapy and finished in 2013. Once again, my instructors left little choice in our learning. It was following the guidelines built by the instructors or you will fail. I enjoyed both programs regardless, but respiratory I enjoyed the most when I was at clinical and being able to be on my own and make choices on how to treat my patient.

Quickly, I realized in Concepts of Ed Tech that I could choose, ownership, and voice though my assignment. I have never been allowed to choose my own platform to create a presentation. Through COVA/CSLE we were given choice right away to choose the way we wanted to learn.


In past college programs or course I would have never been allowed to decide which website I would like to use to create my profile. They would have made it a standard for all students to have the same website and the guidelines you must follow. I think back to my first assignment that I created with PowToon; I believe that had to be the hardest video/assignment I submitted in the program. First off it was my very first video I ever created, I have made many presentations via power point but never through you tube or a website like this, I was so nervous. I remember stressing so hard over what to do, what was wanted from me, and if it was good enough. I have been so accustomed to following a rubric and doing what is required. And the rubric from the DLL program is so broad. But it made me really work harder for it and think beyond my norm. 

I was not ready for this type of learning at all.  I had to adjust my learning style and mine to a different thought process. I had to remember that being allowed the COVA approach is what I have been needing to do for my students. Therefore, I need to learn how it works for myself before, presenting to them. It has not easy to be in control of my learning, it took a whole different mindset to allow this to happen. Therefore, I believe reading Mindset: The new psychology of success, helped me look into myself and how I, my students, and my family learned. Looking into the learners mindset helped me look at my program as a whole and where it needed to be and how it should grow.

After looking at my mindset I then had to review if my learning philosophy was open to these new ideas. We were asked to review the different philosophy’s of learning and look at what we were grown up learning and how we believe we teach or learn. I believe that I have a more open and growth mindset when it comes to my learning and teaching styles. Through, the research I realized my learning was more of a constructivist view. It has aligned with my innovation plan and goals I have for my program. The constructivist view allows for the student to have that COVA/CSLE approach that I am looking for in the future.

My program has been lacking new innovating ideas to engage the learner. Since, starting this program I have found new ways to attract students to our program as well as, engage the learners that are in our current program. Such as, implementing quizlet live for reviews before exams, using pear deck for lectures, and applying kahoot for practice or fun. I have received great feedback from them and how my changes our helping them learn. 

I believed in my innovation plan and was convinced it was the best for my program at the time. I did not really understand the other ideas that were out there at the time. I am not sure if this was because I was new to teaching or it was due to the lack of understanding. I did not know that I had already started working towards flipped classroom, before I beginning the DLL program but I was not sure there was an actual term. This is where I lacked in my training in education and why I chose a master’s in education, so I am unsure why I did not put my research into flipped classroom. But I believe everything I am doing is authentic and my plans are working for my students. I still believe that my implementation video does show what I ultimately want for my students through e-portfolios.

I believe that the COVA approach works great for programs such as the education, core studies, and subjects. It can be somewhat of a challenge when implementing it into a health careers program that is aligned by national or state board exams. I have started to instill it in one of my course projects and slowly incorporating it with my students. For instance, my students in their first semester of instruction are given a group project over a respiratory protocol. The only instruction they are given is their group assignment, respiratory protocol, develop a youtube video that shows how this protocol will be instructed or used on a patient. Everything else is left up to them. Rather if they want to use a manikin, live patient, a narrator, and the equipment or therapy they decided to use. They then are to present it to the class for the other instructors and students to view for feedback. They have really enjoyed this opportunity they have been given. Other than this presentation at the moment, I usually can only allow them choice in their clinical experiences.  I plan to incorporate this slowly and more in the future as I continue to create more authentic projects for my students.

The hopes for the future of the program is to head to a more COVA/CSLE approach, except I am not over the program at the moment and I can only instill in certain courses at the moment. The program director is retiring in the Spring and there is hopes that I will be up for the position post graduation. I am hoping that I can incorporate most of my learning then. I hope to allow my students to a certain point to create their own learning through their voice. I am beginning through simulations and clinical projects. Next, I hope to do so in my other courses throughout the next year. Even though, my students are required to pass their boards via a multi choice exam they could still have the power of COVA. 


Harapnuik, D. (2019). Whycsle+cova. 10/27/19.

Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=7050

Harapnuik, D. (2013, April 5). Fixed vs. Growth Mindset = Print vs Digital Information Age.

10/25/19. Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?p=3267.

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