Faculty Stories: Kathy Paukert


Describe what you are trying to accomplish with the specific project or teaching practice featured here.

To make my grading clearer – so students understand exactly how I’m grading and then come in and look at next steps. So if they get a certain grade and it’s not a passing grade then what do they do next.

This semester (fall, 2020) is just unique anyway. I am more mindful about putting more information into the section of Medical Documentation. Other semesters, students meet with me for two hours a week. Obviously this semester that didn’t happen but there were still fewer questions from students, like “What do you want on this?” “What is that supposed to look like?” “Where do I find this?” This semester, given the semester that it is, there are still fewer questions on how to navigate through an assignment.


What technology/tools are you using in this project or teaching practice? What is the role of the technology in this project or teaching practice?

I started doing short little PowerPoints. I would grade everybody’s work and I was making notes as I went along of things that I saw over and over again. I would make a PowerPoint out of that. And then I would voice it, I would say, “Okay, this is my feedback to everybody…”

(Click on the image below to watch a sample feedback video.)

“You know, I saw this…” “Remember you don’t want to do that.” “Don’t use abbreviations that nobody knows.” You know, those kinds of things. I did that several times and students loved it. Like they loved, number one, that they weren’t being singled out. And the ones that hadn’t made that mistake – maybe they were like, “you know, I never thought about that. I could add it to my documentation when I do it next.”

So more information and then doing that feedback like that to say you’re just kind of giving them their reminders like “don’t do this. You might make sure you do this.” I did them as a group feedback and I made it very clear that even though I might use examples that I’m not pointing anybody out. I’m not singling anybody out.

I also started embedding the syllabus and course materials in D2L. So I use the HTML templates for those. I love them, especially for the syllabus. It’s just so nice because then it just all imports. I’m now working on next semester’s courses and I just imported in and I just go in there and just change a couple of things. And then like boom – done. Same thing for the course materials – done.

I wish I could structure all of my courses the same. So then when a student took one of my courses, they would know already. You hopefully give them an advantage, instead of a disadvantage, of trying to learn another class and how to navigate through it. If you know our students when they come in in a fall semester, if all of my courses or could be structured the same way, they only have to figure out my courses and Sherry’s courses. That’s it.


How does this project or practice influence student learning?

The goal is to help students improve. Those students that took the time to go through that feedback – their work was better, like the next week. So if you’re talking about trying to kind of figure out a comparison between last semester and the changes that I implemented this semester, it’s been huge for this semester, even though this is like one of the worst semesters probably ever going to have.

Once I found out that everything was going to go online, I just started thinking I have to be in more contact with these students. So how do I have more contact with the students so they can understand what I’m looking for – and what industry is going to be looking for when they go out and they start documenting and patient charts?

I redesigned the course so the whole front of the course is actual chapters in a textbook that go along with this. So it was learning that content – just learning what documentation is. And then the worksheets to practice scenarios – how you would document that. Some of that included my feedback videos. And now this last half of the semester, they’re all working in an electronic health record.

So they have three activities each week that they have to complete in this electronic health record. And then now what I’m doing is more individual feedback saying, “you know, you don’t have demographic information with this patient. How would you ever register them without it?” Even though they’re all doing the same work, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from students, saying that those feedback videos really helped.


What comments have you received from students about this project or practice relative to their learning? Do you have a direct quote from a student or students that addresses this?

I wish students would give more feedback would give more input. I probably had four or five students that emailed specifically and said that feedback really helped or, when they submit their next week’s work, they’ve said I listened to that feedback video before I did these assignments and thank you for doing that because I feel I did better this time. And there’s been some verbal stuff too – like “thank you so much for posting that because it made this week’s work so much easier and I didn’t know if I was doing it right. And now I feel like I’m doing it right because you did that feedback.”

So the feedback from the students that have given it has been good, which is a positive. I think I’m going to put in a survey of some sort to get more feedback from them.


How has this project or practice changed the way you teach, or made your teaching better?

It has made less work for me.

Even though I’ve done more work [in the course design], I actually have less work. I have fewer emails coming to me saying “what is this? How do I do that? I don’t get it.” It has still made all that kind of additional work less. Even though I’m doing more work recording those feedback videos and putting feedback into each of the drop boxes when they’re doing this electronic record, it’s actually been less work for me because like I said, the students that truly do listen to the feedback and apply it – their work is better. So now I’m not commenting, other than saying, “nice job

But also, I feel better for the students. Because I feel now, like, oh my god, like they’re getting it. Yeah, you know, the students truly honestly are getting it and they’re getting something out of this course versus trudging through this course, not knowing what they even learned or why they are doing this.


How does this project or practice relate to assessment in your course(s)? How do you assess whether the project or practice has been successful/useful in the above areas – such as impact on student learning?

I’ve noticed that I’m giving more full points. I’m giving away more full points than I was last semester and every other semester before that. So I’m assuming that’s due to the more upfront explanation. The feedback on the things that I saw in the work this week, like this is really good. But, you know, we get, we need to work on this. So yes, I’m giving more full points for students now than I was ever in the past.

Way more “good job and nice work.” “Nice complete documentation” – that kind of stuff. So it’s been good. And actually I hate grading, but it’s been easier, and then there are several students now who really all I have to do is just skim it. I don’t have to do this big, in-depth look because they’ve been doing such stellar work for the last several weeks. When they submit, I’m looking for some key things that I want to make sure are in there and then I move to the next student.