Designing Analysis/Synthesis Courses

Designing Analysis/Synthesis Courses

Barbara A. Frey (D. Ed. University of Pittsburgh, USA), Richard G. Fuller (Robert Morris University, USA) and Gary William Kuhne (Penn State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-865-4.ch014
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Personal Reflection Suggestion

How can an instructor or course developer teach learners to think? How can you model critical thinking in your discipline? Advanced training does not necessarily teach participants how to think. Yet, thinking and analysis are highly valued skills in the workplace and classroom. As demands for problem solving, reasoning, decision making, and other cognitive process become more frequent and complex, how can we prepare our students?


Example One: Issues In Healthcare Delivery

The first example is from a course that may be titled, “Issues in Healthcare Delivery.” The perquisite knowledge for this analysis/synthesis course is from an introductory course on the U.S. healthcare system. The description for the course may look something like the following:

Course Description

This course is an examination of the international healthcare delivery systems and will spotlight the major trends, issues, and problems challenging policy makers and healthcare professionals. Topics includes the structure, finance, and management of healthcare services and the role of healthcare professionals.

Healthcare is a complex, dynamic subject with many influences and challenges. The course objectives may include some of following:

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the complexity and diversity of international healthcare systems.

  • Assess healthcare issues as they relate to their own professional discipline or area of competence.

  • Analyze a country’s healthcare system based on that country’s level of development and socio-political system.

  • Rationalize and advocate legislative and policy initiatives which will serve to affect the healthcare delivery system.

The topics for a course may include:

  • Public and private financing in healthcare

  • Management and international healthcare

  • Quality assessment and improvement

  • Outcome measurements and use

  • Managed care

  • International healthcare

  • Healthcare reform

  • Labor management issues

Let’s look at an online example lesson from the course “Issues in Healthcare Delivery.” Prior to the start of the week, the instructor may post the following announcement:

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