The Online Teaching and Learning Experience

Jun 04, 2020

By Dr. Tracey Clark

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to share some of my comments after recently teaching BodyTalk Fundamentals online. Overall, I felt as though it was a very valuable way to provide BodyTalk training. It was wonderful to see so many monitors coming back to the work and to be able to provide training for people who have been trying to get to a class for some time but, due to circumstances, couldn't make it happen. In fact, I think there is a much greater capacity to reach students this way.

I had been very much against online training for a long time, as I feel that it is very important to have an interactive learning experience. I have taken a lot of online courses in both my osteopathic diploma and my course work at Quantum University. Given a chance, I would much rather be in class. However, this format really won me over.

The difference I think comes from the fact that the classes that we are offering at the moment are live, not recorded. That makes an incredible difference. Having sat in on part of Senior Instructor Claudia Schembri-Heitmann's BodyTalk Advanced Integration (BAI) course, the live format made it much easier to stay attentive to the information--even more so than in a physical class! Having taught BodyTalk Fundamentals online now, the live format is crucial, I believe. It allowed me to assess the student's understanding of the material, allowed for active questions and discussions, and allowed for breakout workshops. The breakout rooms were fantastic for the students as it allowed them to practice without the usual distractions that come from a full in-person classroom.

BodyTalk Fundamentals is not an easy class to teach live, let alone online. I found that I was exhausted at the end of the day from holding the energy of the class and from having to relay this volume of information without the physical component.

I pre-filmed videos of myself performing the techniques with accompanying instruction. That was very valuable as I embedded these into the PowerPoint presentation. It allowed the students to see the technique being performed on a client without me having to shift around in my space to demonstrate. It also meant that I didn't need to have an assistant present in the class all day. I was also able to play the video again as review if there were questions. It also gave me a short break from lecturing while the videos were playing. I was really proud of them in the end!

Students were also learning the yes/no biofeedback with a focus on their internal response, which is truly what we want them to focus on in class. When they are in a physical class setting and are using the arm for yes/no confirmation, it is often more difficult for them to focus inward, as they get distracted by the arm. They also tend to look to the arm for the shift of sensation. It was so fun to watch the students tuning in for their "yes" and "no" as they worked through their practice sessions.

The student feedback was very positive, and I feel that we bonded as a group even more than in a physical class. That was a pleasant surprise. Since they were already learning and practicing over this platform, the students had no qualms about setting up appointments with each other to practice over Zoom. That was a fantastic element of this format. The students were eagerly setting up meetings with each other to study and practice.

I have to say that I am now a convert to the value of online training. I do believe that the classes must be live in order to get the true value of the training. I also believe that this format is not for every teacher. It is not easy to bring the information across effectively while managing technology.

I also believe that students should be required to take an in-class practical when we are allowed to offer training in class once again. For Fundamentals students, this could simply mean that they monitor a class in person. I do believe that we may have found a way to reach many more students across the globe. The convenience of taking the class online means less expense for the student, greater accessibility to the training and also to other instructors. Thank you for this opportunity to teach online and to share my two cents worth!
Tracey Clark

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