The Ultimate Flip: Intervention First in Teaching SLPs

There has been a lot of discussion of the “flipped classroom.” It generally refers to classroom time being focused on hands on activities while lectures and reading assignments are completed outside the classroom.  There is another flip to consider in SLP.  The flip of assessment and intervention coverage in the classroom. #slpeeps #slp2b

Flip Throw

Assessment drives intervention.  I know this.  I believe this.  It is a critical foundation for AAC practice.  You have to understand a person’s needs and skills so that you can appropriately match the technology to those needs and skills.  Does your teaching sequence have to match that though?  What I intend to explore is the idea that it doesn’t.

Let me lay out several reasons why I’m considering this change:
1.  Students don’t get enough time on intervention.  There is so much to say about assessment.  Good assessments are critical.  But if you spend too much time talking about assessment, you may run out of time in the semester to talk about intervention.
I keep hearing from students that they know a lot of how to assess, but don’t feel at all confident when it comes to intervention.  This poses a serious problem for them.
2.  Expert AAC clinicians are not linear thinkers.
3.  Students needs to not be linear thinkers and they are already set up for way too much of it.
4.  Students are already doing clinical work in intervention.  Frequently they are on either a diagnostic rotation or an intervention one, but there frequently isn’t continuity there for many reasons.
5.  Students who transition to work in the school system inherit a caseload.  Going back and doing assessment with everyone there would require reengagement of the IEP process, which takes an extended period of time and STILL requires that intervention be done in the meantime.

So how will I accomplish this?  I plan to present a case per week where there are intervention goals and activities already illustrated.  Students have access to the assessment information as well, but the focus will be on the goals, research related to the intervention technique(s) and programming/ideas for how to implement a goal in a given clinical session or in a given setting.  At least one App (probably more) will be discussed with each case.  At the end of the course after the students have had some experience seeing intervention, we will discuss assessment.  We’ll look at tests/checklists/profiles/informal methods with regard to the cases we have already discussed.  They will still be getting all the information.

I am writing this so that I commit to doing this.  I have frequently promised to do more related to intervention in my class.  Now I am publicly committing to it.  Look for future blog posts to see how it turns out or feel free to comment 🙂

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