Teaching a New Language with Technology with Dr. Katherine Rosselot

Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:20:15] And he actually did. Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. Hey, he was doing it pretty much every week. I would do a section and then turn it in to him and and. As you probably recall, it was after his death that I reached out to you to help coach me through and and to provide another layer of support that that I needed to truly persevere and and and and knock it out.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:20:50] And what I a few of these things at this time, I didn’t know the whole story when we when we first met. And I hope I handled things a little bit better if your chair.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:21:01] No, no. It was great. It’s great and and Dr. Soini, really, she was wonderful.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:21:10] That your chair, your third chair.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:21:11] Yeah, she was she was really great.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:21:15] Now Katherine, I mean, just point blank with all of this is going on, I know that folks in our audience are just wanting to know. Why didn’t you quit? What was it that you began.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:21:28] It had it had a lot to do with the therapeutic aspects of it, of being able to have that one place where nothing in my life was a part of that, you know, in terms of, you know, my thought processes and everything else was was was solely on the on the project itself, my research project. And the the other thing that was that ended up being really nice was just the fact that the I was able to do something extremely unique and I was able to when I was actually doing research to try to figure out a topic, I, I knew I wanted to do something that would integrate education technologies and nursing education because nursing. Up until literally within the last 10 years or so, they haven’t exactly embraced education technologies, but we’re we’re catching up. We really are. And that was just something that because I’m just enough of a computer geek that I enjoyed, I enjoy doing that.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:22:44] So it was actually really, really interesting. So let’s let folks in on that. So for the folks out there, they aren’t nursing educators. When nurses go to nursing school, one of the things they have to do is kind of learn a new language. Right?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:22:59] Right. And and what most people I mean, because most people can relate to this from the standpoint that they’ve been to the doctor, they’ve heard those medical terms and they’re looking at the doctor like a deer in the headlights because they you know, and that and it really is a different language from the standpoint that…


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:23:19] It’s Latin.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:23:20] All medical terminology is either based in Latin or it’s based in Greek. And the problem is, is, you know, nobody teaches the classical languages anymore with the frequency. And so as a result, it’s it’s kind of hard to to know that information.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:23:40] I’ve learned that my kids are both all three of them go to really good magnet schools. They’re not really learning about root words and prefixes and suffixes anymore. I was like, we at least learned that much Latin when I went to school. And I think it’s cool. So, yeah, it’s it’s really going away in terms of of understanding just things like what’s super or sub means.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:24:07] It’s very, very much so. And unfortunately. Nursing schools have also taken an attitude of. You’ll learn it along the way, right? And foot and that that is a form of immersion, or they they call it immersion, but when you actually do research into this, the social linguistics side of it, it’s not a true emergent immersion because of the fact if true immersion is if you were to pluck me out of Texas and put me in Mexico City and tell me that nobody can speak to me in English, that’s a true immerge immersion. Whereas sociolinguistics see it as we’re trying to actually add vocabulary to an adult learner who hasn’t been asked to add vocabulary at the volume of vocabulary that has to be learned since they were five years old. And so it’s a huge hurdle. One of the. Research articles that I came across was actually from nineteen sixty five, and it was a medical faculty of. And he was talking about medical students in their first year. Now remember this, nineteen sixty five, he figured out that a brand new medical student had to learn over sixty five thousand words in their first year of medical school.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:25:43] Well, that seems insane. I think a lot of people don’t have a sixty five thousand word vocabulary. Exactly. I don’t remember. I know people talk about, you know, vocabulary size. And I’ve heard them talk about that when they analyze president speeches and things like that. And I’m trying to remember what the numbers are. But sixty five thousand words. Yeah, it’s a little on the high side to me. I don’t know.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:26:06] Yeah. And then there’s actually been some more recent studies that talk about the academic language that’s within each profession, like it has its own academic language and various sciences have have theirs for nursing the if I was to know the entire academic language that has been identified as specific for an are saying it’s over a million words. Wow, so so it is it is an issue. But here’s where I really found the issue and where I got my inspiration was that when I was precepting new nurses into the operating room. What’s interesting is in the operating room itself, you live and die by medical terminology, right?


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:27:02] Literally.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:27:03] Literally, because what would happen is, is the doctor says, well, I’m going to be doing a open reduction, internal fixation of the femur. Then you know exactly what body part, what type of equipment you’re going to need. And you knew exactly what surgical instruments you’re going to need. You. You knew that extra precautions were going to have to be done in terms because we’re going to be opening up the bones. We had to have some different face masks and stuff like that. So it just that one thing. Told you exactly how to plan for that particular procedure, and so and if you think about the number of procedures that are typically done in any OR, that’s a lot. But you have to and you have to know exactly what is being talked about. So there are subtleties within medical terminology such as. For example, you could have a mastectomy, you could have a max, a plexi, you could have it. You see, what I’m saying is like there’s a B, but significant, right? There’s there’s a there’s suffixes that are pegasi plat plastic, plastic, Otomi and ectomy. OK, and so if you put the root words of mass for the breast right out correctly. If you didn’t know the difference between those four suffixes, it’s totally different surgeries. No, totally different surgeries.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:28:57] So so this is the big problem is that nursing students come in. They’re just like regular folks. They go into nursing school and all of a sudden they’re confronted with this, as you said, essentially a complete foreign language that is specific to being able to function as as a nurse. And what did your research do to address this problem? Because I think you took a really, really cool approach to this, which I think folks will find interesting.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:29:29] What I did was I actually had been introduced to a particular phone application that my daughter’s teachers used. And what I what I remember about that. Remembered about the application when I started researching my my topic. I discovered that the faculty can actually control whoever said, you know, it’s more the. The smartphone app is more of a platform. And and whoever is in that platform and using that platform, they get to control the information that goes into it, right. So I was able to actually put in medical terminology type of information.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:30:22] So this is how that was supposed to be, helping the person learn and build vocabulary. In the English language, but you were able to turn that into vocabulary for medical jargon, right.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:30:34] And the the other thing that’s interesting about medical terminology and incorporating it into your daily speech and professional speech, again, we’re not asking people to. Learn a whole new language, it’s this incorporation piece, right, of of being able to talk about the, you know. Dr. Jones has an appendectomy at four o’clock, and you know what all that means, that that’s very, very different because you’re throwing in these these these new foreign words into your own native language. And so that’s that’s a real problem. But one of the things that I was able to do, like I said, I put this information into the smartphone app. It was wonderful about being able to track each one of my students that participated. And I was actually able to see their progress and live in terms of, you know, what they were doing in the app and how many I could see their progress, et cetera.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:31:41] And so here’s a technology that that the the the professor, the faculty member has some control over content. The student has some control over how they’re going to use it and and improve their vocabulary. And what you are seeing in your your dissertation research was that improvement taking place in real time?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:32:03] Correct, because what happened was, is that I had the grades that the particular site that I was using, the students who were ahead of my experimental group, allowed me access to their grades. And so I was actually able to compare. Because the the nursing students who used my app used it while they were taking anatomy and physiology and nursing fundamentals, and I was able to to compare, like I said, the class ahead in terms of their anatomy and physiology, of course, grades and their nursing fundamentals class. Because the teachers were the same, the school was just there. I mean, everything was the same except the students.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:32:49] And the fact that they came in a term earlier, but very, very close to a pristine control group. You’ve got the same they’re going through essentially the same experience. And one uses the technology that you’re studying and the other. And what what did you find?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:33:12] I found that the overall averages of students between the control group, an experimental group, the experimental group, was definitely much higher. Yes, and significant enough to where you could say, yes, this is this is this made a difference. What I thought was interesting,.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:33:36] But it was not just a statistical difference that we could measure, but it was something that people would notice that if you were to ask these students how they found the experience, which is part of your research, because it was a quantitative project, the result was significant enough that those students would have probably said this was much easier.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:33:56] Well, and the other the other piece of this of this study is I actually extended it out to the next semester, which involved medical surgical one and pharmacology. What’s the next set of classes? Oh, it made a big difference in pharmacology. So what happened was, is the students had access to the program, but I found that not a whole lot of them actually used it during this. I can turn. And again, I had permission from the control group to access their their grades as well, and so we were, you know, I was able to actually show that. The knowledge had stuck.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:34:50] Yes. Yes, that’s important, right?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:34:52] I mean, that was the whole purpose, yeah, right. It wasn’t just introducing it, it was just covering it. Is this going to make a difference? And so that was that was really wonderful to find out and to actually see. The other thing that was very interesting to me was that. Because I had access to everybody’s grades, obviously, I had access to those who also failed. When you do a comparison between a control group and an experimental group, just within the failures, you could see where the the failure rate of the control group was significant and the like, their grades would be like in the 40s or the 50s. And in terms of failures, but when you looked at the experimental group and you had people who were trying to use the app but still failed, their failures were just barely underneath failing. Nobody had less than about a sixty five. So the question becomes. I mean, even so, even even in the failure rate, you see this really dramatic change.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:36:13] And to the point that you start to wonder if we implement this a little bit more, if we if we if we can make this a better a better part of the program can eliminate failures among those students who are trying. Some ofl the students are just not going to do what they need to do. And that’s unfortunate. We can’t worry with them. We can take it from a motivational standpoint to do other things, but we can’t teach them. They have to do the work. But the ones who are doing the work, can you eliminate failure rate among those? And that would be really, really amazing. I mean, that that’s a that’s a huge win if that’s possible.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:36:51] And and like I said, so what ends up happening is, is not only do we have an increase in overall academic performance, but one of the things that I would like to do is continue this research and to see if it makes a difference in terms of the passage of the actual licensing exam, because the that is how schools are judged is based on that. The other thing that I would like to include an expansion of my my work would be to look at also attrition rates. Are we are we having less attrition because the students are performing? Well, let’s face it, attrition rates are tied to failure rates.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:37:39] And the rates are something that schools like to, you know, that’s how they’re judged. Yeah, just just on its own merits. Yes. Yes. And the other point, you don’t make money is the school if you don’t have students. Exactly. Want to keep them there.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:37:55] But the nursing schools are unique in the fact that they are judged by their first time passage rates. Yes, you’re allowed to take the the license exam more than once. But in but like I said, the schools are judged by can they can you pass it the first time?


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:38:12] And it makes sense. I mean, whether you pass it the first time or not is is due in large part to what your school was able to do for you. When you get to the second taking, you’re not really interacting with the school anymore. This is something that you have done to see what your failings were. Maybe the school almost prepared you, but now it’s up to you to decide whether you get the rest of the way to passing or you don’t. It’s not schools.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:38:39] And I want to see, is there a connection between having the introduction of basic medical terminology? Does that make a difference even at the end?


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:38:50] So I think that that is like I said, it’s amazing you’ve been working with nursing students so far, have you made any efforts or any inroads into thinking about using this for medical students, for medical doctors, physicians in training?


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:39:07] What’s interesting is that. I live in the Dallas Fort Worth area, and I go to. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School for for my follow ups, etc., for my brain tumor, and I actually was talking to my radiation oncologist about it and he was like, oh, my gosh, this I need this.


Dr. Russell Strickland [00:39:33] I need this right now.


Dr. Katherine Rosselot [00:39:34] It’s so so there is there is a lot of possibility there. Another group, another organization that I just happened to be a member of is called HAPS. It’s the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. And I joined them because, again, my my my passion in health care is obviously anatomy and physiology as well as pathophysiology. And so I would I’ve actually done a present, a regional presentation for them on the research. And they were saying that any of their health care science students would actually benefit from from the program as well. So, yes. So we’re looking I am looking at expanding this. I want to also include I want to also create mixed methodology from the standpoint of getting input from the students. You know, how did they feel about it? Did they feel it was easy to use, et cetera, because that unfortunately, I did not have that in the last study?

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.