On this page, you will find suggested prompts for blog posts. Remember that a post may be take many forms. You may choose to create something very different for any of the suggested prompts: an image, a poster, a video, a mind map…the possibilities are endless. Regardless of what you choose to create, you will post it (or a link to it) on your own website, and be sure to check the category “vcucamh3” so that it will show up on our course blog site. Below are suggestions for starting points. Your first post should come from one of the prompts in the “First post options” category below. The final post is required by all VCU students registered for the course. All other posts may come from either the “First post options” or the “General course posts” categories.

[toggle title_open=”First post options” title_closed=”First post options” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]Reasons for taking the course, goals and expectations: We often do not think too hard about why we take a course or our goals and expectations for a course in which we are enrolled. Why did you sign up for this course? What are your own goals for the course? What are your expectations, of yourself, of me, and of your peers?

Perspectives on CAM: We all come to a subject with thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and whether or not they are directly related to the subject matter, they may influence our perspectives on the subject at hand. What perspectives are you bringing to the subject of complementary & alternative medicine?

Placebo effect: Before you go exploring, think about what you know about this topic already and what questions you have about it. This will help guide your search for information. Include some of this information in your post, along with what you learned, any conclusions you have drawn, and any lingering questions you have about it.

History & origins of modern western medicine: Before you go exploring, think about what you know about this topic already and what questions you have about it. This will help guide your search for information. Include some of this information in your post, along with what you learned, any conclusions you have drawn, and any lingering questions you have about it.

Scientific Method: What is the scientific method, and how is it applied in health care fields?

[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”General course posts” title_closed=”General course posts” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]Experience of CAM: Choose a CAM therapy and go experience it! Or, if you have experienced CAM in the past, tell me (or us) about it!  You may choose to write about it or present it to the class.  If you choose to experience something new, you should discuss the therapy you choose with your health care provider/s before experiencing it.

Interview a CAM practitioner:  Find a CAM therapy practitioner and interview him/her about the practice – you might wonder how and why they got into it, how they approach clients/patient cases, personal philosophy of practice, training required to be a practitioner, knowledge of evidence behind their practice, and any other questions of interest to you. In your paper or presentation, summarize your interaction with this practitioner. Would you consider experiencing this CAM therapy, and with this practitioner or another, and why?

Viewpoints: CAM as a subject and topics within the scope of CAM can be looked at from various perspectives and sometimes be controversial. Choose a topic and find more than one perspective on it. Which viewpoint do you find more compelling, and why? What has changed about how you felt or thought about the topic you chose since you explored different perspectives?

Explore more deeply: Choose a CAM topic not addressed or an aspect of a CAM therapy not explored in depth and teach us about it. What interested you about it? What did you learn?

Participate in a Twitter chat: Sometimes, groups or organizations will have a live chat about a topic. To see examples, check out the upcoming NCCIH Twitter chat and past chat archive. Create a post about your experience.

Crowdsource knowledge or opinions: Use your social media to ask your friends what they think, feel, or know about a CAM-related topic. Find a way to summarize, sample, or otherwise represent what you learned. Remember to be considerate about the level at which you identify people.

Resource: Have you found a particularly good resource for something? Showcase it in a post. Share what you learned, how the structure and information you found there was useful for you.

Edit Wikipedia: Is there something you found on Wikipedia that you think needs editing? Get yourself an account and edit it! Is there a topic you’ve explored that does not have an entry? Create one! Be sure to tell us about what you did in a post. Include a link to the Wikipedia entry you edited or created.

Create a story: Perhaps you’d like to write another chapter in Megan’s story, or you’d like to create a short story of your own. It may occur in this universe and time or another. Perhaps it is historical in nature and highlights the origins of some aspect of CAM. Perhaps it occurs in a different time or world altogether. It could be poetry, prose, graphic novel, video, or some combination thereof. If you choose to add to Megan’s story, let me know if you’d like for it to be considered for integration into subsequent offerings of the course (you would receive appropriate credit as author, of course).

Create an assignment: Got another idea for exploring a topic? Create your assignment and carry it out. In your post, discuss your thinking behind the design of your assignment. Others in the course may choose to complete it as well.

[/toggle]

[toggle title_open=”Final post” title_closed=”Final post” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”] Recently, the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine changed its name to the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health. What do you suppose the reasons are for this? Consider all you have learned about the different topics within this course, and about CAM in general. How are the ideas and concepts you have learned about in this course connected to what you know about modern western medicine? Do you feel that there is a place for integrating CAM therapies? Why or why not? What challenges do you see for integrating CAM therapies into mainstream western medicine? What questions do you still have, or what aspects would you still like to learn more about?

[/toggle]