Lego™ Learning: A Scalable Approach to Pedagogy in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine

Main Article Content

Kathryn Yankura Swacha
Kirk St.Amant


Complex health and medical contexts demand not only responsive, mutable research but also responsive, flexible pedagogies. Arguing for a shift from the dominant conception of pedagogy as a pre-planned, linear scaffold, this article proposes instead an approach—called Lego™ Learning—that re-conceptualizes instructional content as self-standing, short-term units or modules, much like Lego™ bricks. Because such modules have self-contained learning objectives and corresponding tasks, they can be shifted within a course or across courses as-needed. This approach allows rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM) instructional content to respond to, and prepare students for, the ever-changing exigencies and contexts of RHM-related work. It also encourages collaborations across classes, institutions, and other contexts. In this entry, we frame our discussion around four learning outcomes and teaching practices that can be facilitated through this approach, and we provide an extended example of an ongoing cross-institutional partnership that employs Lego™ Learning.

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