Word Building

An I-BEST Unit for Medical Terminology

Developed by Kerry Bank, I-BEST Instructor
Santa Fe Community College


“Because Medical Terminology is a pre-requisite for many programs, or taken in conjunction with other more hands-on classes, the students who take it often have never taken an online classes before. They need basic computer skills (saving documents, attaching files, etc.) However, from the basics perspective, the most important skills for Medical Terminology students, whether I-BEST or traditional, are word-building, decoding, and pronunciation.

This unit is taught in conjunction with the first content lessons of the course and revisited when the skills become necessary to fulfill specifically the pronunciation and case study assignments.

This course is typically a hybrid online/face-to-face course. Students meet for 1-2 hours once per week with both the content and basic instructors present. The majority of assignments are turned in through CANVAS (the online learning platform used at Santa Fe Community College) and all graded assessments are done online. The face-to-face meeting times are best utilized by doing interactive practice activities around the topics of reading in context, word building, and verbally using the new terminology.

Most students in the I-BEST version of this class fall into one of two descriptions. The more common profile is the student who has never taken an online course before, is relatively new to the field of healthcare education, has little to no college experience, and is low skilled in some academic areas. The other possibility is the student who needs to complete Medical Terminology to fulfill a part of a program of study (pre requisite or co requisite), but already has significant experience as a college student.”


CCRS Foundational Reading Standard 3 – Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

CCRS Language Anchor 4 – Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown or multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specific reference materials, as appropriate.

CCRS Reading Anchor 4 – Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCRS Writing Anchor 8 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, ass the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

  • CCRS for Adult Education, 2013

CCTC Standard – LEADERSHIP AND TEAMWORK – Use leadership and teamwork skills in collaborating with others to accomplish organizational goals and objectives.

Essential Topic ESS02 COMMUNICATIONS – Use oral and written communication skills in creating, expressing and interpreting information and ideas including technical expressing and interpreting information and ideas including technical terminology and information.



  1. Identify the most common medical terms by defining them and using them in context.
  2. Demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


Academic – Word building, reading in context, decoding, phonics

Sector-Focused – Reading a medical case, using a medical dictionary, using medical terms in context

Affective – Teamwork, giving and receiving feedback