This blog post is part of the series of periodic updates from UGME committees.

Have you looked at your teaching or learning schedule recently? You know those hour-long and two-hour long blocks? They’re a bit misleading.

We’ll admit it, we’re part of the problem since we routinely talk about hour-long and two-hour-long classes. The reality, however, is that our class blocks are really divided into 50 minutes for class and 10 minutes for a break. If you’re teaching a two-hour block, that first 10-minute break can be a little flexible about where it lands, but for finish times, it’s vital to stick to the end at 20 minutes past the hour rule.50min_icon_cyan-01

What are those 10 minutes for? That’s actually time for the next instructor to get set up, so they’re ready to start on time. Time for folks to grab a coffee or hit the washroom – or check their Facebook or email. It’s also the 10 minute traveling time from room to room. This hasn’t always been much of an issue for our medical students, but it’s more important than ever as we cope with the classroom disruptions because of the flood in the Medical Building in August.  Often, our students are now moving between farther-flung campus buildings for back-to-back classes – those 10 minutes are golden.

If you’re concerned about how to plan your lecture or SGL or other learning event with timing in mind, get in touch with the Educational Development team. We’re happy to help with plotting out sufficient flexibility so you can finish on time without missing out on essential instruction. (Email Theresa Suart at theresa.suart@queensu.ca)

Integrated Threads

The Curriculum Committee recently approved the TLIC proposal to map a series of “Integrated Threads” through the UGME curriculum. Integrated Threads represent important domains of learning for medical students that span multiple courses, terms and academic years.  These may represent disciplines (e.g. genetics, geriatrics, imaging, pathology), competencies (e.g. communication, leadership) or other defined groupings (e.g. patient safety, diversity) which contribute to the attainment of the skillset of a graduating physician.

queen's tartan fabricThe aim in mapping Integrated Threads is to clearly articulate where particular topics occur and re-occur through our curriculum. It will help guide both learners and instructors in expectations and achieving learning objectives. Some integrated threads have an “anchor” unit within a course with other related material taught elsewhere throughout the curriculum (for example: Genetics). Others don’t have an identified unit, but are taught in relation to other material throughout the four-year UG program (for example: Imaging).

The inaugural Integrated Threads list – also approved by the Curriculum Committee –  includes 28 distinct topics.  Over the next academic year, TLIC will be working with faculty and the Education team to map existing curricula and identify opportunities for enhanced teaching of each topic. The Integrated Threads list will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The TLIC will keep you posted as the Threads are identified and mapped. Faculty who would like to suggest additions to the Integrated Threads list should contact the TLIC Chair, Dr. Lindsay Davidson (lindsay.davidson@queensu.ca) or the Educational Development team.