Author: Theresa Suart
Keeping things fresh: Routine doesn’t have to be boring
It’s February, and despite the recent Family Day holiday, we’re still stuck in the depths of winter. Things are just a little harder to get excited about when it’s bleak, cold and snowy. Add in the task of teaching something that’s become routine, and the doldrums can be nearly certain to set in.
It can be a challenge for experts to teach introductory content. This can be further exacerbated by the cycle of teaching: each year brings another round of the same—or very similar—material. When the old adage of reminding yourself that while this is the hundredth time you’ve taught this, it’s the first time for these learners just isn’t enough, how can you get excited about teaching for the 101st time?
Here are five suggestions to ramp up your enthusiasm:
- Back to basics: What do you want your learners to know or be able to do when you’re done? Sometimes when teaching becomes routine, we’ve actually lost focus on the goal. Make a quick list of your key take-away points. If you’re not sure, take some time to reflect and make revisions to your teaching plan.
- Get some feedback: Add in some formative assessment either partway through your learning event, or partway through your sessions if you are teaching multiple times. This gives you—and them—feedback partway through to make sure things are clear. Formative assessment can be individual or team-based and doesn’t necessarily have marks attached. It can be as simple as an online poll to gauge understanding of a key concept.
- Refresh the page: Since the underlying concepts haven’t changed, it’s easy to slip into a rut of repeating yourself. Even if it’s new to this group of learners, you’ll be more engaged if you freshen your cases, or revise the background materials you assign. Is there something in the news that’s timely and on-point?
- Toss in technology: It may strike you as gimmicky, but using technology can freshen “old” material. Consider incorporating PollEverywhere’s polling (which you can use for #2 above) or incorporating a short video for discussion.
- Ask for input: Bounce ideas around with colleagues, brainstorm with others teaching in your course. Ask your course director for feedback. If you’re the course director, that conversation can work both ways: ask for input from your team.
Keeping things fresh for yourself can help your learners. Your excitement and enthusiasm contributes to a climate of learning. If you’re looking for more ways to shake things up but you’d like some customized advice, get in touch with the Education Team. We’re here to help.
7th Annual QHIP Speaker Series underway
The 7th Annual Queen’s Health Interprofessionals (QHIP) Speaker Series launched last week, but there’s still time for students to register for the remaining workshops.
Each workshop takes place on Mondays from 6:30 – 8 p.m in Room 132 at the Medical Building. The series is free, but you need to register to attend. (Here’s the form: http://goo.gl/forms/xgH2k2ao2U). Those who attend at least four workshops are eligible to receive and Interprofessional Education Certificate.
While some of these topics are covered in uni-professional classrooms, this is an opportunity to address these complex issues as an interprofessional group of students.
For more information on QHIP, check out their page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/QHIPSociety/
Year in Review? Why wait until then?
When I worked as a journalist (about a million years ago), an annual task was writing “Year in Review” articles. These were summary or “round up” stories with the highlights of the previous year.
The stated intent was historical record, reminders and reminiscing; marking highs and lows, significant events and momentous occasions. On a more practical level, these stories could be compiled fairly easily, mostly in advance, and take up copious column inches in our weekly paper in the week between Christmas and New Year’s when nobody was reading anyway and the editorial staff wanted to take extra time off from covering newer news. Closely tied to these were “Resolutions You Should Make Now!” advice columns.
With this cultural backdrop assigning retrospection to the turn of the year, it’s easy to become cynical about such things—and reduce thoughtful review to top-ten lists and cliché-ridden commentary. For educators, however, the importance of review should not be treated so lightly. Review and reflection are important. We expect our learners to do it. Educators should give it just as much attention.
Review and reflection are integral to effective teaching practice. January is a great time for this, but so is June, or September, or some other month. Right now, for some, a semester has recently ended, for others, it’s just beginning. There are benefits to both retroactive and proactive review – and in doing it more frequently than an annual check-mark on a to-do list.
So, instead of a ‘year in review’ summary, or even a list of new year’s resolutions for medical education, here’s a sample framework for incorporating review into your teaching practice. (Use it annually, or more often, as needed).
Theresa’s Five Step Review and Revise Process
Step 1: Review & Reflect
Whether you’re considering a whole course, a few teaching sessions, or a single seminar or other learning event the process is the same. Consider:
- What happened? What worked? What didn’t? (If you’re forecasting: What could be some pitfalls? What am I worried about?)
- For anything that didn’t go well, or didn’t accomplish what I planned: How can I fix it? (Forecasting: Do I have a back-up plan? Do I need one?)
- What’s a manageable change? Do I have the knowledge, skills and ability to do this? Where can I get support and/or resources? (Forecasting: Do I have the resources I need? What kind of feedback could be helpful to me on my teaching sessions?)
Step 2: Reconsider
Once you’ve reflected on what’s happened, or what you have planned, consider:
- Did I meet my objectives (or will my plan meet my objectives)?
- Are there things I did (or I’m planning) that are just out of habit?
- What should I change to make my course/session/seminar more engaging/relevant/appropriate?
Step 3: Find Resources
When you revise your teaching plans, you may also need additional resources. This could be in the form of your own skills, materials, input from colleagues. Consider:
- What support do I need to get to where I’d like to be?
- Do I have the abilities to do what I plan? If not, how could I acquire the necessary skills?
- Are there existing materials that could help me? Do I need to develop new materials? Who could help with that?
- Who could I call on for support or assistance?
- What sort of time frame do I have?
Step 4: Refine your plan
Sometimes, what we’d like to do just isn’t in the cards this year—there can be a lot of constraints on our teaching in time, materials, scheduling. It’s important to refine revisions into things that are manageable and realistic. Sometimes you are in a position to make large-scale changes to how you deliver your learning events, other times, not. Avoid the “all-or-nothing” plan: Incremental changes are better than no changes. It’s better to be good, than to be perfect. Consider:
- How realistic is my plan?
- Are there things I consider “must haves” and things that are “nice to haves”?
- If I could only make one change in my teaching right now, what would it be?
Step 5: Reflect & Review
At the end (or the beginning) – take another look. Good teaching really is an iterative process with the cycle of review, revision, redeliver.
Sometimes the best way to review and reflect (and plan) is to talk it out with a colleague. Bouncing around ideas can bring new perspectives and inspire you and others to add to your teaching toolbox. If you’d like to chat about your teaching any time, get in touch with the Education Team.
Students compete in 7th Annual Health Care Team Challenge
Three interprofessional teams of students faced off on Monday, November 16 in the 7th Annual Queen’s Health Care Team Challenge.
The teams tackled a case developed by the Health Service Centre team at Canadian Forces Base Kingston. Each team had students from Nursing, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Psychology.
The five-member judging panel included two local clinicians who developed the case, along with faculty, student and patient representatives.
The teams had been preparing for the competition since October 16.
The winners were “Team Three”, which included: Ahyoung Cho, Nursing; Wilson Lam, Medicine; Heather Shepherd, Occupational Therapy; Kayla Hertendy, Physical Therapy; Stephanie Gauvin, Psychology; Additional Team member: Elishea Mardling, Occupational Therapy; Back-up member: Verdah Bismah, Medicine; Faculty mentor: Lynne Harwood-Lunn, MN, RN, School of Nursing.
The two other teams were: Team One: Kyrinne Lockhart, Nursing; Alex Trajkovski, Medicine; Allie Rogers, Occupational Therapy; Heather Greene, Physical Therapy; Melissa Milanovic, Psychology; Additional Team member: Richa Kukkar, Physical Therapy; Back-up member: Shikha Kuthiala, Medicine; Faculty mentor: Brent Wolfrom, MD, School of Medicine. And Team Two: Charlotte Wilson, Nursing; Stephanie Piper, Medicine; Joshua Lee, Occupational Therapy; Erin Makins, Physical Therapy; Robyn Jackowich, Psychology; Additional Team member: Claudia Romkey, Nursing; Back-up member: Greg Smith, Physical Therapy; Faculty mentor: Heidi Cramm, PhD, OT, School of Rehabilitation Therapy.
Co-moderator Anne O’Riordan noted that all three teams’ presentations were exceptional, each presenting the case in a unique way which made for an educational evening for all. Co-moderator Ralph Yeung was a member of the very first Queen’s team in 2009.
The Health Care Team ChallengeTM is an interprofessional education event, originally developed at the University of British Columbia in the 1980s. Students volunteer to participate in order to enhance and practice their collaborative team skills. Each student interprofessional (IP) team is provided with the same case to work on for a period of three weeks, with the goal of developing a collaborative, interprofessional person-centered plan of care. A faculty mentor is matched with each team for consultation and advice.
The Queen’s Health Care Team Challenge is jointly sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice (OIPEP) and the Queen’s Health Interprofessionals Student Society (QHIP).
Team Three (soon to be renamed the Queen’s Team) will compete in the National Health Care Team Challenge™ in March 2016, hosted this year by Dalhousie University.
“Major Marlene Lefebvre was instrumental in connecting the health services team at the base with OIPEP, after initial email connections made by Alice Aiken,” O’Riordan said. “It really took a ‘health care community’ to do develop, organize, and implement this event and the learning was apparent for everyone.”
Here’s the beginning of the case the teams had to address:
You are a medical officer (MO, i.e. a military physician) in the health care team in Care Delivery Unit (CDU) 2 at 33 CFH Svcs C in Kingston, Ontario. The Base Surgeon (BSurg) informed the team yesterday the she was talking to the task force surgeon in Afghanistan and that an injured female service member would be arriving at the clinic this morning for an assessment. It will be sometime mid-morning before she arrives, hot off a CC-117 Globemaster transport aircraft landing in CFB Trenton at around 0730.
You don’t know much about the case other than that she is a 25 y.o. captain logistics officer who was injured two days previously in Cyprus, where she was undergoing a decompression stop after finishing her tour in theatre in Afghanistan. You note that she is a member of the Canadian Forces Joint Operations Support Group (CFJOSG) based at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston, and you remember that members of the unit were attached to a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). She is ambulatory as far as you know…
Credit where it’s due:
It takes a lot of effort from a great many people to pull an event like this together. In addition to the teams, here are the folks who made it happen:
Health Services, Canadian Forces Base Kingston
CFB Kingston Liaison:
Major Marlene Lefebvre
Anne O’Riordan, OIPEP Clinical Educator, QHIP Advisor (OT)
Ralph Yeung, HCTC winner, 2009; IP Award of Leadership, 2013 (X-Ray Tech)
Welcoming Keynote Address:
Dr. Alice Aiken, Director, Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, Queen’s University, Royal Military College, Kingston. (PT)
Dr. Lucie Pelland (SRT) – Faculty Representative (PT)
L.Cdr. Bradley Stewart, Clinical Rep. (Medicine)
Capt. Dwayne Rennick, Clinical Rep. (Social Work)
Amanda Shamblaw, Student Rep., QHIP Exec., Past HCTC participant (Psychology)
Dr. Peter Dunnett, Community/Patient Rep. (Economics Professor, ret., RMC)
Chloe Hudson, QHIP Executive Member, Past HCTC winner (Psych)
Presentation of Team Certificates & Team Photos:
OIPEP & QHIP
Presentation to Winning Team:
Dr. Rosemary Brander, OIPEP Director (PT)
Museum of Health Care event to highlight “Medicine in the Making”
Medical artefacts from the Museum of Health Care will be on display in the Grand corridor of the new Medical Building on Friday, September 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
UGME Associate Dean Anthony Sanfilippo and Dr. Susan Lamb (adjunct assistant professor of history of Medicine) will be on hand over the lunch hour.
Curated by Museum of Health Care staff and QuARMS student Chantal Valiquette as part of a summer service project, “Medicine in the Making” is open to all to attend.
Get to the point with Ask-Tell-Ask feedback
By Theresa Suart & Eleni Katsoulas
Giving and receiving feedback effectively is a key part of the UGME curriculum. It’s also key in nearly every workplace, which could explain why there are so many different frameworks and recommendations for feedback “best practices”. Some of these are more effective than others.
Have you heard of the feedback sandwich? It’s one of the more popular feedback techniques and involves “sandwiching” negative or constructive feedback with two pieces of positive or complementary feedback. It’s also sometimes known as “PIP” for “praise, improve, praise”.
The idea behind this is laudable – cushion the blow of negative feedback and reassure the individual that they are doing some things well.
In practice, however, it’s fraught with difficulties, making it not very useful for the person receiving the feedback. Think about it:
- I’ve just received two pieces of praise and one of criticism or a suggestion for improvement: what should I focus on?
- The negative feedback is about something I did today, the positive things were from last week – the positive stuff must not be as important.
- Two pieces of praise and one of criticism – guess that I’m mostly doing well!
- The last thing they said was praise – must be doing great!
Writing in Harvard Business Review, Roger Schwarz also points out the fallacies of this approach. Schwarz notes leaders who use the sandwich approach to negative feedback do so for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Thinking it’s easier for people to hear and accept negative feedback when it comes with positive feedback.
- Assuming the sandwich approach provides balanced feedback
- Believing giving positive feedback with negative feedback reduces discomfort and anxiety.
Schwarz then debunks each:
- Easier: Most people on the receiving end would prefer to skip the sandwich – get to the point.
- Balanced: Saving up positive feedback to sandwich negative feedback undermines timely delivery of the positive feedback. As Schwarz points out, research shows that feedback, either positive or negative, “is best shared as soon as possible.” He also asks: “Do you also feel the need to balance your positive feedback with negative feedback?”
- Reducing anxiety: “The longer you talk without giving the negative feedback, the more uncomfortable you’re likely to become as you anticipate giving the negative news.” Meanwhile, the person on the receiving end “will sense your discomfort and become more anxious.
The UGME Education Team advocates the use of a new feedback sandwich replacing “praise, improve, praise” with Ask – Tell – Ask. This method was brought forward by Dr. Ayca Toprak and Dr. Susan Chamberlain, adapted from French, Colbert and Pien (ASE April 24, 2015)
The ATA Feedback Model is similar to the traditional feedback model as it has three parts. After that, it’s quite a bit different. Using Ask-Tell-Ask, the Preceptor asks the learner for their input, then the preceptor tells them their impressions, then wraps up by asking the learner to help develop an improvement plan:
Ask – Tell – Ask
- Ask the learner for their perceptions about strengths and challenges
- Tell them your impressions backed by observations, and specific examples
- Ask them what can be improved and how– assist you in developing a learning plan
Examples of topics to discuss (referencing objectives of the rotation, course, or activity):
- Functioning in the team context
- Skills (communication, technical, clinical)
- Clinical Reasoning
- Record keeping
- Process or Content (knowledge or the way they use the knowledge; application of knowledge).
- Background knowledge (this is knowledge of the discipline, scientific foundations, knowledge base).
The ATA model helps preceptors focus the discussion while scaffolding self-regulation and self-assessment. It also avoids the mixed-messages of the feedback sandwich approach.
The ask-tell-ask oral feedback is best paired with written narrative feedback. Watch for a blog post on this topic in September.
We used PowerPoint slides from a presentation prepared by Sheila Pinchin and Eleni Katsoulas, with slides from Cherie Jones, to prepare this blog. We thank Sheila and Cherie for their contributions.
Bringing things into focus: Using focus groups to collect feedback
By Theresa Suart & Eleni Katsoulas
Amongst the plethora of student feedback we solicit about our courses, you may wonder why we sometimes add in focus groups. What could be added to the more than a dozen questions on course evaluation and faculty feedback surveys?
The information we gather in student focus groups doesn’t replace the very valuable narrative feedback from course evaluations, rather, it allows us to ask targeted questions, clarify responses and drill down into the data.
Developed from “focused interviews” around the time of the Second World War, focus groups emerged as a key qualitative research tool in the latter half of the 20th century. Robert K. Merton, a sociologist from Columbia University, is hailed as the “father of the focus group.” (He died in 2003 at age 92.)
Merton used focused interviews to gain insight into groups’ responses to text, radio programs and films. Politicians and marketing companies soon seized upon focus groups to gauge voter and consumer trends. The Queen’s UGME Education Team uses focus groups in a targeted way to augment information gleaned from course evaluation feedback, course director’s meetings with academic reps and other feedback tools.
According to a briefing paper from Carnegie Mellon University, focus groups are “particularly effective” for eliciting suggestions for improvement. “They are also much more flexible than surveys or scales because they allow for question clarification and follow-up questions to probe vague or unexpected responses.” It also helps that faculty rate focus groups as “accurate, useful and believable”.
If you’re asked to participate in a focus group, only agree if you think you have something to contribute to the investigator’s project or purpose. (Sure, it’s fun to come for the free food, but be prepared to contribute in a meaningful way).
- To be informed if the focus group is for research or curricular innovation (or both). Research studies must have approval from the Research Ethics Board and require specific paperwork to document informed consent. Curricular innovation focus groups are less formal, but will still respect confidentiality of participants. These might not have the same paperwork.
- The facilitator to set the ground rules, and guide the discussion. Savvy facilitators will do this with a minimum of fuss: they will listen more than they speak. (But you can certainly ask for clarification if you’re not sure of a question).
- A co-facilitator will likely take notes and monitor any recording equipment used. The co-facilitator may summarize after each question and solicit further input as required.
- You’ll be asked specific questions, and engage in conversation with the other participants.
What you shouldn’t expect:
- A venting session. This isn’t the time to just complain. A focus group is looking for constructive feedback and suggested solutions.
- To always have your say: the facilitator may realize they have reached saturation on a particular question and will move on. This is to respect your time. (You’ll have an opportunity to send additional comments electronically afterwards if you felt there is an important point that was missed).
What you can do to prepare:
- If the questions are provided in advance (this is best practice but not always possible on tight timelines!) you should take some time to think about them.
- Be sure you know where the meeting room is, and arrive on time.
What you can do during:
- Contribute, but make sure you don’t end up dominating the conversation. The facilitator will be looking for a balance of views and contributors.
- Listen attentively to others and avoid interrupting. The facilitator will make sure everyone has a chance to contribute – you’ll get your turn.
What you can expect from data collected at a focus group:
- It will be confidential. Different strategies are employed. For example, you may be assigned a number during the focus group and participants asked to refer to people by number (“Participant 2 said…”).
- In a formal research study, you should be offered an opportunity to review the data transcript after it is prepared. (This is sometimes waived on the consent form, so read carefully so you can have realistic expectations of the investigator).
- The end product is a summary of the conversation, with any emergent themes identified to answer the research questions.
What you can’t expect:
- A magic bullet solution to a challenge in a course or class.
- One hundred percent consensus from all participants – you can agree to disagree.
- For all outlier opinions to be represented in the final report. These may be omitted from summary reports.
We’re always grateful to our students for donating their time to our various focus group requests throughout the year. These contributions are invaluable.
If you think this type of data collection could be useful in your course review and revisions, feel free to get in touch. It’s one of the tools in our qualitative research toolbox and we’re happy to deploy it for you as may be appropriate.
Eleni Katsoulas firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa Suart email@example.com
Student wins prize for project on physicians with disabilities
What started as a project for her Critical Enquiry class turned into an award-winning poster presentation for Kirsten Nesset of MEDS 2017.
Nesset attended the 24th annual History of Medicine Days Conference at the University of Calgary in March where she won Best Poster Presentation for “Physicians with Disabilities in Canada: History and Future”.
Classmates Elena Barbir and Sophie Palmer also attended the conference, presenting on their Community-Based Projects. The three received the Boyd Upper Prize, which is awarded to the Queen’s medical student or students who have conducted original historical research and then had the work accepted for presentation at a peer-reviewed meeting.
Nesset’s interest in the area of disability started at home, she explained in an interview.
“It was something I was really interested in because my father has a visual disability and he’s an engineer,” she said. “He lost his vision when I was about 10 – so I grew up with him adapting to that and his work making accommodations.” And this got her thinking.
“You don’t really see many people with visual or physical disabilities in medicine and I wondered what the accommodations might look like for them and what kind of policy might be in place if there was any,” she said. “I wondered what that looked like in Canada.”
She quickly discovered that there wasn’t much information readily available. “It ended up being a much more global project in the end because there’s very little research in Canada,” she said.
As her CE Mentor, Jacalyn Duffin, pointed out: “Her first discovery was that almost no one had published on that topic, although there was a robust literature on burnout, stress, addictions and other mental problems.”
“The absence of any historical predecessors meant that she had to do some original digging, to produce what is effectively the first history on the topic and to try to explain why the question has not been asked before,” Duffin added. “Her research involved searching the literature, news reports, and eventually interviews.”
“Although Kirsten’s focus was Canada, she discovered that a relative silence on physicians with disabilities pervades the literature in general, making her findings relevant well beyond our borders,” Duffin said.
Nesset has plans to continue research in this area. To start, she plans to interview some physicians through the Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities. “Some physicians have come forward to say they would be interviewed – because there isn’t a lot of narrative from Canada yet.”
She would also like to delve further into what medical schools list as technical requirements for graduates. “Part of my project was looking into admissions requirements and there’s nothing in those but there’s a lot of talk about meeting technical standards and technical requirements and each school approaches that differently,” she said.
As she is starting her clerkship rotations in the fall, Nesset is hoping to complete some interviews by the end of the summer, but sees this as a longer-term project.
“Realistically, this is something I’ll carry through the next year and hopefully finish up part-way through clerkship.”
One strong lesson from this project is that history does not necessarily mean antiquity or even a few hundred years ago, Nesset said. “From my experience, history can also be incredibly recent. I looked at history as of 1980, essentially, or 1975. Then up until now, which is why it’s titled ‘history and future’.”
“A history of medicine project doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking far back in the past, it can be more recent and you can apply it to future considerations, for example for policy development,” she said.
We’d like to feature news about our students’ achievements at conferences such as this. If you have a suggestion for a student to feature in a future blog post, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll follow-up on as many as we can.
Why a picture is worth more than 1000 words
Whether it’s the dreaded Service Ontario snap-shot that haunts us on our driver’s licence, or the passport photo that looks like we’ve been through a car wash, many of us despise the photo requirements public life tosses at us.
To these government-issued ID requirements, add the MEdTech Profile picture request. Please. Because we really need everyone to upload pictures to their profiles.
There are a lot of different reasons people don’t want to post a picture to their MEdTech profile – not the least of which is sometimes a nice picture of ourselves is hard to come by (mainly because we’re too hard on ourselves and, trust me, as someone who hasn’t lost the “baby weight” and the baby in question is 11 years old, I get the vanity argument.)
Why bother? There are two key reasons we need these photos: for proper faculty and preceptor identification during course evaluations; and to avoid email directory confusion.
- Course evaluation: Getting accurate feedback
Every faculty member who teaches four or more hours is evaluated by our students as part of our ongoing course and faculty review processes. This ensures appropriate feedback and contributes to overall quality of educational experiences as well as meets accreditation standards. Additionally, evaluation of clerkship preceptors is expanding to include multiple short-term supervisors. The challenge for our students is that by the end of a semester or rotation, they have dozens of faculty members they have had limited contact with and they’re faced with a list of names and forms to complete.
Marketing researchers have long valued the power of images. According to experts at 3M and Zabisco, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals thousands of times faster than text. Also, 65 percent of people are visual learners.
For visual learners, that picture memory-jogger is essential: What we’ve heard from students is, by the end of the semester, with so many different instructors, they’re really not sure who they’re evaluating and they’d like to provide appropriate feedback. If there’s a picture affiliated with your MEdTech profile, this helps sort out who’s who.
- Email confusion: Sending the right message to the right person
With a last name like “Suart”, I rarely run into email directory confusion, it’s more misspellings I worry about. However, if we also had a Theresa Stuart in UGME as either a student, staff or faculty member, you can bet there’d be some confusion. Or ask Matt Simpson – but which one? Matt Simpson, Manager of the Education Technology Unit, or Dr. Matt Simpson, Department of Family Medicine? (By the way, welcome to UGME, Dr. Simpson!). Again, photo identifiers can help resolve these types of issues.
Remember that MEdTech is a password-protected learning management system and is only accessible by our students, staff and affiliated faculty.
Adding your photo to your MEdTech profile is an easy two-step process: Get a picture and Upload it to MEdTEch.
Get a picture you can live with:
A well-cropped selfie from your iPhone, a snap-shot by a family member, or call me, and I’ll come to your office and take one.
Upload it to MEdTech:
(Click on any of these images to see a larger view of the screen shots)
Voila! You’re done.
Thanks to all faculty and staff who have already uploaded their photos.
Questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at email@example.com — or find me in the MEdTech directory.
June Curricular Leaders Retreat held: EPAs, Remediation and Feedback, oh my!
After bringing another busy semester to a close, UGME curricular leaders took time to reflect on the past year and take part in workshops and discussion groups on a number of areas of the curriculum at their semi-annual Curricular Leaders Retreat on June 19. The aim of the retreat was to share information and to generate ideas and solutions to address teaching and assessment challenges.
In his end of year report, Associate Dean Anthony Sanfilippo highlighted accomplishments of the past year as well as announced new faculty appointments.
After providing an entertaining and informative review of the process of curriculum renewal that UGME has undergone over the last several years, including the development of the “Red Book” objectives, Dr. Sanfilippo discussed how the emerging use of Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) will relate to and refine our existing curriculum and assessment processes.
Dr. Sue Moffatt presented an information session on how the three classroom-based “C” courses relate to both clerkship and the rest of the curriculum.
In a discussion about Service-Learning, led by Dr. Sanfilippo, faculty brainstormed ways additional service-learning opportunities could be created for medical students and others as well as ways they could support and encourage students in these endeavours. The Service Learning Advisory Panel will consider their suggestions and recommendations.
As a follow-up to last year’s popular workshop on remediation strategies, Michelle Gibson, Richard Van Wylick and Renee Fitzpatrick presented “Remediation 2” with additional cases and strategies.
For the afternoon, participants chose between a session on writing narrative feedback or one on making ExamSoft work for you.
Designed in particular for faculty working in clerkship, clinical skills and facilitated small group learning (FSGL), for the workshop on narrative feedback, Cherie Jones and Andrea Winthrop provided concrete examples and solutions to situations faculty routinely encounter when needing to provided constructive feedback to students. This included a discussion of ways in which oral and written feedback differ.
In the ExamSoft workshop, Michelle Gibson, Eleni Katsoulas and Amanda Consack worked with faculty to show how to tag mid-term and final assessments to match to assigned MCC presentations and Red Book objectives as well as coding for author and key word. Using these ExamSoft tools upfront makes it possible to use built-in reports to blueprint assessments, rather than having to do so manually. (For more on ExamSoft, check out the team’s poster from CCME at this link.)
To wrap up the day’s activities, pre-clerkship and clerkship course directors brainstormed with competency leads for ways the milestones identified for these intrinsic roles can be met throughout the curriculum. How to highlight and incorporate patient safety in different courses was also considered.
Documents from the Retreat are available to curricular leaders under “Retreats” on the Faculty Resources Community Page.