Article of the Month a resource from the Office of Educational Improvement (OEI) within the Department of Academic Affairs. Each month we identify an article that should be of interest to our teaching faculty.

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July 2017’s article of the month discusses practical advice for incorporating active learning, or “flipping the classroom,” in medical education. The authors discuss their experiences with flipping the classroom and suggest ways to approach such a change in teaching methodology.

Recommendations include:

  • Don’t overload the preparatory materials with minutiae – focus on preparing learners for higher order thinking.
  • Give yourself time to plan effectively – making the switch to a flipped classroom takes preparation and careful consideration.
  • Incorporate variety – don’t be afraid to explore various methods for delivering preparatory content and engaging learners in classroom activities.
  • Embrace facilitation over delivery – prepare yourself for a new role in helping learners participate in the process.
  • Align your assessment strategy with your learning activities – remember to focus on higher ordering thinking skills when designing your assessments.

To access the full article, click on the following weblink: How we flipped the medical classroom

Sharma, N, Lau, C.S., Doherty, I., & Harbutt., D. (2015). How we flipped the medical classroom. Medical Teacher, 37: 327-330. DOI: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.923821

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Contact The Office of Educational Improvement at for support and guidance in planning your own flipped classroom activities.

June 2017’s article of the month discusses using feedback to enhance learning. The author asserts that feedback cannot be characterized by what is communicated; rather, it is defined in part by the effects the communication has on the learner. That is, educators can only confirm learning has occurred when the feedback loop is closed by subsequent communication from the learner.

This concept of feedback presents a challenge when educators lack the opportunity for successive contact with the learner. The author therefore suggests what they term “Feedback Mark 2,” wherein learners take a much more active role in the feedback process.

Feedback: Ensuring that it leads to enhanced learning

Boud, D. (2015). Feedback: Ensuring that it leads to enhanced learning. The Clinical Teacher, 12: 3-7. doi:10.1111/tct.12345

July, 2016: This Article of the Month focuses on the ethical considerations for using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) as a learning tool in medical education. As technology continues to advance, tracking in an anytime, anywhere, anyplace environment raises ethical and legal concerns. The authors discuss several competing arguments related to student use of EHRs for tracking former patients.

Click on the following web link to access the full journal article:  

Should Medical Students Track Former Patients in the Electronic Health Record? An Emerging Ethical Conflict

Brisson, G.E., Johnson Neely, K., Tyler, P.D., Barnard, C. (2015). Should Medical Students Track Former Patients in the Electronic Health Record? An Emerging Ethical Conflict. Academic Medicine (90) (8): 1020-1024.

DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000633

June, 2016: “Unprofessional behavior” lacks a conclusive definition among U.S. medical school students and resident physicians. Moreover, methods for identifying and remediating these behaviors have not been well documented. Psychosocial factors, as well as ambiguity of certain professional behaviors, including evolving policies for context-specific considerations of unprofessionalism are addressed in this Article of the Month. Click on the following web link to access the full journal article:

Unprofessional Behaviors

Fargen, KM, Drolet, BC, Philibert, I. (June, 2016). Unprofessional Behaviors Among Tomorrow’s Physicians: Review of the Literature With a Focus on Risk Factors, Temporal Trends, and Future Directions. Academic Medicine (91, 6), (858-864).

May, 2016: This Article of the Month discusses the pros and cons of using open-book examinations (OBEs) and closed-book examinations (CBEs) for exam performance, information retention, and learning outcomes. The authors point out that today’s “…students…have access to an unprecedented amount of information thanks to the rapid expansion of knowledge and the emergence of information technology.” This raises the question of whether today’s learners would be better served by concentrating on information retrieval with data applications and information synthesis rather than merely through rote memorization.

Comparing Open-Book and Closed-Book Examinations: A Systematic Review

Durning SJ, Dong T, Ratcliffe T, Schuwirth L, Artino AR Jr, Boulet JR, Eva K., Academic Medicine, 2016, Apr; 91(4): 583-99.  doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000977

April, 2016: The article below addresses the lines between involving the learner on clinical rounds and the consequences of humiliation. The research and viability of this pedagogical method, and the future use of said method are also addressed.

​McCarthy CP, McEvoy JW. Pimping in Medical Education: Lacking Evidence and Under Threat.

Pimping in Medical Education

JAMA. 2015; 314(22):2347-2348. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13570.

The article should be of interest when thinking about student self-efficacy and resilience in training. I hope some interesting conversations are evoked from the content.

Page Updated 07/18/2017