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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For any questions, please contact us: ACAD_OEI@mcw.edu
February 2018: Criterion-Based Assessment in a Norm-Based World: How Can We Move Past Grades?
February’s article discusses opportunities and challenges with transitioning to competency-based assessment and grading in undergraduate medical education (UME). The authors discuss progress made in graduate medical education with development and implementation of competencies and milestones.
- UME struggles with transitioning to competency-based medical education due to a continued reliance on grades.
- Reliance on proxy assessments rather than direct observation of learners continues to be problematic in UME.
- Use of norm-based criteria in the residency application process places pressure to provide this type of data to programs.
- Successful implementation of competency-based assessment will require consensus between UME and graduate medical education.
Criterion-Based Assessment in a Norm-Based World: How Can We Move Past Grades?
Pereira, A.G., Woods, M., Olson, A.P.J., van den Hoogenhof. S., Duffy, B.L., and Englander, R (2017). Criterion-based assessment in a norm-based world: Can we move past grades? Academic Medicine. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001939.
January 2018: Relationships between Academic and Community Physicians
January’s article of the month shares one physician’s thoughts on the relationships between academic and community physicians. The author discusses medical schools’ increased reliance on community physicians to teach students and residents and suggests ways to enhance these relationships.
- Failure for academic and community physicians to work together could have serious consequences for medical education.
- Community physicians need access to high-quality, evidence-based training on teaching.
- Mutual respect and feedback are critical to building successful relationships between “town” and “gown” physicians.
The Accidental Academic: Bridging the Gap between Town and Gown
Gundersen, E. (2017, October 10). The accidental academic: Bridging the gap between town and gown [Web log post]. Harvard Macy Institute. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from The Accidental Academic: Bridging the Gap between Town and Gown
December 2017: Promoting Deep Learning
December's article of the month focuses on deep learning and approaches to encourage it in coursework. Deep learning results in overall understanding of a concept, whereas surface learning focuses on rote memorization of information. Promoting deep learning means having students do something with the information, not just requiring them to remember it.
Highlights of the article include:
- Deep learning results in the ability to not only understand information but transfer that knowledge to new and different situations.
- Cooperative learning experiences play a key role in deep learning, as interaction is a key characteristic.
- Efforts for deep learning should focus on key knowledge and skills essential for students to advance to the next course or practice in their chosen discipline.
- Deep learning is fostered through mindful sequencing of activities designed to promote thoughtful processing of and interaction with the course material.
Promoting Deep Learning
Millis, B.J. (n.d.) Promoting Deep Learning: IDEA Paper #47. Retrieved December 18, 2017, from Promoting Deep Learning
November 2017: Interprofessional Education
November's article of the month focuses on interprofessional education (IPE) and its role in the future of healthcare. The authors discuss reasons for engaging in IPE, various approaches to incorporating it into health care curriculum, and IPE's potential to transform health care delivery in the future.
- Longitudinal, patient-centered IPE experiences have the potential to increase students' knowledge and awareness of complex patient needs.
- IPE is rooted in the patient safety movement, an effort to improve multidisciplinary teamwork and communication.
- IPE as a field is still evolving, with research to be done on core concepts and curriculum integration.
- When done well, IPE has the power to develop health care teams better able to handle uncertainty and complexity.
- With movement toward value-based payment models in health care, the ability for providers to focus their problem solving in an integrated manner becomes increasingly important.
Interprofessional Education - A Foundation for a New Approach to Health Care
Dow, A., and Thibault, G. (2017, August 31) Interprofessional education - A foundation for a new approach to health care. N Engl J Med, 377(9), 803-805.
October 2017: Active Learning Strategies in Face-to-Face Courses
October's article of the month focuses on active learning in the face-to-face classroom. The author discusses approaches to active learning and the research that supports adoption of active learning methods.
- Metacognition, or awareness of one's own thought processes, is central to learning.
- Educators are responsible for designing learning experiences that will engage students.
- Educators should continually reinforce the value of active learning approaches, clarifying their expectations and emphasizing that the approaches will be reflected in graded activities (tests, quizzes, assignments).
- Educators should practice "transparent teaching," in which their methods and motives for active learning approaches are shared with the learners.
- Educators should create a supportive classroom climate to foster active student participation.
Active Learning Strategies in Face-to-Face Courses
Millis, B.J. (n.d.) Active learning strategies in face-to-face courses. IDEA Paper #53. Retrieved from Active Learning Strategies in Face-to-Face Courses
September 2017: No More Lectures?
September’s article of the month shares two medical educators’ perspectives on efforts to move away from traditional lecture-based courses. The authors discuss approaches to education and the need to prepare medical students for future practice.
- Content-heavy slides may be an efficient way to teach but are likely an ineffective way to learn.
- Learning can be facilitated by the instructor but must be driven by the student.
- Students aren’t learning when they are unengaged.
- Questioning, particularly using “why” and “how” questions, facilitates the transfer of knowledge.
- We should aim for a culture of continuous quality improvement in medical education, just as we do with clinical practice.
Saying Goodbye to Lectures in Medical School - Paradigm Shift or Passing Fad?
Schwartzstein, R.M., & Roberts, D.H. (2017, August 17). Saying goodbye to lectures in medical school – Paradigm shift or passing fad? N Engl J Med, 377: 605-607. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1706474
August 2017: Struggles with Teaching
August’s article of the month shares a medical educator’s experiences with trying to teach in a time-constrained environment. The author discusses struggling to engage residents in active learning in the face of competing demands.
- Time constraints and clinical demands may divert attention away from formal teaching.
- Tension exists between fostering active learning and providing information to aid in the passage of high-stakes exams.
- Lack of objectives and related assessment may confuse the learning environment.
- Faculty development can help address the need for continual education of clinical preceptors.
Just Because I Am Teaching Doesn’t Mean They Are Learning: Improving Our Teaching for a New Generation of Learners
Sklar, D.P. (2015). Just because I am teaching doesn’t mean they are learning: Improving our teaching for a new generation of learners. Academic Medicine, 92(8): 1061-1063. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001808