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Academic and Student Services

Knowledge Now

Resources for Educators

Knowledge Now Brief

March 2019: Standardized Patient

A Standardized Patient (SP) is a person trained to portray a patient in realistic and repeatable ways to simulate a specific medical condition or disease.

  • SPs provide feedback on a learner’s performance from the perspective of the person they portray, related to interviewing skills and physical examinations. Learners also receive feedback on their ability to communicate empathically with patients.
  • SPs allow a learner to practice taking a complete and focused history of a patient, as well as practice physical exam techniques.
  • SPs continue to be a resource for practicing ultrasounds.
  • SPs not only assist with teaching, they also provide opportunities for assessing a learner’s performance.
February 2019: Simulation-based medical education (SBME)

Simulation-based medical education (SBME) bridges classroom learning and real-life clinical experiences.

SBME is a powerful standardized, objective and measurable teaching method used to instruct and test all levels of learners from any healthcare discipline to increase their competency as healthcare providers.

Different modalities of simulation are used, depending on the learning objective:

  • Standardized Patients (SP) – Primarily used to train/test patient-provider communication skills. “SP’s” are also used to practice physical assessment, and as models for procedures such as ultrasound.
  • Procedural Task Trainers – Allow trainees hands-on practice. An extensive range of skills, from simple IV placement to central line placement and intubation, are taught with trainers.
  • Hi-Fidelity Simulators - Full-body manikins that mimic, at a very high level, human body functions. Used for immersive simulation experiences that provide a high level of interactivity and realism for the learner.
  • Hybrid Simulation – Combining two or more simulation modalities to maximize effectiveness of a training session. (e.g. displaying simulated “sick” patient vital signs for otherwise healthy SPs patients to heighten realism).

Customized learning experience - SBME accommodates a wide range of learners from novices to experts, and an array of skills including knowledge-in-action, procedures, decision-making, and effective communication.

Patient and student safety - The simulated environment allows learners freedom to make mistakes without patient harm. By seeing the outcome of their mistakes and then debriefing, learners gain powerful insight and the opportunity to practice to “get it right”.

The STAR Center’s Simulation Professionals and State-of the-art Simulation Lab - STAR Center staff put their years of experience to work helping faculty develop SBME solutions to meet the educational objectives for their learners. Whether that solution means a fully-immersive Hi-Fidelity scenario in our Simulation lab or a simple learning activity that utilizes simulation, the STAR Center and staff are here to help you.

January 2019: Self-directed learning

Self-directed learning, or SDL, is defined by the following components (LCME Standard 6.3):

  • Self-assess own learning needs
  • Identify, analyze, and synthesize relevant information independently
  • Appraise credibility of information
  • Share information with peers and supervisors
  • Receive feedback on their information-seeking skills
December 2018: Interprofessional Education (IPE)
Interprofessional Education (IPE) prepares MCW students to function professionally in the team environment, with emphasis on the following competencies: 

Values and Ethics
Teams and Teamwork
Roles and Responsibilities 

The goal of interprofessional programming is to foster a respect and appreciation for all future members of the healthcare team. IPE is founded on the principle that learning about, from, and with other professionals throughout one’s education contributes to an ability to operate more sufficiently on a healthcare team.

If you are interested in Interprofessional Education, OEI has an Interprofessional Education Coordinator to help! The IPE Coordinator collaborates with faculty to design and implement programming aligned with the goals of IPE. The coordinator will provide support through all stages of program development, including recruitment and communication with partner programs and students, and is an excellent resource to ensure that integrating IPE into your courses does not become overwhelming.
October 2018: Instructional Design

Instructional design is the strategic process of creating and improving instructional experiences. Using learning theory and educational research, instructional designers try to analyze learning needs within all MCW schools and set out to ensure that the needs can be both met and assessed. We are goal-driven and care about the responsibilities of the faculty and needs of all learners here.

Instructional design services can often be the conduit or bridge between faculty ideas and implementation. If an educator has an idea, whether it’s abstract, or a slight improvement, or maybe just the start of a concept, we pride ourselves on being able to hear them out and help them establish definable outcomes. We work closely with teams like educational technology, the library, faculty development, and the exam team to ensure that we’re aware of all possibilities that may be useful for the educational mission at MCW. While we’re often behind the scenes, we will meet with educators and students anywhere to ensure that projects meet deadlines and have an extra layer of quality assurance.

Knowledge Now Session Videos

"Giving Data Heavy Presentations" 

February 2019


  • Review an example of a dense presentation
  • Discuss strategies for making a dense presentation more learner-friendly
  • Understand the role of pausing throughout a presentation
  • Redesign a dense presentation in an effort to improve learning and retention

"Time Efficient Clinical Teaching"

January 2019

Define clinical teaching and discuss its complexity
Explore two models for clinical teaching
Identify the clinical preceptor’s roles
Review feedback, teaching tips, and TPI to prepare for success

"Writing Test Questions"

November 2018

Recognize triggers that prompt an exam question review
Practice revising existing questions to conform to NBME standards
Write new questions using the NBME guidelines
Link questions to course content and global competencies


“Facilitating Distance Learning and Communication"

October 2018


  • Identify common challenges to effective communication and meeting facilitation during video conferences
  • Anticipate and eliminate barriers to effective videoconferencing across campuses
  • Compare and contrast how social norms influence communication in-person and by videoconference
  • Relate videoconferencing best practices from the business world to regional campus communications
  • Consider future trends in distance communication

“Using Brightspace to Enhance Teaching & Course Operations”

August 2018

Discuss various features of our learning management system (LMS)
Highlight examples of current practices in the LMS
Address questions regarding ways to enhance your specific course(s)

“Practicing Reflective Teaching”

March 2018

Define reflection
Discuss reflective practice
Assess personal stage of reflection
Explore the continuum of self-reflection

“Identifying & Maximizing Your Teaching Style”

February 2018

Define “teaching styles”
Discuss influences on teaching styles
Assess your teaching style preferences
Examine factors that contribute to successful teaching

“Using Technology to Enhance Teaching Effectiveness”

January 2018

Define “educational technology”
Explore various tools available at MCW 
Discuss how educational technology can enhance teaching and learning

Knowledge Now Session Video Archive

Engaging Your Learners: How to Encourage Student Interest and Active Participation in Your Classroom