Instructional Design: Creating Effective Learning Experiences
One very enjoyable part of being an instructional designer is building relationships and rapport with course directors. Listening to their wants, needs, and pain points of current and future iterations of their course helps in creating a course that supports the learner. Although the answers may not be evident immediately, the relationship and understanding of what the learners need grows and, in time, through collaboration we can create something that puts the student at the center of their learning. Hearing students’ success stories is another impactful and enjoyable part of instructional design. M1 and M2 liaison meetings offer a wealth of information as it relates to the student experience. These meetings are so valuable for us to attend and pay mind to so that we can create a flow of material that makes sense and incorporates the different ways the students enjoy learning.
We also have the benefit of working closely with the Ed Tech team, exam team and faculty development and often collaborate with them as we help to build a successful course. This collaboration has led to introducing Virtual Reality in Bench to Bedside this year as well as utilize it in meditation for students as part of their wellness. We have also worked closely with Faculty Development and presented in various formats as well as author faculty quick guides on topics they have identified as areas of interest and need. The collaboration of the whole team; course directors, coordinators, instructional design, Ed Tech, Exams, and Faculty Development is what makes a course a successful one.
When we work with faculty, we have the most fun. Taking an idea from abstract concept to classroom implementation is what we take the most pride in. Over time, we have found that ideas best succeed when they come from a faculty champion—this increases the likelihood that an instructor will be passionate about the educational plan and is more likely to support their students in meeting the goal. Sometimes ideas that have their genesis at MCW end up getting popular and then sold by some of our ed tech vendors! Maybe you have heard about the mechanism of disease maps being offered by Aquifer, which is our #1 tool for case-based work in the medical school. Well did you know that we featured our own home-spun mechanistic diagrams in our M2 Bench to Bedside course years ago first? This was a request from the course directors in 2017 and Aquifer rolled theirs out as part of their illness scripts package in 2022.
If you have an idea that you have been working on, and you want a collaborative partner, e-mail OEI and let’s make something happen. Innovation is a large part of what makes MCW a wonderful place!