Blended learning in clinical education (AMEE presentation)

This is the presentation that I gave at the AMEE conference earlier today. It’s the results of a systematic literature review I did as part of my PhD, where I looked at the use of blended learning in clinical education. The abstract doesn’t give much information owing to the fact that I had to be very brief with my submission. The presentation is (a little) more detailed.

Here’s the abstract:

Here’s the presentation (better to view at Prezi.com, space is limited here):

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-08-29

  • @AMEE_Online this is great, how do we go about claiming the year’s membership? #
  • RT @Jane_Mooney: Great game-based learning resources for educators from @judithway http://t.co/f1wyv1P #
  • Just registered for #amee2011 after spending 19 hours in transit. The world is smaller than it used to be but it could be smaller still #
  • @jane_mooney I’ll look out for u & your poster. If u want 2 chat I’d love to hook up. My PhD is on blended learning in clinical education #
  • @paulderoos Good luck with the free accommodation for #amee2011 I’d help you out if I could 🙂 #
  • Gearing up for #amee2011 where I’ll b presenting a systematic review on blended learning in clinical education. Let me know if u’ll b there #
  • @amcunningham Official AMEE & Medical Teacher twitter accounts are using #amee2011 #
  • @amcunningham no doubt there are good sessions, it’s just all a bit overwhelming right now. Trying to make some sense of the programme #
  • @amcunningham nothing official about hashtags, just assumed it’d be the full date, will use whatever the convention is 🙂 #
  • @amcunningham I’ve been looking at the presentation sessions for that period & nothing has grabbed me yet. Maybe I’ll come to your workshop #
  • @amcunningham Yes, I’ll be at #amee2011 starting to get excited about it now. We’ll definitely hook up 🙂 #
  • @amcunningham See you’re facilitating a workshop on social media at #amee2011 You know what level the session is aimed at? #
  • Announcing the Zotero 3.0 Beta Release http://t.co/EmDnU32 #

Posted to Diigo 08/17/2011

I did a lot of reading and highlighting the other night, which is why this is so long. I’ve been bookmarking a lot of articles (about 400 at the last count) over the past 6 months or so, and will be trying to get through them over the next few months. There might be more long posts like this one (aggregationsof Diigo highlights) as a consequence.

    • I truly believe that a combination of actively influencing a story line in combination with a reaction upon the decisions taken would make learners feel more appreciated or valued if you will and encourage them to continue learning with that program instead of only getting negative feedback in from of a summary assessment when a chapter or course is finished
    • According to Rita Kop PLE is a UK term and PLN an American term. Dave Cormier questions whether the term personal should be used at all. Stephen Downes points out that personal is an OK term if you think about [Personal Learning] Network as opposed to [Personal] Learning Network – and similarly for PLE
    • the words are not as important as the process
    • a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is more concerned with tools and technology and that Personal Learning Networks (PLN) are more concerned with connections to people
    • The PLE takes me to my PLN through various gates and paths
    • they’re the ticket and ride, not the destination
    • The PLN is then more akin to a community, but with much looser connections, described in the literature as “weak ties”
    • possible roles involved in networked learning that the teacher may be classified as (Expert: Someone with sustained contribution to a field, Teacher: experts with authority, Curator: play the role of interpreting, organizing, and presenting content, Facilitator: able to guide, direct, lead, and assist learners, not necessarily being a subject matter expert
    • why focus on PLEs? Shouldn’t we be trying to figure out how to make PLN work better?
    • Development of your PLE is about working with technology, refining your use of tools to give you more keys or more efficient access to your network of people and resources
    • “Pundits may be asking if the Internet is bad for our children’s mental development, but the better question is whether the form of learning and knowledge-making we are instilling in our children is useful to their future.”
    • we can’t keep preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist
    • The contemporary American classroom, with its grades and deference to the clock, is an inheritance from the late 19th century. During that period of titanic change, machines suddenly needed to run on time. Individual workers needed to willingly perform discrete operations as opposed to whole jobs. The industrial-era classroom, as a training ground for future factory workers, was retooled to teach tasks, obedience, hierarchy and schedules.
    • Teachers and professors regularly ask students to write papers. Semester after semester, year after year, “papers” are styled as the highest form of writing.
      • And yet they will probably never have to communicate anything in that format ever again…unless they also become academics
    • question the whole form of the research paper
    • “What if bad writing is a product of the form of writing required in school — the term paper — and not necessarily intrinsic to a student’s natural writing style or thought process?”
    • A classroom suited to today’s students should de-emphasize solitary piecework
    • That classroom needs new ways of measuring progress, tailored to digital times — rather than to the industrial age or to some artsy utopia where everyone gets an Awesome for effort.
    • Blended learning lets designers split off prerequisite material from the rest  of a course
    • Blended learning lets instructional designers separate rote content focusing  on lower-order thinking skills, which can be easily taught online, from critical  thinking skills, which many instructors feel more comfortable addressing  in the classroom
    • Learners can have more meaningful conversations about these  topics because they have developed a familiarity with basic management  policies and procedures and have had time to integrate what they know into  their thinking
    • We cannot have it both ways: quality of thinking and speed are anathema to each other.
    • Covering content is daunting enough, but providing the time necessary to indulge in the quality conversations that make learning truly engaging is almost impossible
    • the challenge of articulating thoughts quickly
    • post two dynamic questions online each night. These questions have many possible answers, require analysis of content and the creation of unique ideas
    • when we revisit these discussions in the classroom, students have a plethora of ideas to share. They are no longer scared to speak out because they have a confidence born from their online discussions and the validation of their peers
    • weave those online conversations back into the classroom
      • “Some students have great ideas, but they experience difficulty expressing those ideas clearly.
    • Good practice in undergraduate education:
    • We address the teacher’s how, not the subject-matter what, of good  practice in undergraduate education. We recognize that content and pedagogy interact in  complex ways.
    • An undergraduate education should prepare students to  understand and deal intelligently with modern life.
    • 1. Encourages Contact Between Students and Faculty  Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most   important factor in student motivation and involvement. Faculty   concern helps students get through rough times and keep on working.   Knowing a few faculty members well enhances students’ intellectual   commitment and encourages them to think about their own values and   future plans.
    • 2. Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students  Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort that a   solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social,   not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases   involvement in learning. Sharing one’s own ideas and responding to   others’ reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding.
    • 3. Encourages Active Learning  Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just   by sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged   assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they   are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and apply   it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of   themselves.
    • 4. Gives Prompt Feedback  Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses learning. Students   need appropriate feedback on performance to benefit from courses.   When getting started, students need help in assessing existing   knowledge and competence. In classes, students need frequent   opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement. At   various points during college, and at the end, students need chances   to reflect on what they have learned, what they still need to know,   and how to assess themselves.
    • 5. Emphasizes Time on Task  Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time   on task. Learning to use one’s time well is critical for students and   professionals alike. Students need help in learning effective time   management. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective   learning for students and effective teaching for faculty. How an   institution defines time expectations for students, faculty,   administrators, and other professional staff can establish the basis   of high performance for all.
    • 6. Communicates High Expectations  Expect more and you will get more. High expectations are important   for everyone — for the poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert   themselves, and for the bright and well motivated. Expecting students   to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when teachers and   institutions hold high expectations for themselves and make extra  efforts.
    • 7. Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning  There are many roads to learning. People bring different talents   and styles of learning to college. Brilliant students in the seminar   room may be all thumbs in the lab or art studio. Students rich in   hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need the   opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them.   Then they can be pushed to learn in new ways that do not come so easily.
    • tell real stories from your own life in a way that is relevant and engaging to your audience. If more people could just remember that great speeches or presentations leverage the power of the speaker’s own stories
    • we must not talk ourselves out of being who we really are
    • People do not care about your excuses, they care only about seeing your authentic self
    • People crave authenticity just about more than anything else, and one way to be your authentic self and connect with an audience is by using examples and stories from your own life that illuminate your message in an engaging, memorable way

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-18

Reflections on blended learning in clinical education

A few weeks ago I was invited by one of the local groups of the South African Society of Physiotherapy to  present the initial results of my PhD research into the use of blended learning in clinical education. Afterwards, I was surprised by the support I received from the clinicians, and at the resistance (or misunderstanding?) by some of the academics.

After thinking about it for a while, I realised that this makes sense. Clinicians are probably going to welcome anything that may result in a more competent physiotherapy graduate, while academics may be more concerned with a perceived value judgement on the work that they’re doing (“What’s wrong with the way we’re doing it?”). If my research shows that a blended approach to clinical education has potential to enhance practice knowledge at an undergraduate level, pressure to change may be brought to bear on academics, not clinicians.

Another thing I was thinking about is the difference between the “hard” science of clinical contexts, and the “soft” science of educational contexts. I had people asking me how the social aspects of teaching and learning could be analysed via randomised controlled trials, and that anything less would have limited value in physiotherapy education. I realised that if you have a background where evidence is constituted by quantitative research, the qualitative aspect of social science is going to seem messy and difficult to work with.

Here’s the presentation I gave:

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-09-20

Systematic review workshop

I just spent the last 3 days at a writing workshop in Hermanus, organised so that the PhD students in our department could spend some focused time working on our systematic reviews. I prepared the proposal in the days leading up to the workshop, and had the opportunity to refine it following a presentation to the group on the first day. Here are a few things that I learned during the process:

  • The proposal, if well designed, is the blueprint for everything you do. If you take shortcuts with it, it will only take longer in the end
  • Just because an author uses the same words you do, they may not be meant in the same context i.e. keywords alone are not good indicators of eligibility
  • I usually take the conclusions of published papers at face value, but on critical review the conclusions are sometimes not based on the actual study results
  • Critical appraisal tools really expose the weaknesses of published research (and all papers have weaknesses)
  • The process takes longer than anticipated, and at some point you have to call off the search for eligible papers
I now have an article outline and am busy with the data extraction process. If I can keep to my timetable, I’ll have a complete draft by the end of August. Submission of a systematic review is one of my first objectives and will give me a baseline for for how I will plan my own implementation of blended learning in clinical education.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-12-21

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