assignments ethics physiotherapy technology

IPE course project update

This post is cross-posted from the International Ethics Project site.

My 4th year students have recently completed the first writing task in the IEP course pilot project. I thought I’d post a quick update on the process using screenshots to illustrate how the course is being run. We’re using a free version of WordPress which has certain limitations. For example it’s hard to manage different cohorts of students, but there are many more advantages, which I’ll write about in another post.

My students will keep writing for their portfolios using the course website, which I’ll keep updating and refining based on our experiences. The idea is that by the end of the year we’ll have figured out how to use the site most effectively for students to work through the course for the project.

twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-09-19

  • @edtechdev never thought about using WP, might be interesting to explore. Thanks for that #
  • Looking for open source journal management software with “social” components. Any1 have any experience with any of these #
  • @mpaskevi looking for journal management tools, want faculty journal to go open access. Any experience with any of these #
  • @ihorpona Not necessarily, but beautiful spaces can be inspiring. The aesthetics may add value over and above the physical space…? #
  • @RonaldArendse when you die #
  • UCT moving towards open education practices #
  • Rethinking e-Portfolios Nice overview of the different uses of portfolios #
  • via @perkinswill_EDU: beautiful learning spaces #BLC11 #
  • What improvements in medical education will lead to better health for individuals and populations? #
  • @whataboutrob Haven’t read 1 or 2 yet. Just finished Book 1 of GoT, also almost finished Girl who played with fire…it’s OK #
  • Does God Exist? Ricky Gervais Takes Your Questions – Speakeasy – WSJ #
  • A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist #
  • @whataboutrob Very cool. Loving Game of Thrones btw, you read Waylander II? Have another copy if you want it. How was London? #
conference learning teaching

AMEE conference (day 2)

These are the notes I took on the second day of AMEE. One of the things I noticed is that in most of the presentations the speakers talk about “doctors”, and that little is said about “health professionals”. There seem to be few people here who understand that effective healthcare can only be delivered by teams. They may speak about multi-disciplinary teams but I doubt that they would accept that they are “on the same level” as others on the team. The traditional heirarchy is still very clear, even if it is only implicit. I’ve substituted “doctor” with “health professional” in my notes.

Supporting Scottish dental education through collaborative development and sharing of digital teaching and learning resources
D Dewhurst

Scottish dentail students had little engagement with mainstream e-learning

Low level of e-learning experience or readiness (among students or staff?)

3 year project to:

  • Provide support
  • Develop digital resources
  • Empower learners and teachers:
  • Effective engagement with academics / clinicians
  • Create resources
  • Maintain a community and encourage participation
  • Share resources in a wider community

People developing resources were not concerned with taking 3rd party content off the web, included personally identifiable information

An electronic lexicon in obstetrics
Athol Kent

For deep learning to occur, students must make meaning from the information we give them. But, we make assumptions about what students understand about our professional culture, which includes an entirely new language.

The project is to create an online electronic lexicon of common O&G common terms and phrases

When the student feels ready, they are assessed on their knowledge of 100 of the 800 words in the lexicon

Students enjoy being seen as “intelligent but uninformed”

Students are able to add their own content to the lexicon

Would you consider making this valuable resource available to the global community? Yes, the database can be made available to other institutions on request

The literature as a means of distance learning in a PG course of family health
A Dahmer

Why does Brazil need large-scale training? Enormous population spread out over an area more than half the size of South America

One of the biggest problems in DE is maintaining motivation among students

Created a fictional city that accurately reflects the kind of places that medical students are expected to work in, down to the political structure of the city, Neighbourhood descriptions

Used virtual teams with individual characteristics

Used comic books, newspapers, podcasts and blogs

Using Moodle to create the learning environment, fits into the university infrastructure

Mimic social problems as well, which the students have to deal with

Humanises the work for students, approximated reality using distance learning

Did you consider using something like Second Life for creating the city? Yes, decided against it because infrastructure is a problem, as well as internet access for students

Virtual clinical encounters for developing and assessing interpersonal and transcultural competence with traumatised patients
Solvig Ekblad

Medical competence:

  • Clinical
  • Interprofessional
  • Cultural

Cultural compentence is the ability of the clinician to overcome cultural difference to build effective relationships with patients, exploring the patient’s values and beliefs

Virtual clinical encounter = an interactive computer simulation of real-life scenarios for the purpose of healthcare and medical training, education or assessment (Ellaway et al, 2008)

Patient information in the VCE is very comprehensive

The intervention is scalable, generalisable, the assessment tool can be summative or formative, works as a controlled environment where medical students can work safely

Implementing the future of medical education in Canada
G Moineau


  • Address individual and community needs (speaks to social accountability)
  • Enhance admissions processes (cognitive and non-cognitive considerations, interviews, autobiography)
  • Build on the scientific basis of medicine
  • Promote prevention and public health
  • Address the hidden curriculum (learning environment must explicitly promote appropriate professional attributes)
  • Diversity learning contexts (community based, preceptor programme, rural environments mandatory rotation)
  • Value generalism (value primary care specialities / family medicine)
  • Advance inter- and intra-professional practice (participate as part of a team)
  • Adopt a competency-based approach (used CANMeds framework)
  • The physician is a clinician, communicator, collaborator, professional, advocate, scholar, person, manager
  • Electornic portfolio on core competencies → reflective practive, longitudinal over duration of course, pass / fail assessment
  • Foster medical leadership (integrated into curriculum)

An anatomy course on “Human evolution: the fossil evidence”
Netta Notzer

About 130 students attend annually, a 3rd of them non-medical

Information for the course came from lecturers (e.g. their teaching philosophy), other faculty members’ opinions, observations in the class, the curriculum and syllabus, students’ web-sites

Scientific theory can be contradicted by new evidence and be argued. There is no superior authority in science, it is governed by factual evidence

Course is different from traditional anatomy courses, in that it is:

  • Conceptually complex
  • Intelllectually demanding
  • Scientifically dynamic

Course presented in lecture hall, but instructor uses analogy, open discussion and explanation rather than memorisation

Course demonstrates that students from different faculties can learn together

GIMMICS: an educational game for final year pharmacy students and GPs in family practice
Pascale Petit

GIMMICS = teaching game in a controlled academic setting, focus on communication skills

First introduced in 2001, operational in 2003

Teaching goals:

  • prepare for tasks as pharmacists
  • improve quality of care
  • address heterogeneity
  • help student reflect and error-correct

Game is web-based, consists of a virtual pharmacy, is open for others to follow, covers all aspects of the profession

University remodels actual rooms to mimic game interface

Also makes use of reflective journals

Activities within the game are scored

Also used for communication between students and pharmacists

Game is a structured mix of all kinds of activities e.g. consultations, interruptions, home visits, prescription

No evaluation, focus is on learning

Can take a long time to introduce minor concepts to students

See Bertram (Chip) Bruce – University of Illinois

The impact of PDAs on the millenial medical student
Monica Hoy

We need to move the conversation away from the idea that a certain generation of students is more “technologically savvy” by virtue of the fact that they were born during a certain period of time

To determine if the stage of training plays a role in attitudes towards the use of newer technologies for learning

Determine baseline prevalence of PDA use among medical studnets

To determine preference among students towards more traditional adjuncts to learning

Students feel that PDAs are more useful as they progress through the curriculum, and derive more value from them when they’re actually practicing, rather than when they’re in the pre-clinical stages

Students are NOT doing it for themselves: the use of m-learning in a minimally supported environment
K Masters

“Use of handheld devices is crucial for modern healthcare delivery” ← really?

Should be encouraging self-learning activities

Students purchase own hardware and software, no advice from staff, no encouragement, no expectation, etc. i.e. no support at all

Second presenter in this session giving information on what type of mobile device (e.g. iPhone, etc.) that students are using…is this important?

Uses deviced for taking notes, accessing medical websites, emails, reference tools, lecture notes, research, videos

Drop in use as sophistication of use increases

Many of the activities that are important for medical education are not accessed by students on mobile devices

Students talk about anywhere, anytime access, and ease of use. However, they also complain of small screen sizes, cost, technical difficulties and lack of support (14% saw this as a problem → but students only use devices for simple activities e.g. email, so high levels of support not necessary)

International medical education
Plenary (David Wilkinson, Madalena Patricio, Stefan Lindgren, Pablo Pulido, Emmanuel G Cassimatis)

Is the globalisation / internationalisation of medical education just another form of colonialism?

What are the:

Higher education is a global industry, a globally traded commodity as demand soars

“Constantly inspired by students”

What is the difference between globalisation and internationalisation?

Global medicine:

  • Medicine and disease are global e.g. HIV. Influeza, TB
  • Medical professionals are highly mobile
  • Medical tourism as an emerging industry
  • Medical migration (in some countries, more than half of professionals were trained in other countries)
  • Expansion of agencies and institutions

The international / visiting teacher is becoming less common, but the virtual teacher is increasing (is this happening fast enough?)

Models of international medical education:

  • Outbound / inbound student mobility e.g. electives
  • Staff mobility and sabbatical e.g. conferences, formal exchange
  • Academic partnering
  • Offshore campus
  • “Franchised” curriculum
  • International schools
  • Institutional partnerships

Shift from student numbers to a global strategy for recruiting, supporting students

International students are one of Australia’s biggest earners

Transnational medical education:

  • Global faculty and curriculum (recruit offshore whenever possible)
  • Global students → diversity
  • Global student exchange
  • Key partnerships
  • Global projects
  • Global presence

Huge opportunity for the virutal international teacher

In a global medical programme how would you manage:

  • Accreditation?
  • Registration?
  • Cost-effectiveness?

In 2001: will medicine and medical education escape the impact of globalisation…no

Medical students should be involved in global endeavours? Most salient reason in moral obligation, students want to “help others”

Students the skills to work in an international context, and an understanding of the values of the global citizen

“To grow is to understand that we are very small…”

Understanding difference is part of being a competent health professional

“Different…but not indifferent”

Quality standards:

  • Degrees
  • Licensure
  • Accreditation
  • …and others

Transition from process-based to outcomes-based education

Increasing emphasis on life-long education and regulation for health care professionals

Should look at harmonising quality of education, rather than standardisation

Accreditation must be local, but should be based on an awareness of a global context

twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-04

  • U.N. Report Declares Internet Access a Human Right | Threat Level | #
  • #saahe2011 officially over. It was a wonderful conference made possible by the participation of health educators from all over the country #
  • Papert Being a revolutionary means seeing far enough ahead to know that there is going to be a fundamental change #
  • Papert The impact of paper in education has led to the exclusion of those who don’t think in certain ways #
  • @dkeats When people are “experts” in a domain they can be blinded to great ideas in other fields and so miss opportunities to drive change #
  • @dkeats Agreed. I’ve had to work really hard to convince people in my dept that I’m not the “computer guy”, I’m the “education guy” #
  • Innovation is about linking concepts from different fields to solve problems, its not about doing the same thing with more efficiency #
  • “How do you learn enough of the words to make sense of the discipline?” #saahe2011 #
  • Presentation by David Taylor on the use of adult learning theories #saahe2011 #
  • Jack Boulet speaking about the challenges and opportunities in simulation-based assessment #saahe2011 #
  • Mendeley Desktop 1.0 Development Preview Released #
  • Social media is inherently a system of peer evaluation and is changing the way scholars disseminate their research #
  • @dkeats Wonder if the problem has to do with the fact that much “ed tech” is designed by Comp Scientists, rather than Social Sci? #
  • @dkeats Also, people have the idea that LMSs have something to do with T&L, & then struggle when it can’t do what they need it to #
  • @dkeats To qualify, the problem isn’t resistance, its misunderstanding. The conversation always ends up being about technology #
  • There’s a huge difference between “learning” & “studying”, not in terms of the process but ito motivation & objectives #
  • @thesiswhisperer conf is for health educators, mostly clinicians, many of whom are amazing teachers but for whom tech is misunderstood #
  • In a workshop with David Taylor, looking at using adult learning theories #saahe2011 #
  • Blackboard is a course management system, it has little to do with learning. Use it for what its designed for #saahe2011 #
  • Trying to change perception that technology-mediated teaching & learning isn’t about technology. Not going well #saahe2011 #
  • Just gave my presentation on the use of social networks to facilitate clinical & ethical reasoning in practice contexts #saahe2011 #
  • Deborah Murdoch Eaton talks about the role of entrepreneurship to innovate in health education #saahe2011 #
  • Social accountability is relevant for all health professions ( #saahe2011 #
  • Charles Boelen talks about social accountability at #saahe2011 keynote, discusses its role in meeting society’s health needs #
  • First day of #saahe2011 over. Lots of interesting discussion and some good research being done in health science education #
  • Concept mapping workshop turned out OK. Got a CD with loads of useful information…a first for any workshop I’ve attended #saahe2011 #
  • Many people still miss the point when it comes to technology-mediated teaching & learning. Your notes on an LMS is not teaching or learning #
  • At a workshop on concept mapping, lots of content being delivered to me, not much practical yet #saahe2011 #
  • Noticed a trend of decreasing satisfaction from 1-4 year, even though overall scores were +. Implications for teaching? #saahe2011 #
  • Banjamin van Nugteren: do medical students’ perceptions of their educational environment predict academic performance? #saahe2011 #
  • Selective assignment as an applied education & research tool -> gain research exp, improve knowledge & groupwork #saahe2011 #
  • Reflective journaling: “as we write conscious thoughts, useful associations & new ideas begin to emerge” #saahe2011 #
  • Change paradigm from “just-in-case” learning to “just-in-time” learning #saahe2011 #
  • Benefits of EBP are enhanced when principles are modelled by clinicians #saahe2011 #
  • EBP less effective when taught as a discrete module. Integration with clinical practice shows improvements across all components #saahe2011 #
  • Students have difficulty conducting appraisals of online sources <- an enormous challenge when much content is accessed online #saahe2011 #
  • Looking around venue at #saahe2011 10 open laptops, 2 visible iPads (lying on desk, not being used), about 350 participants…disappointing #
  • EBP isn’t a recipe (or a religion), although that is a common misconception #saahe2011 #
  • Prof. Robin Watts discusses EBP and facilitating student learning. EBP isn’t synonymous with research #saahe2011 #
  • “A lecture without a story is like an operation without an anaesthetic” Athol Kent, #saahe2001 #
  • Kent drawing heavily on Freni et al, 2010, Health professionals for a new century, Lancet. #
  • #saahe2001 has begun. Prof. Athol Kent: the future of health science education #
  • Portfolios and Competency Really interesting comments section. Poorly implemented portfolios aren’t worth much #
  • @amcunningham I think that portfolios can demonstrate competence and be assessed but it needs a change in mindset to evaluate them #
  • @amcunningham will comment on the post when I’m off the road #
  • @amcunningham Can’t b objective as I haven’t used NHS eportfolio. Also, its hard 2 structure what should be personally meaningful experience #
  • @amcunningham Portfolios must include reflection, not just documentation. Reflection = relating past experience to future performance #
  • @amcunningham Your delusion question in the link: practitioners / students not shown how to develop a portfolio with objectives #
  • @amcunningham Also spoke a lot about competency-based education and strengths / limitations compared to apprentice-based model #
  • @amcunningham Very much. Just finished a 4 day workshop that included the use of portfolios as reflective tools in developing competence #
  • Final day of #safri 2011 finished. Busy with a few evaluations now. Spent some time developing the next phase of my project. Tired… #
  • Last day of #safri today, short session this morning, then leaving for #saahe2011 conference in Potchefstroom. It’s been an intense 5 days #
  • Papert: Calling yourself some1 who uses computers in education will be as ridiculous as calling yourself some1 who uses pencils in education #
  • Daily Papert 10 years ago, Papert warned against the “computers in education” specialist. How have we responded? #
  • Daily Papert Defining yourself as someone who uses computers in education, is to subordinate yourself #
  • YouTube – Augmented Reality Brain When this is common in health education, things are going to get crazy #
  • @rochellesa Everyone needs some downtime, especially at 10 at night when you’re out with your wife 🙂 Seems like a nice guy, very quiet #
  • @rochellesa The large policeman he’s with isn’t keen tho. Mr Nzimande has asked 2 not b disturbed. Understandable when u want to chill out #
  • I’m sitting in a hotel in Jo’burg & Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande walks in and sits down next to me. Any1 have any questions? #
assessment curriculum learning physiotherapy students teaching workshop

SAFRI 2011 (session 2) – day 3

Began today with a session on workplace-based learning, spent some time “developing a model” for learning a new skill after actually trying to learn (what was for many) a new skill…spinning a top. My group came up with the following model which, truth be told was obviously based on Kolb’s learning cycle.

Reviewed educational model of Teunissen et al (2007)

Models are fluid frameworks that help to develop understanding, not algorithms that need to be followed


  • Teunissen et al, (2007). Attending doctors’ perspectives on how residents learn. Medical Education, 41: 1050-1058
  • Teunissen et al (2007). How residents learn: qualitative evidence for the pivotal role of clinical activities. Medical Education, 41: 763-770


One minute preceptor / 5-step micro-skills

Has led to modest improvements in teaching skills (Furney et al, 2001), has been found to be equal to or better than traditional methods of clinical teaching in time-constrained environments e.g. bedside, ward rounds (Aagaard et al, 2004).

The one-minute preceptor is a framework (Neher et al, 1992):

  1. Get a commitment: statement of understanding / intent, should be verbal (“What do you think?”)
  2. Probe for supporting evidence: question student for further depth / detail i.e. probe the statement (“Why do you say that?”)
  3. Reinforce what was done well: provide feedback on appropriate behaviour / performance
  4. Give guidance about errors or omissions: error correction
  5. Teach a general principle: extrapolate the situation / event to more general terms
  6. Conclusion: end with clear steps for moving forward


  • Furney et al, 2001. Teaching the one-minute preceptor: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16: 620-624
  • Aagaard et al, 2004. Effectiveness of the one-minute preceptor model for diagnosing the patient and the learner: proof of concept. Academic Medicine, 79: 42-49
  • Neher et al, 1992. A five-step “microskills” model of clinical teaching. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 5: 419-242



What is a portfolio? A collection of learning objects / experiences, aggregated over time, directing at documenting the achievement of developmental objectives. Demonstrates progress. Must be measurable although this is hard to do.

Short session on designing portfolio tasks, asked to design a task for something we currently teach. This is a useful framework for an assignment. I chose a task for Movement Science:

  • What – To understand the relationships between concepts in movement science and apply those concepts to clinical practice (challenging for students)
  • Activity – Develop a concept map of an activity (e.g. observed movement of a patient with a movement disorder), using concepts from module to explore / explain the activity
  • Where – Clinical setting / patient encounter
  • How – Short patient history, with an associated concept map
  • Reflection – Each link on the concept map must have a note explaining the observed movement / activity, it’s relation to the module concept, and be linked to the patient history
  • Measure – concept maps can demonstrate understanding of relationships between concepts (theory) and their application to practice (patient presentation)

Type of learning taking place in above example:

  • Clinical reasoning
  • Professionalism (i.e. note taking and patient presentation)
  • Reflective practice
  • Interpreting data

Assessment is a snapshot of learning

Students worry that they didn’t learn something that you might ask them in an assessment

Be strategic in what you’re going to measure

Portfolios are about “doing”, there should be consideration of patient management involved

Portfolio assessment is often not feasible in a resource-constrained environment as it can be labour intensive. The document should serve as an indicator to guide assessment of the student. It must assess something different to what is already being assessed.

Assess reasoning. Knowledge is better assessed with other methods e.g. MCQ

Portfolios are not just another thing to do



Reflection raises awareness → exploration of alternative methods

Asked to do a short reflection on personal / professional development since beginning with SAFRI programme:

“My SAFRI project began as a study that would look (in retrospect) quite superficially at the use of a social network to development clinical / ethical reasoning skills.

Over time it became clear that the method involved little more than describing “what students did”, which I found deeply unsatisfying. “Is there more to this?”

I began looking into theoretical frameworks that could help to structure the research. I’m now analysing the data with a structure (i.e. theoretical framework) that is helping me develop a deeper understanding of the process.

This has played a role I changing how I think about research. I find myself questioning a lot more in other parts of my life…”Why is it like that?”

We discussed the challenges of evaluating personal (and often deeply personal) reflections. Giving marks clouds the issue, as students then write what they think you want to hear in order to get a better mark, in contrast to sharing honest, open, authentic experiences.

It’s important to link their reflections with expected outcomes

In the community block that I supervise, students share and discuss their reflections in a group. I do this because I think it’s important to hear what others are going through (i.e. to “normalise” the experiences and emotional responses). I understand that this can change the reflections that students produce i.e. will they be honest and open if they know the reflection will be shared? I’ve found that students give still give honest reflections when they realise that the feedback is non-judgemental and that it can help them to move to deeper understanding

Does reflecting actually change practice? Is there a difference between what they say and what they do?

twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-07-26

conference education health research

SAAHE – short oral presentations

Assessment challenges in UG medical education (GG Mokane)

Medical school in Botswana is spiral, integrated, community based and problem-based, but the rest of the university is didactic

Format, content, timing and feedback are important components of assessment

Assessment in this course has an emphasis on 3 types of MCQ’s

  1. Matching
  2. Single best answer
  3. True/false (multiple answer) – study was based on evaluating this specific format

How should these questions be used, and what instructions issued when they are?

Retrospective analysis of students performance in cumulative and non-cumulative formative assessment methods (AA Adebesin)

If students consistently score above 60%, they are exempt from the final summative exam (university rule). This had implicit problems in that students couldn’t graduate with distinction because they scored high enough to not write the summative exam.

Introduced a cumulative assessment process that carried formative assessment marks over from block to block

How do you objectively measure student progress and understanding?

A student portfolio: the golden key to reflective, experiential and evidence-based learning (G Muubuke)

Portfolios are useful evidence of learning and reflective processes

Logbooks are not good indicators of learning

Portfolio content included bio-data, radiological images, critical learning incident, clinical evaluation forms, logbook – with guiding questions to assist reflection

Portfolio assessed formatively and summatively

Found initially that students and teachers had only limited knowledge of portfolios, although training workshops helped in this regard

Stakeholders welcomed the introduction of the tool

Assessment whittled down to 2 items, rather than whole portfolio (1 item selected by student, the other by the teacher)

Students learn and develop by reflecting on experiences

Unfair to judge learning based only on exam marks

Students should see portfolio management as on ongoing practice, and not just a “task” to be completed

The purpose of the portfolio must be defined at the outset (i.e. what is the benefit to the student?), and it should be simple to complete, students should not see it as additional work

It should be aligned with institutional goals and learning activities

There’s a lot of effort and time involved in assessing portfolios, and rubrics may help to assist marking (adds standardisation)

Making assessment matter: does a novel model of the pre-assessment effects of summative assessment on learning also operate in clinical contexts? (F Cilliers)

There is little evidence of what the impact of assessment is on learning, as well as the mechanism of the impact

Validating a model by looking at the following 4 factors:

  • Explanatory power
  • Generalisability
  • Integration
  • Utility

Daily exposure to consequences leads to evenly distributed learning in clinical settings, but in theory modules, periodic assessment would lead to “binge learning”. However, the more relaxed nature of the clinical (evenly distributed) model might actually lead to the binge-type learning model of theory blocks.

Relaxed environments allow students to go and follow up on work after the situation, but stressful environments force students to memorise content that they forget immediately afterwards

High risk environments lead to surface cognitive processing strategies, as opposed to supportive and low risk environments leading to deeper cognitive processing

The model is useful for explaining behaviour, is generalisable, and is integrated. Not able to determine if it is useful yet

It’s about personal and academic consequences (and their imminence), not just the act of assessment. When block marks are given to students at the end of a block, that were relevant to a situation that occurred during the block, students are less likely to pay attention to the feedback (in whatever form it takes). Consequences should be immediate and not scary.

Assessors can have a powerful (and potentially negative) influence on learning

Students study more for stressful situations, but they remember less. They study less for relaxed environments, but are more likely to follow up on the situations and remember more

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-15

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