In an active learning environment, formative assessment of learning is important because:
• it allows both the professor and the students to evaluate on a regular basis how they are progressing in achieving the class objectives
• both professor and students can adjust their activities based on the feedback they receive.
The images below represent how Dr. Kalyani Premkumar, an assistant professor in our College of Medicine answered the question, “How can my students and I best understand the nature, quality and progress of their learning?”* The class had over 80 undergraduate medical and dental students studying about the general characteristics of hormones. Dr. Premkumar wanted students to demonstrate their understanding of the classification system, she had just lectured on.
Before Class Began
Classification terms were printed, cut and sorted into piles.
Piles were placed in 10 envelopes with 4X4 cards that were printed with the major headings for the classification.
After The Lecture
Groups of five students were given an envelope
The whole room was engaged in learning.
Within 5 minutes, they had completed the sorting
Dr. Premkumar checked the results and provided feedback. Class debriefed with questions.
Connectivism is a new teaching theory about the importance of connecting students to people, places and ideas in order to improve their learning. In medical school, we traditionally achieve this by rotating students through a variety of clinical rotations. Ideally, students would be exposed to different specialists, different locations, and diverse patients. Most universities have standardized patients who represent a variety of cultural and medical issues in their communities.
Here at the University of Saskatchewan, we, also, have the Making the Links program, whereby selected undergraduate students experience community health and development in the contexts of rural/remote health in a northern Saskatchewan community, an urban underserved community in Saskatoon at SWITCH (the Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health), and in the Global South in Mozambique. Making the Links exposes students to the determinants of health and the importance of community in these various settings. Making the Links is the first step to becoming a socially accountable physician.
Dr. Rajakumar, a Saskatoon cardiologist has developed an electronic conferencing tool where families, patients and specialists located in diferent locations around the world can consult on difficult cases.
Increasing use of online communication will make experts and research available to larger audiences. The image below represents the locations of the 819 people from all over the world, who read one of my other teaching blogs.
I chose the title Techno Terror is here! because biological terrorism seems to be a popular scenario for virtual games but also because of the fear many medical faculty have of venturing into technology as a teaching tool. So here are some examples of how NEW TECHNOLOGY is being used today in medical schools and among health providers.
Idaho Bioterrorism Awareness and Preparedness Program
Idaho University Institute of Rural Health http://irhbt.typepad.com/play2train/ This website provides an overview and some great videos of Idaho University’s Second Life site available for training/awareness about emergency preparedness. The picture below is from the virtual hospital.
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have developed simulation games that train health officials to respond effectively to disasters and infectious disease outbreaks. This image represents a hospital library and meeting room.
A social networking site with a strong international community health focus, there are opportunities for collaboration on projects, competing for innovation awards and discussions http://www.changemakers.net/en-us/node
Bringing the right researches together and allowing them to grow their professional network is the ultimate goal of BiomedExperts (BME) - the first literature-based social networking platform, Collexis is providing BME free of charge for all researchers around the globe in an effort to increase collaborative biomedical research for the collective good.
BioMedExperts is a new online community that connects biomedical researchers to each other through the display and analysis of the networks of co-authors with whom each investigator works to publish scientific papers. The comprehensive system of pre-populated expert profiles, coupled with the ability to analyze all associated professional connections within the co-author network, allows scientists and researchers across organizations the ability to share data and collaborate in ways never before considered.
Social bookmarking has been listed as the #1 most useful technology for university professors. Why?
1. It helps you organize and refind links to articles, websites and videos.
2. It makes sharing links with students and colleagues on a website or blog easy. To see an example of this ability to share, open my other blog The Active Learning Blog Carnival, scroll down to My Delicious Tags and click on the blue links. The larger the link, the more articles are available.
To watch a video that explains Social Bookmarking in Plain English, click twice on the video below.
Unfortunately, the university blogs don't allow me to incorporate this feature.
There is a lot of discussion at the University of Saskatchewan about the use of medical simulation in health science education. To understand the decisions being made in this area, you need to understand that there are four distinct categories of simulation:
1. Physical Simulators
2. Human Manipulated Physical Simulators
3. Virtual Simulators
4. Virtual Environment Simulators
Physical simulators are reusable mannequins that students practise skills on such as physical examinations, injections and other invasive treatments. Using this type of simulator provides initial practice when willing patients are in short supply or when practise could be invasive, unpleasant or painful to patients. Once the student has developed an acceptable level of skill, they complete their learning with human patients. Below you can see some examples of physical simulators manufactured by Kyoto Kagaku Co. Ltd., which were recently displayed at the university.
Human Manipulated Physical Simulators
A more sophisticated level of simulator is a full body mannequin that can be manipulated by a human operator located behind a two-way mirror. This type of simulator can answer questions, raise limbs as well as be examined/draped/treated. This provides students with a more holistic simulation in which they role-play interactions with the patient. The draw back here is a high initial cost as well as an ongoing expense of an operator.
Virtual Simulators use 3D animation to teach parts of the body (Guide to a Healthy Heart) or to teach steps in a procedure (Sim Praxis video )
Costs to create these simulations can be very high, therefore, they are often purchased as CD’s with a textbook or accessed through sponsored online sites. See also The Visible Human
Virtual Environment Simulators
The Virtual Environment Simulators are computer-based medical scenarios that usually include a 3D model of a location, equipment, personnel and patients that students enter with an Avatar. They work well for “What if?” case studies such as disaster training, pandemic planning, problem solving and modeling of unusual diagnosis that students might not encounter in their clinical experience. Costs of initial production can be lowered by using already existing virtual worlds such as Second Life, a virtual world with a higher population than the prairies. Cost per student is frequently minimal.
The video below demonstrates how science is being taught in Second Life.