Title of presentation: Using a Digital Knowledge Repository to Personalise Learning in Medical Education
by Dr Goh Poh Sun (use short bio below)
Synopsis: There is a simple path we can choose to take as clinician educators and education scholars; to augment our traditional teaching and training, by taking advantage of current technology to enhance our educational efforts. This does not replace well established teaching and training methods, but supports and amplifies these efforts with online and mobile technology. I hope to share my personal journey to illustrate how this can be easily done. Please review the full narrated text of my recent TLHE 2014 conference paper presentation as pre-reading before our interactive discussion.
Short Bio: (see screenshot link below)
Pre-reading (Full narration and demonstration website for recent TLHE 2014 conference at NUS below)
Using a Digital Knowledge Repository to Personalise Learning in Medical Education: A Follow-up Report to TeL2013
Educational setting(s) or Introduction
"Good afternoon. Thank you to the organising committee for giving me an opportunity to present some of the work we are doing over at the YLLSoM, and National University Hospital. This is work that I am both very excited, and passionate about; which is the use of technology as a tool, platform and enabler to support, and augment customised (and personal) teaching and learning, with educational principles as the foundation, and a scholarly ethos (guiding belief) and scholarship intent as an overarching theme.
I hope to not only make a presentation, but also a demonstration, of the Use of a Digital Knowledge Repository to Personalise Medical Education, along the continuum of education (from undergraduate, through postgraduate, to lifelong learning settings; using several case studies from Radiology, as well as Medical Education Faculty development workshops and symposia, many on the topic of technology enhanced learning).
A constant challenge we face as educators is providing a consistent educational experience, as well as the need to customise our educational offerings. Learning occurs in formal, performance support, and informal settings. Formal learning occurs both in the classroom (both large and small group/one on one), and online/mobile learning settings. Performance support may be face to face (asking someone close by for help or assistance) or by looking up a paper based or online reference source. Informal learning can take place in both physical, and online platforms.
Our students face the big challenge of finding and allocating time to learn, time to reflect and think. Packed curricular schedules leave little time and space for metacognition. Learning requires focused attention, and attendance. To be present. Both mentally, and physically. Social and professional schedules may make physical class attendance difficult. Learning preferences can make off-site educational content review, consumption, and active learning more appealing.
Another big challenge we face as educators is finding enough time to teach, as well as create educational material (design, build, create and curate). Educational administrators and program directors constantly face the challenge of finding enough teachers and instructors, training them (faculty development), and ensuring "quality teaching". This requires both high quality content, and a pedagogically sound delivery process, which promotes active, collaborative learning in our students and professional trainees.
I truly and deeply believe that an online knowledge repository, that contains what we actually teach with, and what we assess on, is the solution to these challenges.
Ultimately, any assertion of the high quality of a teaching program will be met with a simple question. Show me what you actually teach with, and assess on. Let me see it, and experience it. Or taste it, to use a food analogy.
Theory (What might work?) or Background
As educators, what should drive us is a constant focus on how to facilitate and improve learning. Small "e", big "L" in eLearning. We know from the literature that active engagement, and collaborative student activities promotes learning.
In the undergraduate setting, we know that basic theory needs to be introduced. With the challenge of illustrating and showing students how to apply this theory. With case studies, and practical scenarios.
Transfer and the ability to apply theory is the educational challenge and objective.
In the postgraduate setting, the mastery training and deliberate practice literature informs us that training of novices for competency, proficiency, expertise and mastery (the Dreyfus model) requires repeated, spaced, drill and practice sessions, with a wide range of real life scenarios and problems, of increasing complexity and ambiguity, and with increasing confounding variables, supported by feedback. We are not only guides, but also coaches.
Translation (How might we apply this?) or Methods
Lets take the opening lecture yesterday as an example. After opening statements and some background theory and principles were shared, we were then asked to recall examples of good practice. And we were then given time, during the presentation, repeatedly, to personally select from, and read from a wide selection of case studies; and after each in-session reading period, most importantly, share what key practice point made a strong impression on us, with a colleague next to us (two way), followed by whole group sharing. In effect, we witnessed an example of a large group "lecture" presented "workshop-style".
We have presented large group undergraduate lectures using this format, with online websites, digital Padlet walls, eLectures with within video segmented tabs, and iBooks as tools to deliver content, provide students personal choice on what and how to consume this content, including the ability to pause, and replay material, as well as in class time, and space to discuss the material both amongst themselves, and with the instructor. The ingredients for these presentations comes from a digital repository, making the construction of new lectures much less time consuming. Effort is now focused on customising material for an audience, and refining material, rather than creating material, or hunting for reference or illustrative material.
For postgraduate radiology training, we have been using a repository of several thousand cases to supplement, and augment day to day clinical experience. This ensures that professional trainees get to see, and practice with, the full spectrum of clinical case scenarios.
Outcome(s) (How well does it work in practice? Does it work? How do we know? How can we systematically evaluate this? How can we improve?) or Results
I now teach exclusively from online blogs or websites, supplemented by digital Padlet walls to promote interaction, and to provide a visual overview of content, which can be moved around and added to in real time.
I spend much less time presenting, and much more time interacting with students and professional trainees.
The teaching content, and educational process is very public, and available for peer review, and critique. This improves both the content and the teaching process.
Documentation of the content and educational process makes educational scholarship much easier. The use of Data Analytics makes the analysis of content usage transparent and visible - what is consumed, when, how, to what degree (I use "free" Google and Slideshare Analytics, coupled with free online resources - Google Blogger and Padlet platforms). This gives insight into the learning process, and supplements information we get as teachers from direct observation, Q and A, both formative and summative.
Discussion and reflection
I hope this presentation, and demonstration, has illustrated why I am so passionate about the use of technology to enhance teaching, and facilitate the learning process. Digital repositories provide easy access to educational content. What we actually teach with, and assess on. Allows us to disseminate, and share. Online and mobile platforms like blogs and digital walls facilitates the delivery of this content. And promotes interaction. Data analytics supplements personal observation, surveys, and student interviews. These insights add to our understanding of how students learn. And suggest how we might teach better.
Can this be done? How feasible is this? Yes. and Yes.
What does this require? Some initial training, experimentation, and lots of work. But this is front loaded. Initial effort is greater. But when done prospectively, on a regular basis, subsequent effort is much less. It now takes me one to two hours to put a new program or presentation together. Rather than 8 to 10 hours. More time can be spent customising, editing and refining; rather than producing content from scratch, or sourcing for additional material.
It is much easier to do a live cooking demonstration when all the ingredients have been laid out in front of you. Very similar to having access to an online digital knowledge repository, which contains not only the completed presentations, but also the individual digital elements of what we teach with, and assess on.
Now imagine if all educators did this. And shared material with each other. In an easily accessible way. That we have access to all the ingredients in the grocery store. And all the recipes that we, and other educators use. As well as a frozen food/TV meal section for emergencies!
Imagine also that we have a data analytics tracking process embedded in the repository and delivery, student engagement platform. We now know what is popular, what is useful, have a platform for obtaining real-time or near real-time feedback, we can observe usage, utility, how content is consumed, downloaded and used, whether content is recommended to others, "cited". This adds to our traditional measures of educational impact, the pre-test, and post-test. As well as assessments of how learning is applied in the workplace. Recall the formal, just in time performance support and informal learning settings. Learning something also includes recalling where high quality reference content and guides may be accessed. In an online repository. We can track and measure this. What is constantly, and repeatedly used, recommended, and referred to, must be useful. It has impact!
Data Analytics + Assessment and Evaluation of Classroom (Physical and Online) and Actual Clinical Practice and Educational Practice (for Faculty Development) Settings
Duration of each visit
Number and frequency of each visit
Referral source, recommendations (citation)
Digital Analytics Fundamentals (4 to 6 hour online course from Google Analytics Academy)
Questions posed, both in "class" (physical and online), as well as in clinical practice
Individual and group answers to questions, and assignment submission
Quantity and Quality
Analogy - Drill and Practice Sessions, Training Sessions
Breadth and Range of Activities
How these simulate real-life/actual clinical and practice settings
Assessment of Learning and Training; Assessment for Learning
Recall key ideas, major principles
Apply theory to practice
Demonstrate and illustrate
Explain and elaborate
Training Logs and Portfolios