Thursday, 26 February 2015

Preparation for formal PhD proposal - February to August 2015

February 2015
(assembling and demonstrating all previous work including over last 3 years since obtaining Maastricht MHPE in June 2012, see website above)

Draft proposal 

Re-imagining a medical and postgraduate training curriculum by integrating online with face to face learning and interaction
- a PhD proposal by Dr Goh Poh Sun
MBBS(Melb), FRCR, FAMS, MHPE(Maastricht)


Professional training programs are faced with the constant challenge of exponentially increasing curricular content, or curricular "bloat", crowding out curricular time allocated for student interaction and content assimilation, not to mention content integration.

The paradox is that professional training programs are lengthy multiyear, if not decade long training and apprenticeship encounters. As educators, we have not taken full advantage of the potential of educational technology to provide access to comprehensive, standardised, peer-reviewed, high quality content for both students, and instructors; during this lengthy training process. To revisit, and build upon fundamental principles and case-based experience; utilising the best available educational theory, including mastery training and deliberate practice principles, evidence from the literature, as well as local empirical experience. We have also not taken full advantage of the potential of educational technology and eLearning to make our teaching public, scholarly, and a showcase of educational scholarship.

In the next 5 studies, as part of a "PhD level" educational proposal, the role of educational technology, eLearning or technology enhanced learning will be reviewed in the context of a longitudinal medical training program, spanning the undergraduate, through postgraduate, to continuing professional development and lifelong learning settings. A series of studies will be proposed to evaluate, assess, and measure the impact of these educational efforts in revising a training curriculum.

Study 1 and 3 - eLectures vs traditional Lectures in undergraduate (study 1) and postgraduate (study 3) medical education

Lectures can (1) provide an efficient and time effective way to share complex information with large groups of students in an enthusiastic and engaging way; (2) present a framework to facilitate understanding and provide an introduction and overview of complex topics, helping integrate prior knowledge with current information for students; (3) customise the material for a specific cohort of students to address their learning needs; (4) be used to provoke thought and deepen understanding; and (5) be used to promote independent learning (Brown & Manogue (2001); Exley & Dennick (2004).

eLectures possess many of the advantages of traditional lectures; with the added functionality and advantage of widening access to high quality standardised peer reviewed content to both students and instructors; to learn from, and build upon (see background section).

A key advantage of making eLecture content available, in both packaged, and granular form (by indexing key take-home points, key tables and graphics and important references and review papers for example); is that students can review and revisit principles, and illustrative case studies repeatedly through their longitudinal training program (with timing and sequence both guided by instructors in an adaptive curriculum; and also on demand as and when required by students). This reinforces basic principles; and improves transfer (Baldwin & Ford,1988). The provision of eLecture content which students engage with repeatedly promotes learning.

eLectures can facilitate self-directed learning in students. eLectures offer curricular planners and educators greater flexibility to deliver and customise educational content, and facilitate an adaptive curriculum.

There are several ways we can evaluate and assess these assertions.

For example, for students, we can measure time to competency for undergraduates as an index for efficiency. We can measure time to proficiency, and mastery for postgraduates; as an index for efficiency. For both undergraduates, and postgraduates, we can assess understanding, knowledge retention, and ability to apply key ideas and principles as an indicator of effectiveness. For instructors, we can measure lecture preparation time as an index for efficiency. And assess the relative ease of evaluating teaching effectiveness using eLectures vs traditional lectures.

Study 2 - role of interactive eCases in undergraduate medical education

What is the role of interactive eCases in undegraduate medical education? Presenting typical examples of common clinical conditions serves to illustrate principles and key ideas introduced in the basic science units of a medical curriculum. More significantly, these clinical scenarios and case examples are the starting point of future clinical encounters, and serve as both knowledge anchors around which deeper experience can be built with exposure to further clinical case examples, as well as triggers to recall key practice points, while deepening understanding of basic science principles.

Students are progressively exposed to clinical scenarios illustrated with key points in the clinical history, physical examination findings, laboratory data and clinical imaging findings.

This process of building a firm foundation of clinical case based scenario recognition ("think fast", pattern recognition, or "what") supported by a firm foundation of increasing deeper understanding of basic science principles ("think slow" or "why") is fundamental to developing both forms of clinical reasoning, giving future clinicians the ability to quickly recognise common and important clinical scenarios, as well as the capacity and ability to reason from first principles with atypical clinical presentations, with less defined, multiple and conflicting clinical features.

Study 4 - role of interactive eCases in postgraduate medical education

Re-imagining a postgraduate training curriculum

A combination of eLectures (e=online; e=edited, 0.5 time traditional lectures), daily deliberate practice sessions with theme based interactive online sets of clinical cases for compare and contrast practice coupled with online and regular face to face feedback and discussion with clinical tutors; together with supervised daily clinical sessions with clinical teachers in a coaching role; augmented by individual resident ePortfolios for formative assessment and self reflection; can potentially dramatically reduce the training time required in postgraduate training programs, delivering a more personalised educational experience, focused on identifying an individual trainee's strengths and augmenting these, as well as strengthening areas of weakness in performance.

(These five studies will be capped off by a "Review of studies and PhD thesis"; or conference/medical education symposium presentation and review paper).

Study 5 - role of a hyperlinked indexed eRepository in continuing medical education (draft)

An eRepository, particularly one that is comprehensive, and representative of current, and actual teaching and training material, has a similar utility to that of a well stocked, well laid out, and clearly signposted and labelled grocery or market, with a well stocked frozen food/prepared meal section. To take this food and cooking analogy further, this resource would allow a chef, or cooking instructor/demonstrator, to devote his or her time more efficiently, and potentially more effectively, by focusing effort on actual cooking and demonstrating, rather than sourcing for ingredients.

Translating this analogy to an education and training setting, the instructor can focus on customising a teaching and training program, and refining an educational offering; rather than spending time sourcing for material, creating content from scratch, or looking through past presentations and training resources to attempt to update or customise these for a particular audience.

This paradigm also facilitates personalised content review by learners, who now can not only review previously presented packaged presentations, but also go back to the original source material and "raw ingredients", for example clinical scenarios, take home points, key references, key points made in these references, key illustrations (including graphics, radiology images, anatomy and pathology digital photographs), charts and tables.

This promotes a modular, potentially more standardised, systematic and programatic; customised and personalised review of educational material; particularly with the aid of prepared curricular plans, and the assistance of teachers and trainers in a coaching role. Digital access and accessibility promotes and widens access to this educational and training material; facilitates formal, informal and just in time learning and performance support; anytime and anywhere. This resource supports content review before class. Valuable face to face time and live class time is now available for more interactive discussion with peers and instructors, with a focus on deepening understanding, translating theory to practice, using group interactions and other active learning strategies ("blended" eLearning with face to face interaction; and the "Flipped Classroom" model).

For example, the potential of "collections of potential training situations for a wide range of professional tasks" is discussed by K. Anders Ericsson (2009), where he suggests "using collections of representative tasks with verifiably correct answers", which can "not only be used to measure objective performance of experts", but can "be used for training new recruits as well as maintenance testing and continued training of experienced professionals" (Chapter 18, page 422-423).

Ericsson concludes with this suggestion, that "with an increased interest in the lifelong development of professional performance, there should be an increase in the studies examining deliberate practice in many different types of professional activities, as well as designing training environments with challenging relevant situations that require immediate action and that can provide feedback and opportunities for repeated encounters of the same and similar tasks" (Chapter 18, page 425).

Above reflection jotted down while reading A radiological approach to benign and malignant lesions of the mandible (review article in Clinical Radiology, April 2015)

Assembling background reading/detailed literature review

This includes detailed re-reading of Chapter 10, The role of expertise in radiology image interpretation. Calvin Nodine and Claudia Mello-Thoms. In The Handbook of Medical Image Perception and Techniques. Edited by Ehsan Samei and Elizabeth Krupinski

Re-reading literature on the 4C-ID model

Blueprints for Complex Learning: The 4C/ID-Model by Jeroen J. G. van MerriĆ«nboer
Richard E. Clark and Marcel B. M. de Croock

4C/ID in medical education: How to design an educational program based on whole-task learning: AMEE Guide No. 93 by Vandewaetere M1, Manhaeve D, Aertgeerts B, Clarebout G, Van MerriĆ«nboer JJ, Roex A.

Placed order for following:

End February 2015

Time spent on PhD proposal last week Feb 2015 (total 4 hours reading, 1 hour assembling background reading material/literature review), 1 hour reflecting/documenting/communicating process.

March 2015

First week, time spent (total 2 hours) re-reading Chapter 10 by Nodine and Mello-Thoms. Section 10.1 to 10.7 in detail, then highlighted portions each day over several days and once more over weekend. This is an incredibly well researched and written chapter. Almost every paragraph is packed with insights, and reading and re-reading triggers ideas for applying theory to practice.

This week was mainly spent forward planning my time schedule over the next 6 months. This includes educational activities, review and debriefing session, and planning for faculty development workshops, local and overseas invited presentations, and a study trip.

Second week. Intend to allocate at least one hour each day to re-reading Chapter 10 by Nodine and Mello-Thoms. And half to one hour each day to the videos on demand on ECR-Live.

Just received three books purchased from Amazon early this week. Have started reading all three of them. Incredible collection of articles inspired by a series of meetings organised/co-organised by K. Anders Ericsson, bringing together multidisciplinary and cross disciplinary experts in the area of expert performance in multiple domains of professional performance. Have spent 10 hours distributed over 3 days carefully reading selected chapters in these three books, and am going to spend at least 10 more hours this weekend, while highlighting sections, and taking notes. Am greatly inspired!

Third week. Have completed careful reading of 8 out of 21 Chapters of Ericsson's book on the Development of Professional Expertise (taking another 10 to 12 hours or so). Brilliant work. I really appreciate and feel the difference between preparing for a Master's level research project compared to a PhD proposal. This field is deep; yet there are clear areas which are begging to be investigated further. Particularly at the interface of theory and professional practice.

Fourth week. Re-read 8 Chapters (see previous section), focusing on highlighted sections, as well as additional chapter on designing assessments (taking approximately 10 hours over the last week). Have spent this time reflecting further on material in these chapters, refining the draft PhD proposal, as well as thinking through ideas generated on how to transfer these insights into the teaching and training sessions and programs that I am involved in.

April 2015

First week. Further close reading of 3 Chapters of Ericsson's book on the Developing of Professional Expertise (taking another 10 to 12 hours or so). Particular focus on Chapters 15, 17 and 18. Spent the Easter long weekend (around 10 hours) reading an incredible book, The Power of Pull, by John Hagel, John Brown and Lang Davison (see below). For example, in Chapter 1, the description and illustration of explicit and tacit knowledge, "early-stage knowledge tends to have a much higher tacit component" and "in a rapidly changing world this is often the most useful knowledge".

Second and Third week April. Continuing in depth reading of "Development of Professional Expertise" (around 10 hours each week), focusing particularly on Section 4: The development of expertise and expert performance. Have been demonstrating and illustrating these ideas in postgraduate tutorials and day to day residency training (, and medical education faculty development presentations ( Attended a fascinating technology in pedagogy hour-long presentation by Stephanie Lo-Philip at CDTL, NUS which explored "visual literacy" and introduced the work of "Gustavo Mercado in The Filmmaker's Eye", see also

Working with Terry to prepare for study trip by EduTech team to Sydney - to visit the University of Wollongong (School of Medicine),   and   .

The AMEE eLearning committee is finalising the program for the eLearning symposium @ AMEE 2015, Glasgow. Working on the end of day 1 panel symposium,
and AMEE main conference symposium (report on eLearning symposium) format and Padlet walls.

The Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS opened this weekend. Its website provides a wonderful example of a visual search categorical index.

Fourth week April. Have started to read "The Road to Excellence". Chapter 11, The Rage to Master: The Decisive Role of Talent in the Visual Arts by Ellen Winner is not only well well written, but also illuminating and thought provoking. "The interest, drive, and desire to work on something must be part and parcel of the talent."  "However, the desire to work so hard at something comes from within, not without, and occurs almost always when there is an ability to achieve at high levels with relative ease." "Because precocity and drive tend to co-occur, it is difficult to determine the relative contribution of each. However, the fact that precocity and drive so often co-occur is not simply a natural confound that befuddles our research efforts. This co-occurence also tells us something of critical importance, namely, that drive (or what I call the rage to master) is an eluctable part of talent." Spent over 8 hours during the weekend carefully reading Chapters 6 and 8  from "The Road to Excellence".  Chapter 6 on topic "Perceptual and Memory Processes in the Acquisition of Expert Performance: The EPAM model" makes for an engrossing read; and Chapter 8, "Creative Expertise: A Life-Span Developmental Perspective" is inspiring.

Last week of April and First week of May. After presenting at a CenMED workshop on Monday then spent a quiet week in Ubud, Bali; 

pausing to recap progress, continuing to read "The Road to Excellence", collecting my thoughts, preparing for two upcoming CenMED workshops and , and a 9 day trip to Almaty as visiting Professor

Returned from 9 day trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan as visiting professor. Very successful outcomes (see reflection piece above).

Weekend before 4th week May, 2015.
Continuing preparation for PhD proposal. Started reading "Essentialism" (below).

June/July 2015

Study visit to Melbourne Medical School, University of Western Sydney and University of Wollongong.

Local faculty member for MHPE-S program July 2015 (3 weeks)

Technology enhanced learning @ CenMED workshop July 24th, 2015

                                            Ideas are the currency of the 21st century

Ellen Kok (PhD) post doctoral researcher at Maastricht University
(Ellen was my MHPE Master Thesis Supervisor in 2011/2012 with Anique deBruin as co-supervisor)

Medical Education Peer Reviewed Publications (selected) - 2015 and 2016

The intention of writing a recent series of reflection pieces (article 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9), as well the other articles below, was to set down in print as many of the useful ideas / and pointers I could think of, and which I have found useful and currently use, on the subject of TeL and implementing this, distilled from my reading, practice, and scholarly inquiry since 2002, as well as from the last 6 years of faculty development presentations, symposia and workshops I have been involved in designing and have participated in at NUS, at APMEC and AMEE; and have presented as invited speaker to conferences in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Jakarta, Indonesia; and as visiting professor in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

1. Goh, P.S. A proposal for a grading and ranking method as the first step toward developing a scoring system to measure the value and impact of viewership of online material in medical education - going beyond “clicks” and views toward learning. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:62. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

2. Goh, P.S. Presenting the outline of a proposal for a 5 part program of medical education research using eLearning or Technology enhanced learning to support Learning through the continuum of Undergraduate, through Postgraduate to Lifelong learning settings. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:55. Epub 2016 Dec 7. 

3. Goh, P.S. The value and impact of eLearning or Technology enhanced learning from one perspective of a Digital Scholar. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:31. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

4. Goh, P.S. A series of reflections on eLearning, traditional and blended learning. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:19. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

5. Goh, P.S. Technology enhanced learning in Medical Education: What’s new, what’s useful, and some important considerations. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:16. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

6. Sandars, J., Goh, P.S. Is there a need for a specific educational scholarship for using e-learning in medical education? Med Teach. 2016 Oct;38(10):1070-1071. Epub 2016 April 19.

7. Goh, P.S. eLearning or Technology enhanced learning in medical education - Hope, not Hype. Med Teach. 2016 Sep; 38(9): 957-958, Epub 2016 Mar 16

8. Goh, P.S., Sandars, J. An innovative approach to digitally flip the classroom by using an online "graffiti wall" with a blog. Med Teach. 2016 Aug;38(8):858. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

9. Goh, P.S. Using a blog as an integrated eLearning tool and platform. Med Teach. 2016 Jun;38(6):628-9. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

10. Sandars J, Patel RS, Goh PS, Kokatailo PK, Lafferty N. The importance of educational theories for facilitating learning when using technology in medical education. Med Teach. 2015 Mar 17:1-4.

11. Dong C, Goh PS. Twelve tips for the effective use of videos in medical education. Med Teach. 2015 Feb; 37(2):140-5.

12. Liaw SY, Wong LF, Chan SW, Ho JT, Mordiffi SZ, Ang SB, Goh PS, Ang EN. Designing and evaluating an interactive multimedia Web-based simulation for developing nurses' competencies in acute nursing care: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Jan 12;17(1):e5.


"........The opposition between randomized controlled trials and expert opinion was fueled by the rise in the 1990s of the evidence-based medicine movement, which placed such trials atop a hierarchy of scientific methods, with expert opinion situated at the bottom. The doctor David Sackett, a father of the movement, once wrote that “progress towards the truth is impaired in the presence of an expert.”

But while all doctors agree about the importance of gauging the quality of evidence, many feel that a hierarchy of methods is simplistic. As the doctor Mark Tonelli has argued, distinct forms of knowledge can’t be judged by the same standards: what a patient prefers on the basis of personal experience; what a doctor thinks on the basis of clinical experience; and what clinical research has discovered — each of these is valuable in its own way. While scientists concur that randomized trials are ideal for evaluating the average effects of treatments, such precision isn’t necessary when the benefits are obvious or clear from other data."

"Clinical expertise and rigorous evaluation also differ in their utility at different stages of scientific inquiry. For discovery and explanation, as the clinical epidemiologist Jan Vandenbroucke has argued, practitioners’ instincts, observations and case studies are most useful, whereas randomized controlled trials are least useful. Expertise and systematic evaluation are partners, not rivals.

Distrusting expertise makes it easy to confuse an absence of randomized evaluations with an absence of knowledge. And this leads to the false belief that knowledge of what works in social policy, education or fighting terrorism can come only from randomized evaluations. But by that logic (as a spoof scientific article claimed), we don’t know if parachutes really work because we have no randomized controlled trials of them.

Antagonism toward expertise can also waste time and effort by spurring researchers to test the efficacy of things we already know work......."

above excerpt from NYTimes article below
Jamie Holmes, a fellow at New America, is the author of “Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing.”

Interview with Bruce Poh, ITE's (Singapore) CEO in Straits Times, on 6 September 2014

"How do countries such as Germany and Switzerland celebrate their skilled workers?"

If you are a master craftsman in Germany, you're very well respected ... All this took centuries, and is due to their guild system that dates back to the mediaeval age.

A guild promotes a particular profession. The guilds were very powerful at the time, even politically, electing their people to the local government.

Their system must be followed. You learn from a meister (master craftsman), and after that you become a journeyman, journeying from town to town and learning from other meisters before you can become a craftsman and meister yourself."

Monday, 16 February 2015

TeL to support Postgraduate Training - Invited presentation to Radiation Oncology Department, NCIS, NUHS at 1030am on March 12th, 2015, venue Level 8, conference room corridor F, NUHSMC

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).

Educational challenge(s)

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!

Friday, 13 February 2015

MHPE-S program train the trainers workshop, Feb 9th to 13th, 2014 @ Academy of Medicine, Singapore

Big thank you to Renee and Jan from Maastricht for running this workshop; Prof Lim Shih Hui, Master of the Academy of Medicine Singapore for supporting this program; Associate Professor Erle Lim, Chairman of the Chapter of Clinician Educators at the Academy of Medicine and Dr Dujeepa Samarasekera, Program Director of the Master of Health Professions Education Program Singapore for co-ordinating this train the trainers workshop, and the staff at the Academy of Medicine Singapore for taking such good care of us this week.

My 5 takeaways from this weeks' program - 1) much deeper insight into Unit 1, which Renee originally presented in 2009 at Maastricht, when she was Unit 1 co-ordinator; with additional insight now as MHPE graduate, and revisiting unit as local faculty. Unit 1 is a microcosm of Year 1 of the MHPE program, and first step of a "spiral" MHPE curriculum; 2) a daily commitment to post comments on the MHPE discussion forum while a student (not a course requirement by any means, but a personal commitment) was very good training to build up a daily habit which has done wonders for my personal academic productivity; which now facilitates writing at least 30 minutes to one hour first thing every day; 3) Renee and Jan really embodied the principles of CCCS (active learning expressed in contextual, collaborative and constructive workshop activities with some self directed elements) all the while scheduling time and space for very interactive group discussions; 4) the social activities within this week, expressed by having lunches and short tea breaks together, has brought us as a group of local faculty much closer together; and finally 5) the brainstorming of additional activities to add to the MHPE-S program has come up with at least one "project",  to write a commentary piece tentatively titled "Educational theory informing "X" based learning" for publication in the Annals of the Academy, Singapore.

(Take a few steps, every day. Above photo shows sunrise at Bunker Bay, WA)