Harvard Macy Community Blog

Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education.

Use Instructional Design support to leverage your teaching experience

If you have not yet worked with an instructional designer, it may be worth exploring such a resource at your institution to leverage your teaching with the help of relevant technology to enhance the educational experience. With remarkable advancements in educational technologies over the last decade, most, if not all, educational interactions taking place today incorporate some form of digital interaction for students, staff and faculty. As of fall 2016, there were over 6.3 million students taking at least one distance education course, comprising 31.6% of all higher education enrollments. And specifically in nursing education, 82.9 percent of nursing students report that the use of technology enhances their learning, and 79.6 percent say that technology helps them better prepare for future careers. These technologies appear in many forms during the educational career of a health care professional -  whether it is the use of a learning management system (LMS), creating and interacting with video tutorials, participating in simulated scenarios, using different assessment tools, participating in peer evaluations …and the list goes on. Gaming tools and mixed reality applications are not far behind! As indicated by the recent 2019 Horizon Report, “mixed reality and artificial intelligence are forecast to be important to teaching, learning and creative inquiry in the future.”

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Peer Observation #MedEdPearls from #IAMSE19

At the 2019 IAMSE conference in Roanoke, Virginia a collaborative group of Central Group on Educational Affairs and Southern Group on Educational Affairs members facilitated an interactive workshop on implementing a Peer Observation of Instruction program. The process proposed is similar to the findings reported by Adriane Bell, Holly Meyer and Lauren Maggio this month in Teaching and Learning in Medicine. They found that most peer observation programs are voluntary and provide formative feedback with the sole purpose of teaching improvement. They also found that most programs use a three-phase process with a pre-observation meeting for goal setting, direct observation of teaching, and a post-observation meeting with feedback. The IAMSE workshop leveraged the Peer Observation of Teaching Handbook by Lori Newman, David Roberts, and Richard Schwartzstein.

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Implementing Collaborative Learning Methods

After reflecting on the two years we spent at the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in the Health Professions course as learners and teachers, it became more apparent that health professions educators cannot just talk about collaborative learning methods. Instead, we must figure out a way to incorporate these pearls into our everyday practice to promote effective teaching and learning throughout the medical education continuum. During our time at the course, we have seen that by weaving collaborative learning methods into the delivery of education, knowledge is fostered, teamwork is promoted, and a true excitement for learning new concepts occurs. One challenge that may impede us from implementing collaborative learning methods into our own teaching strategies is lack of time; however, to be the change agents that healthcare needs, we have a duty to better prepare our learners for their future role as healthcare providers. How do we do this? The answer may not be that difficult. In fact, by using collaborative learning methods, you may find that students develop a deeper understanding as they practice synthesizing and applying healthcare concepts.

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Reflections on creating an Anatomy case-based e-learning module

A close look at history reveals that for centuries the format of lecture delivery has remained consistent. In the Middle Ages a lecturer usually read from notes while students listened attentively, took notes and tried to retain the content and later disseminate the notes. Fast-forward to the twentieth century; in the 1970’s with the discovery of slide films and overhead projectors, lecturers’ projected handwritten notes and drawings on slides to supplement their talks. In 1990 the birth of PowerPoint allowed educators to create slide shows. In all these scenarios, the delivery of the content and receipt of the information happened at the same time. This mode of delivery of content is called synchronous learning. In today’s E-learning era, synchronous learning morphed into on-line chats and video conferencing. An additional huge step forward was the birth of online learning management systems that allowed larger PowerPoint decks to be offered online. In these scenarios the content delivery and receipt of the information did not happen synchronously. The learners were responsible for pacing their own learning, a method of content delivery called asynchronous learning.

Recent Comments
Guest — Priti Mishall


Hi Gregg! Thank you so much for the thoughtful comments. Setting expectation to the learners and involving them the learning proce... Read More
Monday, 15 July 2019 3:03 AM
Gregg Wells

Testing effect is important co...

From the post: "The case-based video intermittently presented reflective questions and a quiz at the end to ensure interactivity ... Read More
Sunday, 14 July 2019 8:08 PM
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Collaboration at its Best: Psychiatry Trainees Reflect on their Experience in the Harvard Macy Program for Post-Graduate Trainees

As five Psychiatry trainees, we had the exciting opportunity to meet one another at the 2018 Program for Post-Graduate Trainees: Future Academic Clinician-Educators, co-sponsored by the Harvard Macy Institute, the MGH Institute of Health Professions, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We quickly realized that we all shared the same passion and zeal for medical education, working with trainees, and collaborative work! This enthusiasm resulted in the spontaneous decision to collaborate on a combined "Harvard-Yale" project for the annual American Psychiatric Association Meeting.

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