Harvard Macy Community Blog

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

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.

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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
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
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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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Teaching First, Technology Second: Using Learning Theory to Make it Work (Easily)

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with technology, and it often involves standing in front of a bunch of intelligent students while technology fails us. As educators, how can we prevent this from happening? A recommendation is to choose your instructional strategy first, investigate the theory behind the strategy second, and then pick the technology that affords you benefits you would not get with the old methods. In this blog post, I offer strategies for doing this, and provide a short list of common strategies related to theory, then matched with technology benefits.


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Appreciative Advising: Advising with the Student in Mind

The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine annual conference was packed full of thought-provoking sessions, including an interesting discussion on appreciative inquiry (specifically appreciative advising).

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Guest — Subha Ramani

Very illuminating

Thanks for sharing this. I plan to adapt these principles to my feedback work. Subha
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 12:12 PM
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