Educational Support and Development is a teaching and learning Unit attached to the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. We are responsible for 200 full-time and 800 part-time faculty. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Medical Education worldwide is undergoing a profound transformation. My college is now competency and case-based with a strong emphasis on teaching our students to interact as part of the medical team. Our college uses BlackBoard to offer blended learning for first year sciences. We are considering moving toward multiple-mini-assessment at least at the Jursi/resident level, thus eliminating the exam model.
A strong learning centre is essential if our faculty is going to be able to facilitate these changes. Our college is unique in that we require all faculty and medical residents to take a two-day basic teaching course at the beginning of their careers and attend a minimum of one educational opportunity every year. We also offer a Master's in Medical Education with the College of Education.
ES&D offers a mix of workshops and online courses. Our most popular is the Active Learning Series of 8 workshops, which includes our Active Learning Using Games session.
You said "A strong learning centre is essential"... It sounds like you've got strong administrative support (requiring all faculty to take a basic and ongoing workshops), and I wonder if you could comment on what makes your learning centre strong?
How do you attract and keep the attention of your faculty members, and how do the members of EDS keep on top of new developments?
"A strong learning centre is essential"... It sounds like you've got strong administrative support
Medical Colleges have to go through an accreditation process with an organization external to the university. Five years ago, we were put on probation partly because our traditional, lecture-based teaching was strongly criticized. In response, our faculty council made faculty workshops in teaching mandatory (we are the only college at this university to take this step). Educational Support and Development as a result increased its faculty from 1 to four full time, fully funded positions plus 2 new support staff. As well, we were given a generous budget that supports workshop participants by covering meals, workbooks, travel expenses, DVD's for all workshops. We have a saying "Feed doctors and they will come."<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
What else makes us strong?
Flexibility - We offer workshops in the evening, on weekends, at lunch hour, online. We offer workshops at medical conferences, grand rounds and department retreats; anywhere we have a captive audience of doctors. We also consult with individual faculty.
Specialization - We work closely with medical departments to create workshops that meet their needs and are quick to respond when we get a request for something we have never offered before. I've put in lots of weekends and evenings researching new topics. Luckily, some very good medical education journals make the research easier. We bring in three to four guest lecturers every year as well.
Presence - We are active members of the Faculty Council, the Dean's Advisory Group, Faculty Development Association and the Department Heads' group. We present regularly at conferences, both nationally and internationally. We publish in medical education journals and circulate the articles. One of our team, who is a physician and a PHD in education chaired the overhaul of first-year medical courses.
Innovation - We try new things, we keep up to date on technology and offer workshops on how to use technology for teaching. We use the technology ourselves as rolemodels.