Teaching and Learning Centres: June 25-July 6, 2007

Educational Support and Development-University of Saskatchewan

Re: Educational Support and Development-University of Saskatchewan

by Deirdre Bonnycastle -
Number of replies: 0

"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.