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Reflections on Workshop Poll Everywhere Survey

Reflections on Workshop Poll Everywhere Survey

Our workshop group chose a Poll Everywhere (http://www.pollev.com) survey to use as our tool to assess the knowledge base of our participants, and determine if they made any learning gains over the course of the 4-hour workshop. The pre-workshop survey (results accessible here) gained an appreciation of what our participants already knew about feedback, and also inquired as to what their learning objectives were. The post-workshop survey (results accessible here) asked participants to list a few of the feedback methods they learned about, as well as whether or not their aforementioned learning objectives were met. Lastly, we asked about whether or not there was any material or topics that learners wished we had covered during the workshop that was not addressed.

The feedback we received from the evaluations was mixed. It was good to see that most learners had felt that they had learned something new from the workshop, particularly the six-step model for giving feedback to advanced learners. This is a method that is used for learners who are insightful and have an appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses. It was also promising to see that learners did achieve some of their learning two objectives, though only one said they had they had learned both.

There was one participant, however, that gave negative responses on the post-workshop survey that said they did not achieve their learning objectives. It would be helpful to have met with this person to get more descriptive feedback – inquire what they felt we could have done better and what was lacking from our presentation.

Final Reflections and Thoughts

Final Reflections and Thoughts

Well, this is it! Over the past 5 months, INTAPT has been an extremely informative experience. I entered with very little knowledge about education in the health professions – I had some idea of what kind of teacher/educator I wanted to be, but knew very little about the new ways in which medical education is being delivered to students around the world, as well as the theoretical underpinnings behind the methods that we use to teach students.

One thing about INTAPT that I found particularly useful was the way in which it supported us as adult learners – self-directed, scholarly, reflective and accountable. Each one of the assignments helped bolster these pillars. The learning contract we were required to fill out at the beginning of week one laid out a defined, concrete, and achievable path for our learning goals. Book reviews ensured that we enhanced our own knowledge of teaching and learning in the health professions. Our major paper required us to be scholarly in collecting, synthesizing, analyzing and critiquing new information and knowledge.

The online portfolio was initially a component of INTAPT that I did not fully understand. I wasn’t sure of the purpose of reflection and accounting for work, teaching, and evaluations that were previously done. However, as I read more about medical education, I have begun to realize the importance of reflection in professional development as well as accountability, particularly in professions that are self-regulated. Furthermore, as I intend on becoming clinical and teaching faculty in a medical school at some point in the close future, a portfolio of some form becomes an indispensable way of showing what work I have done thus far in my career. I intend on continuing this online portfolio over the coming years, adding teaching logs, reflections, and other experiences in the field of medical educational. Though the upcoming year’s preparation for my Royal College examinations will make me too busy to frequently contribute, I will be more active once I become a fully-trained staff emergency physician.

Reflections on Workshop Process and Feedback

Reflections on Workshop Process and Feedback

Our group presented our workshop, entitled “Giving better feedback to challenging learners”, the morning of Wednesday March 2, 2016. Due to scheduling (a.k.a. the busy lives of four doctors), our group was unable to meet until the second week of INTAPT had begun. This proved somewhat unsettling, as we were unsure of how smoothly the workshop would flow with respect to timing as well as the level of participation from the audience. There is surprisingly little literature about feedback in challenging situations and for difficult learner personalities, so instead of being able to impart large amounts of content, we were hoping that participants would generate a lot of discussion.

This anxiety was relieved fairly quickly as the workshop commenced. Our group worked well together, giving each member attention as they spoke and spacing ourselves throughout the room to give the participants a sense of inclusion. I felt we also had a certain level of flexibility as participants found some topics generated more discussion and other topics were less interesting.

One thing I think our group should have discussed more thoroughly before our workshop began is timing. Though we had plotted out a rough estimate of how long each component of the workshop would take, we didn’t take into account time occupied by group discussion, particularly when we began to go off schedule. There was one point during the presentation where discussion proceeded on an off-topic tangent for such a long time that we fell 20 minutes behind schedule. I had recognized this and was trying to encourage the group leaders to “move things along” but my attempts were failing. I felt the group could have had more cohesion and cooperation at this point. We were never able to regain the time and were unable to deliver a large portion of our content.

When it came time to receive feedback at the end, I was somewhat surprised at how well our workshop was received by the group. Perhaps I am overcritical of my own work, but I felt that we could have been a little more prepared and organized. Thankfully, we had a wonderful group of participants that helped make the workshop run smoothly and generate insightful and provoking discussion.

Reflections on Group Work for Workshop

Reflections on Group Work for Workshop

Our INTAPT workshop group formed due to a common interest in the area of feedback. It is something we give nearly every day on shift but can be challenging to appropriately tailor to individual learners to support their learning and progress. Moreover, learners can have difficult behaviours that require adjustment, and giving feedback to these learners without offending them can be a daunting task. Our group came up with the idea of creating a workshop around strategies for these difficult learners.

Our group begun by creating a “group charter” or agreement of who would do what work, and when. The charter also stated that we agreed our final grade should be between 80 and 85 percent. I was relieved to see that all four of us were in the same headspace when it came to our target grade; we are all doctors and we have this ingrained desire to strive for excellence, but we are all doctors with busy clinical schedules and duties. Having a realistic goal set also set a tacit agreement that there might be times when we would be busier than the rest of the group and less able to contribute to the work.

As we began to gather content and generate some structure to our workshop I now can see Tuckman’s “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” (1965) at play. This sequence consists of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing, and Adjourning. Initially (“forming” stage), we were agreeable with the ideas being generated. I find that I often take a leadership role at this stage, when other people are reluctant to step forward. I try to be as open as possible and use the motto of “leading from behind,” allowing the group to generate their own ideas, myself acting only as a facilitator for the group. This worked well as the group needed some level of leadership to begin working on the task at hand.

As we progressed later into the first week of INTAPT, our group entered the “storming” stage. During this stage, individuals within the team often clash with respect to their learning styles, or even on decisions related to the task at hand. As the form and content of the workshop began to materialize from our readings and discussion, different members of the group had different ideas on how we wanted the workshop to run, creating tension amongst us. If I was a leader initially, it seemed at this point that everybody wanted to lead with his or her own ideas. I took a passive approach during this phase, and allowed every team member to lead equally. We looked back at our charter and realized that our goal was not to produce a 100% product but an A to A+ product, and that helped us each realize to relax and not think our own individual ideas were necessary to implement.

After the storming, our group began norming and understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The group performed well at this point – we distributed the work in a fair way and communication over email worked well. It wasn’t until our actual presentation that we were “performing”, when we found we could easily adapt to any last-minute technical glitches and hiccups that arose during the 4 hour workshop.

Reference: Tuckman, BW. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin 63(6), 384-395.

Reflections on Teaching Evaluations

Reflections on Teaching Evaluations

On occasional emergency department shifts, I get paired with a junior learner: either a senior medical student or a junior resident. On-shift teaching is expected from all staff working at academic hospitals and therefore senior residents take on teaching duties to prepare themselves for independent practice. Having an on-shift learner comes with many challenges. First of all, there is an expectation that learners should be given teaching on material related to cases seen in the emergency department, despite constraints due to time and patient flow. Furthermore, if departmental loads are light, it is beneficial for learners to receive a short didactic session on a topic pertinent to emergency medicine. These teaching responsibilities are juggled with clinical responsibilities towards my patients, as well as the patients that my learners have seen. There are also responsibilities towards the department, ensuring that patients are promptly seen and wait times are kept to a minimum.

At the end of each shift, I would send an evaluation form to my learners over email and ask them to give as honest feedback as possible. One thing I immediately realized was how difficult it was to get responses back from my learners! Everybody in medicine is busy, regardless of level of training, and my form was likely one of many items filling their inboxes. I had kept my form short and simple to fill out in recognition of this fact, but I still had to remind many of my learners to send their forms back to me. Evaluation and feedback is important for teachers, not just for their own improvement but also for academic promotion. This experience of receiving online feedback has taught me to improve my own response rates to various evaluation forms that I have to fill out.

Looking through the feedback that I received, I was a little frustrated by the fact that I was getting high scores across all categories. I am always looking to improve my teaching skills and being told that I am doing a “good job” with no areas for improvement is not very helpful for me. Part of the issue was that the feedback was given days to weeks after the teaching session had occurred and my learners had forgotten details about the shift. One way I might rectify this issue is by setting up an online form (e.g. SurveyMonkey) that my learners can fill out immediately after the shift. While I am filling out their evaluation they could fill out mine with fresh thoughts and suggestions.

Despite the homogeneity amongst the evaluations I received, I did notice a recurring theme was that I wasn’t giving enough clarification of my expectations for learners at the beginning of each shift. I have always appreciated when my preceptors/supervisors have clearly laid out their expectations of me and I frequently forgot to be doing this for my learners. It is something that, going forward, I will be sure to do for every learner that I am working with.

Receiving feedback on my on-shift teaching from learners was an interesting experience – not only did it help identify areas in which I require improvement, but also reminded me of the importance of giving good, meaningful feedback when I am the one giving it to my supervisors.

Reflections on Group Work for Workshop

Reflections on Group Work for Workshop

Our INTAPT workshop group formed due to a common interest in the area of feedback. It is something we give nearly every day on shift but can be challenging to appropriately tailor to individual learners to support their learning and progress. Moreover, learners can have difficult behaviours that require adjustment, and giving feedback to these learners without offending them can be a daunting task. Our group came up with the idea of creating a workshop around strategies for these difficult learners.

Our group begun by creating a “group charter” or agreement of who would do what work, and when. The charter also stated that we agreed our final grade should be between 80 and 85 percent. I was relieved to see that all four of us were in the same headspace when it came to our target grade; we are all doctors and we have this ingrained desire to strive for excellence, but we are all doctors with busy clinical schedules and duties. Having a realistic goal set also set a tacit agreement that there might be times when we would be busier than the rest of the group and less able to contribute to the work.

As we began to gather content and generate some structure to our workshop I now can see Tuckman’s “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups” (1965) at play. This sequence consists of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing, and Adjourning. Initially (“forming” stage), we were agreeable with the ideas being generated. I find that I often take a leadership role at this stage, when other people are reluctant to step forward. I try to be as open as possible and use the motto of “leading from behind,” allowing the group to generate their own ideas, myself acting only as a facilitator for the group. This worked well as the group needed some level of leadership to begin working on the task at hand.

As we progressed later into the first week of INTAPT, our group entered the “storming” stage. During this stage, individuals within the team often clash with respect to their learning styles, or even on decisions related to the task at hand. As the form and content of the workshop began to materialize from our readings and discussion, different members of the group had different ideas on how we wanted the workshop to run, creating tension amongst us. If I was a leader initially, it seemed at this point that everybody wanted to lead with his or her own ideas. I took a passive approach during this phase, and allowed every team member to lead equally. We looked back at our charter and realized that our goal was not to produce a 100% product but an A-A+ product, and that helped us each realize to relax and not think our own individual ideas were necessary to implement.

After the storming, our group began norming and understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The group performed well at this point – we distributed the work in a fair way and communication over email worked well. It wasn’t until our actual presentation that we were “performing”, when we found we could easily adapt to any last-minute technical glitches and hiccups that arose during the 4 hour workshop.

Reference: Tuckman, BW. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin 63(6), 384-395.