Thursday, 20 March 2014

very quick survey about Facebook in education

social media in medical education... it's all about the network

What is the role of Twitter in medical education?

I started using Twitter (and this blog) because I wanted to connect with people who I didn't know how to connect with otherwise. I wanted to connect to people who worked in medical education but I got a lot more than I bargained for. I found a wonderful network of people who I continually learn from. I can share, and get feedback, dip in and out, refine my thoughts, and the rest.

But do I think that we should use it in our courses? What for?

Last week I attended a workshop lead by Claudia Megele on social media in higher education. She has done tremendous work in establishing several 'knowledge networks' including #mhchat (mental health chat). She then introduced a group of social work students to social media including Twitter. They used pseudonyms but participated in regular Twitter chats and discussed topics online.

It seems to me that the most powerful thing that Claudia did was to introduce her students to her networks. She helped them to become part of a community discussing mutual topics of interest online.

So how can we, committed to health professional education, help our students? I think we can do the same thing. We can give our students access to our knowledge networks.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The challenge of feedback and the burden of accountability in clinical medical education

Have you received good feedback in a clinical setting as a doctor or medical student?

Some of the best feedback I received was during my GP reg training year when my trainer reviewed most of my consultations with me every day for the first 4 or 5 months. I knew it would be a chance to ask what he thought about a patient, and also that I would have to justify some of the decisions I had made or hadn't made. It was above and beyond any feedback I have ever had before or since on my clinical work.

We know what makes good feedback. Here is a great paper about this from 31 years ago. There was no talk about eportfolios or skills logs or apps at that time. 16 years later when I was during my GP trainee year we didn't have the burden of documenting our feedback either.

So do current moves to use technology, including smart phones, to try and document feedback in clinical settings enhance the quality of feedback given? Do they make it more likely to happen? If they don't why do we do them?

Is there a risk that in an effort to be accountable, we are making it harder for learners to achieve good feedback because of the burden of documentation? If you want to read more about this I strongly recommend Onora O'Neill on 'Intelligent Accountability in Education'.