By Dr Georgina Morris
Curriculum Development Lead, LKCMedicine London Office
I was delighted to be able to attend the Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference 2014 (APMEC) with colleagues from both Imperial College London and LKCMedicine from 15 to 19 January. In its 11th year, the conference saw participation by some 800 participants from 34 countries.
The theme of the conference “Optimising Collaboration in Medical Education: Building Bridges, Connecting Minds” was particularly pertinent given the collaborative nature of LKCMedicine and the central role that Team-Based Learning (TBL) plays in our curriculum. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet educators from Singapore and other countries to share excellence and innovation in educational practice.
In keeping with the collaborative theme, Dr James Stratford-Martin (Deputy Curriculum Development Lead, LKCMedicine London Office) and I were invited to co-facilitate a preconference workshop with our Singapore colleagues Dr Charles Gullo, Dr Preman Rajalingam, Dr Jason Maroothynaden and Dr Claire Canning. Led by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean, Education, Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer, the workshop entitled “Not Quite Backwards Design: Converting a Lecture-Based Curriculum to Team-Based Learning” focused on the principles of designing an innovative TBL course from the starting point of a traditional lecture-based curriculum.
From left to right: The Imperial and LKCMedicine APMEC 2014 Team; Introduction by Associate Professor Naomi Low-Beer
TBL is gaining popularity in medical education, and has now been adopted by over 60 schools of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and the allied health professions. Designing a TBL course requires the employment of a backwards design, i.e. starting with final outcomes to be achieved and thinking backwards to produce materials. However, in many cases, such as with LKCMedicine, there will already be an existing curriculum, defined by pre-existing courses and requirements of accreditation bodies. Adaptations to the TBL design are therefore required.
Participants in action during the pre-conference workshop
The workshop was very popular, achieving the full capacity of 36 delegates from a wide variety of backgrounds in medical education. During the session, delegates worked in teams to discuss and debate factors which may help or hinder progression through important stages of TBL curriculum conversion. Discussion ranged from the application of broad education theory to specific tips for effective implementation of TBL principles. Feedback for the session was excellent, with lively exchanges and debates as participants shared their experiences and reflections.
Following the success of this workshop, a collaborative curriculum development team from Imperial and LKCMedicine will be running a similar workshop at the Team-Based Learning Collaborative Conference next month in Fort Worth, Texas. The theme of lecture-to-TBL conversion will be developed further and explored with experienced TBL educators from around the world. We hope that the innovative approaches taken by Imperial and LKCMedicine will inspire others to make the transition to this exciting new learning experience.