By Lucy Rosby, Senior Research Fellow, Medical Education Research & Scholarship Unit
From 27 to 31 August 2016, a team from LKCMedicine attended the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference, the world's largest medical education conference, held in the beautiful and gothic city of Barcelona, Spain.
The conference, which attracted some 3,500 delegates from 92 countries, offered a huge variety of workshops and symposia as well as the opportunity to learn more about what other medical schools around the world are practising and researching through the short communication and poster presentation sessions. Themes this year included decision-making and complexity, responding to challenging circumstances and justifying the cost of innovation, with sessions covering a wide range of topics such as clinical reasoning, student wellbeing, professional identity, educational approaches and curriculum mapping, to name a few.
LKCMedicine was well represented across the board with many presentations. Assistant Dean for Clinical Communication Training and Student Welfare Dr Tanya Tierney gave a fascinating talk about the challenges faced by Simulated Patients (SPs) when dealing with language barrier scenarios during the Simulated Patients session, and I presented during the Approaches to Clinical Learning session on research into how the peer group can influence student transition to the clinical environment.
Dr Tanya Tierney (left) and Dr Claire Canning (right) give their presentations about Simulated Patients and Exam Blueprinting
Assessment was also a key area for discussion, and Dr Claire Canning, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, presented an excellent poster about constructing an exam blueprint; while in the Anatomy poster session, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy Dr Sreenivasulu Reddy Mogali captivated the audience with his presentation about 3D printed models in anatomy teaching – the audience loved seeing the models too!
LKCMedicine was a dominant presence in the Team-Based Learning (TBL) session during which Dr Preman Rajalingam, Head of Educational Development and TBL Facilitation, gave an insightful talk about an innovative strategy being trialled by LKCMedicine to manage TBL in larger cohorts. A second presentation, delivered by Director for eLearning and IT Systems & Services (eLITE) Mr Paul Gagnon and Dr Rajalingam discussed the role of burning questions in technology-enabled TBL. The School presentations were very well received and followed by interesting and thought-provoking discussions.
LKCMedicine impressed delegates with its demonstrations and insightful presentations
The LKCMedicine booth at the conference also saw a steady stream of visitors from all over the world. The LKCMedicine MERSU and eLITE teams answered the many questions from conference attendees keen to find out more about the medical school. On hand to help man the booth were colleagues from the National Healthcare Group’s (NHG) Healthcare Outcomes & Medical Education Research (HOMER) unit.
MERSU Research Fellow Dr Shien Chue said, “We had good attendance at the LCKMedicine AMEE booth. Booth visitors were impressed by the virtual reality (VR) boxes that offered a 360 introduction of our School. NHG and HOMER representatives were also present to help manage the booth and signs of camaraderie were evident.
The innovative VR goggles were so popular, they were snapped up like hot cakes – with most gone by the end of Day 1!
LKCMedicine faculty and staff are visited by their NHG colleagues (left) and get together at the booth (right)
Visiting Associate Professor and MERSU Acting Director Nabil Zary said, “We have achieved our goal of reaching out to the global medical education community with information about LKCMedicine, its vision and mission and proposed areas of collaboration in medical education research. AMEE remains the main global venue for our interaction with engaged medical education scholars and researchers. Through the booth, presentations and networking, we’ve established the base for positioning LKCMedicine as a key player in field!”
LKCMedicine's presentations in a nutshell:
How to construct an exam blueprint - a comparison of two methods used in a new medical school
Claire Ann Canning (Presenter)
This presentation focused on LKCMedicine’s approach to blueprinting written exams. Two different strategies were used to construct exam blueprints, coding-based and expert-judgement based, and the assessment content within was compared.
Challenges for Simulated Patients in Language Barrier Scenarios
Tanya Tierney (Presenter)
When SPs are roleplaying as a patient who speaks minimal English, they have to maintain awareness throughout the role-play of the language barrier. We identified that there are two main processes for the SPs: 1. Making decisions about what words they will use in keeping with the patient speaking little English; 2. Being aware of "filtering" what the student is saying, and making decisions about whether the patient will have understood the student before deciding how to respond. Through observation and questionnaires completed by SPs, facilitators and students, we identified that the second process is more complex than the first, but SPs often focus more on the first process when preparing for scenarios. Therefore it is important to focus on this second process during SP training.
An innovative strategy for implementing TBL in large cohorts
Preman Rajalingam (Presenter)
Based on our extensive experience with TBL over the last four years, we proposed modifications to the TBL sequence in order to maintain interactivity in large cohorts of more than 200 students. There is little evidence on how modifications such as splitting the cohort for the application exercises or scheduling TBL across two separate days affects student learning. Our findings show that students are discerning about the various aspects of TBL that affect the learning. The importance of the immediacy of feedback and the loss of engagement when TBL is scheduled across two days emerged as important themes that need to be considered when making modifications to an existing TBL sequences.
The role of burning questions in technology enabled TBL
Preman Rajalingam (Presenter)
Paul Gagnon (Presenter)
The technology enabled burning questions are an enhancement to TBL at LKCMedicine. In class, they are used as a means to engage students in further discussion and for them to receive confirmatory or corrective feedback on their understanding of concepts. Our hypothesis was that a secondary benefit of the burning questions was that over time students learn to ask more sophisticated and higher-order questions. We first coded more than 921 burning questions to levels Blooms Taxonomy and analysed them for trends over time. We found that there was a significant decrease in the percentage questions coded to knowledge and a corresponding increase in both comprehension questions and application questions.
The Role of the Peer Group in Medical Student Transition from Classroom to Clinical Learning Environment
Lucy Rosby (Presenter)
Lim Yong Hao
This is a collaborative study between LKCMedicine and NHG’s Health Outcomes & Medical Education Research (HOMER) unit with expert guidance from Prof Lorelei Lingard, University of Western, Ontario. The study explored the experiences of LKCMedicine students as they transitioned from predominantly classroom-based learning in Year 2 to immersion in the clinical environment in Year 3, which is known to be a period of much stress and anxiety. The focus of the presentation was the role of the peer group in this transition, which we found to be an extremely important factor in easing the adjustment process in several different ways.
3D Printed Models in Anatomy Teaching and Learning
Sreenivasulu Reddy Mogali (Presenter)
Gerald Jit Shen Tan
Heang Kuan Joel Tan
Wai Yee Yeong
A novel multi-material and multi-colour 3D printed (3DP) model of the upper limb was developed with the collaboration of NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing. We evaluated the educational value of a 3DP upper limb model from the learner’s perspective (whether they are suitable for anatomical educational purposes). Our findings demonstrate that students valued the 3DP models as teaching resource for their anatomy education. Various aspects of 3DP model were highlighted as beneficial, such as the colour coding by tissue type, pliability and better manipulation of structures to appreciate the relations between the structures. 3DP models could play a significant role in future anatomy teaching.