How does the ACCME define a learning from teaching activity?

Published Date: 
January 24, 2012
Last Revised: 
November 3, 2016

Learning from teaching is a descriptive label for a type of CME activity. (The identification of activity types by the ACCME serves to allow the ACCME to report data and information on the range of educational formats offered by the national CME enterprise. This helps provide an accurate description of the CME enterprise and dispels the myth that accredited CME is mostly lecture, or didactic, in format.) The ACCME does not have special requirements for this activity type.

This label was developed at the ACCME as a corollary to the AMA’s recognition within the PRA of direct “Credit for Teaching.” As well, the 2013 AMA PRA approved format for teaching of medical students and residents,  from an accreditation perspective, fits within the ACCME’s 2010 description of a learning from teaching CME activity, described here.
We want to assist accredited providers who are seeking to further support, facilitate, and recognize the personal professional development associated with the preparation and presentation of education. "Learning from Teaching" activities are essentially personal learning projects designed and implemented by the learner with facilitation from the accredited provider. The ACCME has provided guidance for providers on how "Learning from Teaching" CME activities can be incorporated into the accredited provider’s program of CME. 
As is the case for all activities, an accredited provider’s "Learning from Teaching" CME activities are expected to be developed in compliance with all applicable ACCME requirements (eg, ACCME Criteria and Policies). "Learning from Teaching" represents a range of activities in which an accredited provider can facilitate practice-based learning and improvement – where the ‘practice’ could be the person’s professional “teaching practice” or “clinical practice” or “research practice”.
Examples of learning from teaching activities:
1.     A faculty member is asked to give an interactive skills-based workshop on “Sinusitis” designed to address medical students’ inability to evaluate patients appropriately for this condition. The faculty member identifies, through self-assessment, that she does not know the anatomy of the sinuses, does not know the pathophysiology of these processes, and does not have a personal strategy in place for taking a history regarding sinusitis or for examining the patient. Therefore, she conducts her own personal learning project to address these needs—and can then describe what new strategies she develops as a result. Also during this process, she learns several new skills associated with including x-ray images and 3D-imaging videos in her educational presentations using software tools.
2.     To prepare for teaching a skills workshop at a surgical specialty society meeting, physician faculty find that they need to learn how to operate a new laparoscopic device that will be used during the workshop. The specialty society, as an accredited CME provider, facilitates their training on the new device as a “Learning from Teaching” CME activity for the faculty prior to their teaching engagement.
3.     An accredited provider makes available a "Learning from Teaching" CME activity for community physicians who have recently been recruited as new faculty for undergraduate and graduate medical school instruction in the form of "individualized learning projects" where new faculty assess what knowledge and skills they need to teach more effectively, and then makes available training and feedback to improve their teaching skills. It includes one-to-one mentorship and training with educational experts that is scheduled by the learners.
4.     In the process of revising a series of educational seminars provided each year for the orientation of new staff members, a physician administrator in the risk-management department finds that she has to learn and incorporate new medical coding knowledge and strategies that have been published since the last orientation she taught. As an accredited CME provider, her institution makes it possible for her to receive CME credit for her “Learning from Teaching” that involves modifications to her own coding practices while preparing for the seminars.

Related Content:
How do I report Learning from Teaching CME in PARS?
What kind of CME activity types can be reported in PARS?

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