Advancing the Quality of your Education

Published Date

In this video, Graham McMahon, MD, MMSc, President & CEO, #ACCME, outlines 8 strategies that you can use to advance the quality of your education.  


>>McMAHON: There are eight strategies you can use very quickly to evolve your educational program in your regularly scheduled series like Grand Rounds.

The first is: Embed the education in the longitudinal curriculum. Learners come to activities to learn repeatedly, and you'll engage them if they understand that it's not just episodes of learning, but it's part of an overall program.

Number two: Change your titles. We don't need to come to learning activities to get the updated guidelines in asthma care. We need to come to learn how to solve difficult problems in asthma care. So change the title to the “26 year old with refractory asthma despite standard care”.

Number three: Make it case-based. Ask your speakers to tell a story about a case presentation that emulates many of the challenges that are being presented. It's particularly helpful if your speakers will also take moments during the case presentation that are weaved through the activity, so that there's opportunities to break and talk about what's next.

Number four: Make it participatory. Use those opportunities like the “what's next?”; or “would you do a chest X-ray now?” Or “what do you think we should do now?” Or “how would you interpret this?” To encourage the audience members first to spend thirty seconds just sharing or talking with each other. “What do you think?” “What do you make of this?” And then debrief with the speaker.

Number five: Make it shorter. Many of us are used to planning and programming and asking our speakers to speak for 45 or 50 minutes or more. In many cases that leaves little time for the context and wisdom to come out through the questions and answers. Better to ask your speaker to prepare for 30 or 35 minutes of presentation and leave the rest of the time for Q&A.

Number six: Q&A. Make sure that there are opportunities for lots of questions and answers. And sometimes that means asking people in the audience to prepare questions in advance, or think of questions, or bring cases that are related to the presentation.

Number seven: Create opportunities for reflection. So in the middle of the presentation, you can ask people to think about how they might apply what's being learned to cases that they may be seeing in their practice. And maybe share that idea with the person sitting next to them or around them. After the activity, your assessment of the activity can be a shared reflection of the key points that people have learned. People can either raise their hands and share, or they can write those reflections down. And you can augment reflection by referring to it subsequently, or reminding people subsequently about what the learning objectives for the session were.

And finally, number eight: Make it social. Social is very powerful. Education can really bring people together and leveraging its convening function can augment the quality of your educational interventions. So feel free before or after to deliver those cookies or those tea and coffee. Try and make an environment where your community can come together despite the hectic and busy times that we're in.

So eight things: Embed it in curriculum, change the title, evolve to a case-based presentation, make it participatory, shorter. Use lots of Q&A, create opportunities for reflection and embrace the social.