This was a great course to take early on, as it allowed me to reflect on experiences I’ve had leading up to residency as a learner, reflect on how I like to be treated as a learner, how I have been in a teaching role and how I hope to grow into an effective facilitator/teacher throughout this year. See below for my notes on points made in the modules that were particularly poignant for me.
Module 1/2: Setting the stage & the role learning plays:
- Think back to when I was a student (all of 1 month ago…):what worked, what did not, what will you do differently this time
- Setting clear expectations at the beginning allows both you and the student to work towards clear goals. It reduces the incidence of misunderstandings.
- When the student is involved in setting their own learning objectives they are more likely to be engaged.
- What prior classroom and clinical learning experience has your student had?
- What is unique about this student? For example, what life experiences have they had that will influence my approach to teaching?
- Tips for orientating students:
- Create a sense of enthusiasm/excitement.
- Present the broad, overarching goals of the preceptorship. What are the major competencies the student is expected to develop through this experience?
- Help the student understand their role and responsibilities in your practice, and my roles and responsibilities as a clinician-teacher (and potentially their evaluator)
- Learn about the student’s learning styles compared to my teaching style and ensure that the activities that ensue match or complement both of our styles.
- Learning styles are preferences that will surface under stress
- 10% of what they read
- 20% of what they hear
- 30% of what they see
- 50% of what they see and hear
- 70% of what they say
- 90% of what they say and do
- this was a poignant reminder that I may not benefit from assigning pre-readings, unless I plan to incorporate that into something my learner will say/do or if I teach them something and have them see/hear the correlation between the material they learned in the pre-readings. Otherwise the retention of information compared to the time spent is unprofitable.
Module 3: Enhancing your teaching skills
- Characteristics of effective clinical educators: welcoming, organized, provide feedback, are aware of learning styles/preferences, enthusiastic, layout expectations, are knowledgeable and are open to learning!
- Instead of giving away answers to a struggling student try: ask for a commitment from the learner –> probe for underlying reasons for why they didn’t get the right answer –> teach general rules –> provide positive feedback –> correct mistakes.
- Allow sufficient “wait time” for students to respond: wait at least 3 seconds after asking the question and after the student stops speaking.
Module 4: Fostering clinical reasoning: the active process that guides practice, gives words to what goes on in our mind. By encouraging students to verbalize their thought process, I can discover gaps in their understanding.
- having completed my clinical orientation week, I have firsthand experience of how valuable the verbalization of a thought process is, to recognize short-falls and foster improvement.
Module 5: Giving feedback
- Giving feedback is important because it can improve performance and confidence, clarify the preceptor’s expectation, increase morale and develop teamwork
- Learners need feedback on their learning, early and often
Module 6: The evaluation process
- Pitfalls of evaluation:
- Halo effect: tendency to make a global judgement about a student’s performance based on one or two incidence and to continue to perceive all future performance in a similar way.
- Mum effect: unless the student is going to fail you don’t need to say anything
- Contrast error: tendency to evaluate the student using yourself as the standard.
- Leniency bias: avoid giving negative/critical evaluation. Giving too many explanation-qualifying comments
- Wanting to be “liked” by the student
Module 7/8: Supporting the struggling student & Strategies for resolving conflict
- Having an approach of not only assessing the student, but yourself as a teacher to ensure if your student is perceived as struggling, why, and have you as a teacher done anything to amplify this perception (e.g. contrast error)
- 5 steps to managing conflict:
- Step 1: Establish a positive environment – discuss a mutually agreeable time and location to meet. Express motivation to resolve the difference to future mutual benefit.
- Step 2: Seek to understand the other person’s point of view – ask open ended questions, and listen attentively to the answers. You can always check your understanding by repeating your interpretation of what they said.
- Step 3: Seek to clarify and define the issue –: use “I” statements
- Step 4: Generate alternatives – invite brainstorming, generating options together
- Step 5: Problem solve – evaluate the options and develop an action plan that both parties can adhere to!
- Don’t be scared of conflict – it can be a communication tool to get things done, and straighten out misconceptions among the team.