Sloan-C: Educational Mixology: Pedagogical Approaches to Faculty Development and Course Redesign in Health Sciences

  • Project based in School of Medicine at George Washington University in DC
  • Other initiatives on campus are in School of Nursing and Writing program

Drivers and needs

  • need more healthcare providers, as Consumer Reports has identified and introduced the different roles
  • expanding curricula
  • emphasis on problem based or case based learning
  • emphasis on improve learning outcomes related to future practice


  • resistance from faculty and students
  • methods of instruction have been highly traditional (lecture–>application)
  • perception of loss of personal contact –> same fear as EHR usage

BL and faculty development

Faculty approach

  • evidence-based using Quality Matters rubric
  • collaborative
  • two initiatives
    • Review, Refresh, Revise class – done before the semester
    • SMART labs
      • software, hardware, peopleware
      • physically located right next to the departments

PA6210: Health, Justice & Society

  • PA is a 2 year, cohort program
  • 2 credit, first semester course to introduce new PA students to social dynamics of health
  • challenges
    • large class size
    • theater style classroom
    • variety in student background
  • focus less on reduction of F2F time, as a reason for BL
  • using multimodal approach: review what did work well in course already and then consider how to reformat
  • goal of more reflection–>journaling
  • Pedagogical goals
    • promote reflective practice (Schon, 1987)
    • increase interaction (Bandura, 1986; Illeris, 2003; McDonald, 2012)
    • support higher level of learning –> challenge since didactic learning in first year and practice in 2nd year so content and use are separated or could be forgotten
    • support communities of inquiry (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004; Garrison & Anderson, 2003)
    • promote teams and teaming
  • push back from students not wanting to watch videos ahead of time because they felt they should just hear it from the expert himself in the class session
  • spot check or follow more interesting discussions, as they choose
  • assignment
    • develop groups and each to explore epidemiological information of each different ward in DC
    • students develop wikis — little specific instruction allowed creativity with information representation
  • things learned
    • never enough structure
    • some initial pushback, perhaps since this is the only course in program like this – had 1 day, in-person orientation
    • must brief guest lecturers on the course structure
    • great reflection, application and synthesis
    • journals recognize individual biases
  • student reactions
    • most value reading responses of peers in online discussion
    • some indicate how online discussion impacts F2F discussion
    • many value thinking about materials prior to class
    • concerns regarding workload compared to course credit — despite student self-reporting that they spent 2-4 hours outside of class, which is not unusual for this course
    • a few see no value in online portion
  • evaluation
    • lots and lots of surveys….
    • selective assignment review
    • focus groups with faculty

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