Latest Entries »

Various instructional strategies are used to teach the content and procedural skills of a medical specialty. Two common instructional strategies have been described as the “bucket technique” and the “SOCO” method.

Bucket Model: The “bucket technique” is still commonly used in medical education and comes with the assumption that medical school faculty are “all knowing” and that medical student or resident minds are like empty buckets.

The goal of the instructional session is to fill the empty learner “buckets” with knowledge or “pearls of wisdom” from the faculty.

Major Set-back of Bucket Model: The problem with this method is that it is teacher-focused, not learner-focused and most often it is associated with the lecture format without clearly defined,  learner-centered instructional objectives. The learner then is expected to regurgitate all the knowledge in some useful order. Since the knowledge is rarely learned around patient presentations, recall is difficult when needed in the clinical setting as it has been memorized as a list of facts.

SOCO Model: The Single Overriding Communicating Objective  method more effectively promotes learning, Retention, and application of information to new situations. A brief teaching session, such as at the bedside,  might have only one single overriding communication objective (SOCO). A longer session, such as a Grand Rounds presentation, may have three or four SOCO’s. Such objectives should be learner-centered, measurable, and appropriate for the level of the medical student or resident. There may also be “enabling objectives” that must be met before the learner will be able to successfully meet each single overriding communicating objective.

Adult Learning

Adults learn best in a supportive environment where they are encouraged and have the opportunity to support one another. Joining together around a table or bedside with close interaction among all members of the group facilitates adult learning. Adults especially appreciate teachers who provide learning significance, ie. the “need to know,” and who share the responsibility of learning with the students. By providing clear goals and objectives, adult learners can “prepare mentally” for the instructional session without hidden expectations that promote unnecessary anxiety. Adults have a wealth of prior experience that can also be harnessed and built upon as new information and skills are taught. Adult learners remember best when they are actively experiencing learning in a problem-based or case-based format, during active, student-centered instruction with plenty of positive verbal and written feedback. Perhaps these principles of adult learning are said best in the triplet: “Tell me…I forget; Show me…I remember; Involve me…I understand.”

Studies of learning have demonstrated that only about 7% of information recall is dependent upon the actual content, and 93% of recall relates to how the content was presented. Accordingly, instructional strategies are most effective when they involve the learner. Since so much of what is effectively acquired and retained by the learner depends upon how it was presented, principles of oral communication should be followed closely, especially when using the lecture and small group discussion formats. The mood for learning can be set by:

1) approaching the class with real excitement and enthusiasm,
2) adding vocal variety for interest and clarity,
3) including purposeful pauses,
4) maintaining effective eye contact with each learner throughout the presentation,
5) showing a desire to communicate without over-dependence on notes,
6) actively involving the learner and,
7) ending using a strong conclusion with vitality.

Compared to written communication, oral speech has more personal references, more first and second person pronouns, shorter length of thought units, greater repetition, more mono syllabic words and more familiar words.

Instructional Strategy and Teaching Steps 

Utilizing the “events of instruction” or teaching steps gives the mentor or teacher an organized instructional strategy for optimally transmitting knowledge and assessing competency.

Recall Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction

Healthcare Instructional Strategy

Learner-centered teachers humble themselves before their students and unpretentiously perform the highest form of teaching. They use instructional strategies to serve and uplift, not to control or manipulate.  They engage the learner in a mutual obligation to learn and they worry less about being seen as “experts” or “authorities.” Learner-centered teachers place learners in control of their own learning, serving as facilitators of the instructional session. As academic pride is stripped away, such teachers humbly influence students’ lives for good and become master teachers.


HTML 5 holds enormous promise for the browser experience without a plug-in requirement. Capabilities include drag-and-drop file copy, animation, video playback with synchronization, all sorts of transitions, interactive canvas and font manipulation, advanced typography, Web SQL data storage and rollback, online/offline testing and a myriad of others available now or under way.

If you are still unsure about HTML5, just take a look at some of Apple’s past bets. The company’s flagship technologies such as FireWire and SCSI, foresaw that CDs would replace floppies and that all computers would need Ethernet, and was using SIMM modules when others were still inserting memory chips one at a time.

Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers now support HTML5. Microsoft is planning to support it, and maintains an excellent HTML5 Web site where it displays news, capabilities and emerging features about HTML5 and other technologies that have not yet been standardized.

And when combined with CSS3 and JavaScript, as in Apple’s HTML5 demo web site, its potential to create amazing Web experiences simply knows no bounds. Indeed, there appear to be no limits on the type and scope of applications built with HTML5. For example, there’s an effort to build HTML5 WebSockets, which permit bi-directional communication between the browser and the Web server, giving it the ability to update browser content without the need to reload the page. And as with all HTML versions, apps made with HTML5 would be cross-platform and would not reply on proprietary operating system-specific runtimes.
Read More at http://goo.gl/7vhnO

Survey of over 5,400 specialists, PCPs on Physicians Consulting Network indicates 2/3 own smartphones, 1/4 have tablets

Amplify’d from www.knowledgenetworks.com

New York, NY; March 31, 2011: For pharmaceutical companies marketing to health care professionals, going mobile is only part of the story. New research by Knowledge Networks using the Physicians Consulting Network (PCN®) shows that doctors are seeking a combination of digital and in-person marketing. Specialists and PCPs alike are relying more and more on smartphones and tablets to check email, research medications and conditions, and take online surveys; but they still prefer in-person visits with drug sales reps over electronic pharma marketing (“e-detailing”) by a factor of three to one.

Drawing on responses from 5,490 doctors, the 2011 Digital MD Marketing research shows that

  • 67% of PCPs and 61% of specialists now have a smartphone (64% of doctors overall)
  • 27% of PCPs and specialists alike have tablet computers (such as iPads) – about 5 times the level in the general population
  • Shopping and survey taking via mobile devices have grown significantly since 2010, but “e-detailing” grew less dramatically and is less common
  • Reference applications, such as Epocrates and WebMD, are the most popular mobile medical “apps” – while apps from pharmaceutical manufacturers receive minimal use

Read more at www.knowledgenetworks.com

 

Landamatics, or Algo-Heuristic Theory as it was originally called, was developed by Lev Landa in the early 1950’s.

Landa (1975) said, “It is common knowledge that pupils very often possess knowledge that is necessary in a certain subject, but they cannot solve problems. Psychologists and teachers often explain this by saying that their pupils do not know how to think properly, they are unable to apply their knowledge, the processes of analysis and synthesis had not been formed in their minds, . . .”.

Landa believes knowledge is made up of three elements:

1. image – the mental picture of an object,

2. concept – the knowledge of the characteristics of an object,

3. propositions – the relationships the object and it’s parts to other objects.

Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions
Problem-solving:
Processes – Sets of operations: Operations are transformations of (or changes to) material objects or mental models.

(b) Principles
1. It is more important to teach algo-heuristic processes versus prescriptions.
2. Processes can be taught through prescriptions and demonstrations of operations. (Operations = changes of mental or material knowledge)
3. Discovery of processes is more valuable than providing formulated processes.
4. Individualize instruction.

(c) Condition of learning
1. Instructional processes are influences directed by a “teacher” and directed at transformation. (teacher refers to any teaching agent, live or material, i.e. books, AV, computer)
2. Instructional processes are affected by teacher actions or instructional operations.
3. Instructional processes can be affected by certain conditions.
– external conditions, student psychology, teacher knowledge
4. There are three types of instructional rules: descriptive, prescriptive, and permissive. Descriptive rules are statements about what occurs. Prescriptive rules are statements about what should be done. Permissive rules indicate possible alternatives to prescriptive rules.

(d) Required media
None

(e) Role of facilitator
Teaching involves solving instructional problems; the teacher has to determine and perform actions that should be executed in order to meet objectives.

(f) Instructional strategies
Determining Content

1. Uncover process underlying expert learners and mastery level performers.
2. Describe the process with a hypothetical descriptive model.
3. Test the correctness of the model.
4. Improve the model if necessary.
5. Optimize the model if possible.
6. Design the final algorithmic or non-algorithmic process to allow the learners to perform on a mastery level.
7. Identify learning procedures leading to the development of algorithm or heuristic performance.
8. Design algo-heuristic teaching procedures.
9. Design algo-heuristic based training materials.
10. If necessary, create a computer-based or other media based programmed instruction.
11. Design methods for evaluation.

Instructional Method 1 – The step-by-step approach
1. Present the procedure to the student and demonstrate problem solving.
2. Develop the first operation.
3. Present a problem that requires the first operation and practice that operation.
4. Develop the second operation.
5. Present a problem that requires application of both operation and practice.
6. Develop the third operation.
7. Present a problem that represents all three problems.
8. Proceed until all problems are mastered.

Instructional Method 2 – Developing individual operations
1. Determine whether the student understands the meaning of a direction in the a prescription and its operations.
If yes:
2. Present a problem that requires application of the problem.
3. Name the operation (give the learner a self-command) before he/she executes the problem.
4. Present the next problem and have the learner give the command internally.
5. Continue practicing the operation until mastery.
If no:
2. Explain what the student does not understand.
3. Test the correctness of understanding and allow for practice. Provide extra explaination and practice.
4. Go to #2 under “yes” above.

(g) Assessment method
Student is able to complete the operation at a mastery level.

Application– Complex Sciences such Neurosciences.

strategic knowledge in neuroscience represented as an algorithm

Testimonials–  Allstate’s claim processing operation improved productivity 75% and quality 90%.

Learning theory is the study of how people learn. Instructional Design Theory is the study of how to best design instruction so that learning will take place. Instructional design theory, then, is drawn from learning theory.

There are many Instructional Design Models that have been researched upon and proposed out. Some most popular of them are as below.

ADDIE (Assess – Design – Develop – Implement – Evaluate):

Perhaps the most popular, common and straightforward ID model. Most of the current instructional design models are variations of the ADDIE process.

ADDIE Instructional Design Model

Instructional Design is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences.

Instructional Design as a Process:

Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analyzing learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs.

Instructional Design as a Discipline:

Instructional Design is a branch of knowledge concerned with research and theory about instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing those strategies.

Instructional Design as Reality:

Instructional design can be started at any stage in the design process. Often a outline of an idea is developed to give the foundation of an instruction-situation. By the time the entire process is done the designer reviews back and checks to see that all parts of the “science” have been taken into consideration. Then the entire process is documented as if it occurred in a systematic fashion.

Instructional Technology:

Instructional technology is the systemic application of strategies and techniques derived from behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist theories to the solution of instructional problems.

Instructional Technology = Instructional Design + Instructional Development

Next Episode: How Many Instructional Design Models for E-Learning do we know.


Roll back to 1985, when Chip Morningstar and Joseph Romero in designing LucasFilm’s multi-palyer online game Habitat.  This is when the word ‘Avatar’ was coined in its then context. Since then Avatars, Actors and Characters have some terms that describe the virtual representation of the player or user in varied contexts.

In the recent years, a stigma of focused effort has been constituted to establish a social context between the learner and the learning platform (be it any form of learning content).

In simple and practical terms, a Character or Avatar creates a social representation of a real person into a designated role within the learning program. Relating this to the current Healthcare Learning and Educational landscape, the involved persons are majorly Physicians, Students, Clinicians, Academicians and other allied healthcare professionals. Each individual applies to its specific competency role in the industry.

As we speak about the industry specific title, each title is entitled to a role which performs its designated role in a Practice-Based environment. A Practice-Based environment demands only and only Practice in Practical.

The challenge here is how does e-Learning transform learning to be virtual yet practical. How can e-Learning in it’s inorganic matter deliver results similar to that of organic and practical methods.

Avatars play the bridging role here. An Avatar can play various social roles.

Expert/ Instructor/ Coach: Here the character is modeled after an expert or knowledgeable human – most commonly a senior surgeon, professor, training manager/head or expert in the field such as a regulation,etc. Effective use of this role with the help of an Avatar ensures social engagement between the character (Avatar) and the student through a conversational tone, interaction, and feedback.

Learner/ User: An Avatar of learning establishes the emotional presence of the learner into the learning scenario. It simulates the learner’s belongingness within the learning context and situation. An Avatar created with situational and curriculum based contextual engagement allows the emotive mind of the learner to dwell into imaginative and experiential learning.

C0-learners or Peers: Avatars of co-learners or learning buddies create a sense of being accompanied. It helps eliminate the loneness factor of the learner and builds a scope of togetherness into the learning environment.

Immersive e-learning

In the study, We Learn Better Together: Enhancing e-Learning with Emotional Characters (2005) by Heidi Maldonado et al., it is discovered that the presence of a Co-learner resulted in learners performing better. Students with a Co-learner scored significantly higher than students without a Co-learner.

SIMs have gained acceptance for pre-job training, especially in the medical segment.

Amplify’d from news.sky.com
Virtual Patients Help Train Student Nurses

A new virtual hospital is helping student nurses to perfect their skills before they treat real patients.

Students at Birmingham City University create their own avatars, which they then control on simulated wards.

They learn to monitor patients by keeping track of their heart rate, temperature, urine output and other read-outs.

Abnormal readings prompt them to work out what’s wrong and what action to take.

Read more at news.sky.com

 

Google has brought many a resourceful applications through Google Labs.

Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a company acquired by Google in 2004. The product was re-released as Google Earth in 2005.

Google launched the Google Maps API in June 2005 to allow developers to integrate Google Maps into their websites.

The list goes long with Google books, calendar, news, search, videos, wave and so on.

Last year Google launched its new high-tech 3D product- Google Body. Google Body is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more.

One can also share the exact scene being viewed by copying and pasting the corresponding URL.

Google Body, which is already available in web form, can now run on Android tablets that use the 3.0 Honeycomb version of Google’s mobile operating system. Using 3D graphics capabilities of the latest tablets such as Motorola’s Xoom, the hardware is now good enough to properly display a 3D-heavy app such as Google Body, which lets you look at your organs, muscles and bones.

It looks like a pretty cool way to explore the human body – just like earth or maps, you can strip away layers (i.e. skin, bones, etc.), rotate it in 3D, and search for body parts before having them highlighted in the app. Teachers are gonna have a gala time giving anatomy classes to students.