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Health Professions Education: Creating a Teaching Excellence Module for Faculty

1 January 2010


Faculty members receive little formal training in teaching techniques in health professions education. The project addresses an identified need to create, implement, and evaluate an effective teaching methods course to improve teacher capabilities of faculty members in health professions education at a public university in Washington. Additional areas examined included the influence of age and educational background of faculty members on improvement from the course. The teaching methods course was taught to faculty members from nursing and pharmacy at a public university. Initially, interviews were conducted, using a modified Delphi method, to capture current nursing and pharmacy exemplary educators’ perceptions of effective teaching methodology, activities, and traits later incorporated into the project. Prior to the course, participants completed a pre-course survey regarding perceptions of teaching effectiveness. The Teaching Methods Course, highlighting effective teaching techniques, followed. Participants updated presentations and presented again. Evaluation of teaching effectiveness assessed the participants’ 30-minute lecture pre- and post-course. A panel of educators evaluated the pre- and post-presentation using a standardized rubric. Data analysis included participants’ perceptions of teaching effectiveness and self-evaluations and a panel of educators’ evaluations of presentations. Results of interviews showed similarities in effective teaching perceptions amongst established effective teachers. Results of the course demonstrated significant improvements in effective teaching perceptions by the participants, and significant improved teaching capabilities of the participants. It appears a minimal investment, such as a one-day teaching methods course in effective teaching may be valuable.


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