Education Development Advisor News
I have no hard quantitative data to report this quarter. We are at the beginning of September, but we have not yet received enough feedback reports from registrars for Semester 1, and not all monthly teaching, learning and consulting reports are in from practices for Semester 1, so I cannot yet put together reliable aggregations and conclusions for you. Instead, here is a very personal summary of my GPET Convention experience.
In deciding which sessions and presentations to attend my first priority was to show my support for James Brown as he presented sessions on 'theming the curriculum' and learning plans.
The need to make the curriculum more accessible for learning planning purposes has also been taken up by two other RTPs who presented Louise Stone talking about her work with GP Synergy, and Lyn Clearihan for the VMA. The approach of GP Synergy is for registrars to "rate their perceived competence against a series of objectives based on the RACGP curriculum in each key learning area." These objectives are further elaborated by "the use of indicators "which answer the question "How will you know if you have met this objective? What behaviour will be observed?"To my mind this approach, whilst pedagogically impeccable, adds an extra layer to the curriculum burden. The VMA, on the other hand, are taking a 'reductionist' approach which is similar to our own. They say they are translating the curriculum into a coherent document which focuses on their end users, that "the process has been iterative and inclusive of the people who will eventually be either the recipients of it or the teachers. It has been underpinned by the need to reduce volume without losing detail or important content."
I take the view that our work on 'theming the curriculum' and the provision of checklists is as much to do with supporting teaching planning as it is to do with supporting learning planning. Emphasis on teaching planning was taken up by John Buckley (CSQTC) who has devised an approach to "Planning teaching sessions in less than 10 minutes" and Margaret Simpson and James Best (GP Synergy) who presented a poster which included an explanation of how they support supervisors and registrars to jointly develop a Clinical Teaching Plan.
I was also interested to hear Louise Stone speaking on how the work of Bloom (1956) was shaping her ideas for her doctoral thesis. Bloom's original hierarchy of cognitive abilities knowledge, understanding, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation was the one I was introduced to as a young post-grad in technical teacher college. Interestingly, over the years his fifth level of 'synthesis' has morphed into a 'creative' level (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). Louise's thesis is that supervisor's teach registrars as if they are operating in levels 4 6 in the cognitive hierarchy whereas in reality, and for many topics, registrars are operating in levels 1 3.
My third priority at the Convention was to check out how far training organizations had come in setting up virtual learning environments for their distant and remote trainees, and whether or not there had been any outstanding innovations in that field recently. In this I would say that, since the innovation of GPRime, all further progress is stalled. Only two RTPs reported any online learning activities. Adelaide-to-Outback gave two presentations, one to do with virtual training adviser visits to PGPPP junior doctors, the other showcasing how their PGPPP junior doctors facilitate linking specialists with their remote patients for virtual follow-up consults. The CCCT told us about their weekly online study groups and exam prep activities hosted by the IT facilities of the ANU.
Adelaide-to- Outback also reported they are funding an organisation-wide subscription to UpToDate, a medical information web site where patients (and indeed all health professionals and trainees) can go to learn about medical conditions in order to better understand management and treatment options.
The most comprehensive online registrar training is offered by the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS).It is a program designed to train and support doctors already working in isolated or solo practice in rural or remote and offers structured training towards both the FRACGP and FACRRM. It features remote supervision, information and telecommunication technologies, individual learning plans and clinical teaching visits. It runs twice-yearly face-to-face workshops to develop the clinical and procedural skills needed for remote clinical practice. Pat Giddings' presentation of the work of the program referred to it as "operating in a parallel universe surviving outside the AGPT program".
James Brown's presentation on theming the curriculum was well-received, but his session for medical educators on learning planning I believe got bogged by participants failing to distinguish between learning logging and learning planning.If we are to keep up with other RTP front runners then I would say we should widen our focus on learning planning to include teaching planning, and we should continue to take an interest in curriculum interpretation.