Search our site 
 
Advanced Search
 
Home | Exam dates | Contact us | About us | Testimonials |
 
 

map

Teaching and training

 border=Email this page
 

Teaching/Training/Learning/Keeping up to date/Seeking help

Tell us about your teaching experience. 

Be descriptive. Show your enthusiasm for teaching

  • Discuss who you have taught,  how often you teach and whether it is formal or informal teaching. Discuss some of the teaching methods you use. You can quote some interesting topics or episodes
  • Mention any teaching courses or qualifications
  • Discuss how you know you are a good teacher - you could say that you regularly arrange feedback from your students or occasionally get your teaching session peer reviewed. You could also mention that your teachings skills were specially commended in your 360 degree appraisal

 

What specific skills have you learnt which make you a good teacher?

I have learned a lot through experience, observing good teachers and the course. A few of the specific skills which I have learned and regularly employ are:

  • Plan my teaching in terms of learning outcomes. This is rather obvious, as the purpose of teaching is to foster learning. The purpose of my teaching is to make students think and learn rather than being a source of information and factual knowledge.
  • Introduce my teaching by exploring or referring to the background knowledge needed for the session. Subsequent teaching would be organised and structured so that key concepts are presented in a hierarchic order. I would summarise at the end to reinforce key concepts. Handout the lecture notes prior to the teaching, so that the learners can focus better. This is based on the cognitive theory principles that learning is a constructive process of schema activation, schema construction and schema refinement. This suggests that existing knowledge acts as a scaffold on which new knowledge structures are built. The learning is likely to be much more effective if prior knowledge is activated before presenting the new concepts. Also, the new knowledge would be assimilated better if it is presented in a structured and organised way. The new schema could be further refined and reinforced by summarising the key concepts at the end.
  • Actively encourage students to take charge of their learning and foster deep learning principles. I would provide key concepts and encourage students to search for other relevant material on the issue to develop an understanding.  Another powerful underlying principle was one of behaviourist theory that independent learners learn best. Students learn best when they take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Create an environment of trust, relationship and mutual respect by being non-threatening, committed and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the learners.  
  • Provide regular feedback and encourage students if they are doing well, and guide them in the deficient areas.  Positive feedback is important, not only from the reinforcement principle of stimulus-response theory, but also because the learning is likely to be more effective and efficient if the learners are informed about how well they are doing (cognitive feedback principle).
  • Provide teaching in a real world context - i.e. create a context in which the problem is relevant. Encourage students to construct multiple perspectives on an issue, either by suitable examples or by collaborative learning. Very often, learners fail to transfer classroom teaching to the real world. The teaching should thus be in a real world context and further multiple perspectives should be debated so that the learner can adopt the perspective that is most suitable to them in the particular context. Also, for the teaching to be effective, the learning of content should be embedded in the use of that content. This would avoid the difficulties of putting the theory into practice (constructivist cognition).

 

What one technique has had the biggest impact on your teaching methods?

Constructivist cognitive theory of education - schema activation, building and refinement:
Introduce my teaching by exploring or referring to the background knowledge needed for the session. Subsequent teaching would be organised and structured so that key concepts are presented in a hierarchic order. I would summarise at the end to reinforce key concepts. Hand out the lecture notes prior to the teaching, so that learners can focus better. This is based on the cognitive theory principles that learning is a constructive process of schema activation, schema construction and schema refinement. The key theory I felt was one of constructivist cognitive science. This suggests that existing knowledge acts as a scaffold on which new knowledge structures are built. The learning is likely to be much more effective if prior knowledge is activated before presenting the new concepts. Also, the new knowledge would be assimilated better if it is presented in a structured and organised way. The new schema could be further refined and reinforced by summarising the key concepts at the end.

What methods of teaching do you know? Which do you prefer and why?

Lectures, seminars/tutorials, problem-based learning (PBL), one-to-one teaching (e.g. learning endoscopy), small group teaching (clinical teaching or teaching ward rounds)

I prefer PBL. The basic principle is that the students are not passive learners but actively learn for themselves, using the problem as a focus of their learning. The students move from the problem towards the rule, principle or concept and then generalise their learning to other contexts or settings. So it is not simply the opportunity to solve problems, but rather learning opportunities where solving problems is the focus or starting point for student learning. So the advantages of PBL are:

  • It is student centred.  It promotes active learning and thus improves understanding and retention and development of life-long learning skills.
  • PBL approach contributes to the acquisition of generic skills and attitudes essential for future practice.
  • PBL is fun and rated as enjoyable both for students and staff. It motivates students by freeing them from rote learning and use of clinical setting for the scenarios.
  • PBL encourages a deep approach to learning. The students interact with the learning material; relate concepts to everyday experience; evidence is related to conclusions.
  • PBL facilitates a constructivist approach to learning. When generating learning issues, students activate prior knowledge and build on existing conceptual knowledge frameworks.

You could also say that you prefer small group teaching - for example, for ward-based clinical teaching in groups.

 

Small group teaching is an important educational strategy.    Small group learning is not defined by the number of learners, although admittedly meaningful interaction occurs more readily with fewer people. Small group learning is defined by its three key characteristics: active participation, a specific task and reflective learning.

Small group learning has many advantages:

  • It fosters active learning. Group discussion activates prior knowledge, helping to identify any deficits and facilitating new understanding.
  • Small group work allows students to self-direct their own learning. It thus promotes life-long learning.
  • Small group work is more interactive and hence increases learners' involvement and thus motivates them to learn, and learn more effectively.
  • Small group discussion allows application and development of ideas by allowing students to explore different possibilities. This is not feasible in a didactic lecture.
  • Small group work allows for a deep learning approach because students understand and make personal sense of the material, rather than just memorising and reproducing (superficial learning).
  • It promotes an adult style of learning by encouraging students to take charge of their own learning.
  • Small group work fosters a team working spirit, problem-solving abilities and communication skills. Development of these transferable skills is important in the management of all patients.

There are various methods that can be used with small groups, like tutorial, seminars, problem-based learning, clinical teaching etc. I suggest you use the clinical teaching method. You could conduct it on the hospital wards, around the patient's bedside.  It provides real life experience of real patients, and hence medical students enjoy it the most. It provides good opportunity for the observation (and correction, if needed) of clinical, communication and interpersonal skills. Clinical teaching allows the integration of cognitive, psychomotor and affective objectives.

You are given a group of six SHOs to teach in a week's time on a subject to be chosen by you. How do you go about preparing for it?

You decide on the method of teaching for e.g. clinical teaching or ward-based teaching. You can demonstrate your passion and commitment for teaching by answering this question appropriately.

 

  • I would first of all familiarise myself with students' need, their stage of the course and the requirements of this teaching session. I would go through the study guide to help me with these decisions.
  • I would choose patients who are sufficiently well to be seen by the students. I would consent them and brief them adequately, so that they know what will be expected of them during the session. They would be given the opportunity to refuse. Further, I understand that clinical care of the patient is paramount. I would communicate with the nurses, so that they are aware of the teaching plan and thus should minimise interference in clinical care or teaching.
  • I would brief the students on the learning outcomes of the session.
  • I would articulate a few selected teaching points per case and communicate these points through questions and discussions. I would try to link the facts of the case to the general principles of medicine. I would use an interactive style of teaching. I would involve all the students by encouraging the more reserved to participate and limiting the contribution of more vocal members. I would use appropriate questions to draw upon the prior knowledge of the students. When prior knowledge is lacking, I would offer a conceptual scaffolding and context for learning.  I would stimulate interest by being challenging and buttressing the relevance of the teaching to a variety of clinical situations.
  • I would thank the patients and the healthcare team for their contribution in the clinical session. I would use the ward side-room for debriefing after the session. I would also use it to discuss the sensitive issues raised earlier in the discussion. In my debriefing, I would clarify any misconceptions or misunderstandings to reinforce student learning. I would encourage students to reflect on their recent clinical interaction in the light of previous experiences. I would recommend use of a log book or a portfolio to help with this process. I would also provide constructive feedback and suggest useful further reading.
  • Finally, I would reflect on the session myself as to how well I was able to link the experience to the students' other clinical experiences. I would also seek feedback from the students.

What would you teach a group of junior SHOs in 30 minutes?

Professionalism, good attitudes and reflective thinking.

You could also do a case-based discussion, or demonstrate physical examination. Basically, you could choose anything, as long as you explain the importance of it.

How would you convince a junior colleague of the importance of teaching?

Ask him about an inspiring teacher and then ask him how it influenced him.


Give me an example of a situation where you recognised that a member of your team had a deficiency/difficulty.

Identify any situation, such as your colleague turning up late, leaving early, or any inappropriate behaviour. What is important here is that you describe how you dealt with it. Tell them that you dealt with the situation promptly,
communicated with the team member, applying principles of giving feedback, and agreed on solutions.

What is problem-based learning? What are its pros and cons?

The term PBL is employed to convey different concepts. The principle idea behind PBL is that the starting point for learning is a problem that the learner wishes to solve. The basic outline of the PBL process is: encountering the problem first, problem solving with clinical skills and identifying learning needs in an interactive process, self-study, applying newly gained knowledge to the problem and summarising what has been learnt (Barrows, 1985).

Pros of PBL: see Q4

Cons:

  • PBL makes it very difficult for students to identify with a good teacher. In PBL the teacher serves as a facilitator rather than acting as a role model. This may deprive students of the benefits of learning from an inspirational teacher.
  • PBL does not motivate staff to share knowledge with the students. Staff are denied the fun of sharing their processes of understanding with their students and of "getting a buzz" out of teaching.
  • PBL require competencies many teachers do not possess.
  • PBL may be time consuming for students, particularly if they need to identify educational resources for themselves. The use of study guides will minimise this potential drawback.
  • Concerns have also been raised about the cost of implementing a PBL programme.

 

How do you know what you don't know?

How do you identify your training needs?

By reflecting on my practice.

The medical professional is now expected to reflect upon their practice, identify their learning needs, plan and undertake the learning and then evaluate the process.  

So I:

Review - look at my own life experiences
Reflect - sort out what I have learned from these experiences
Record - document the insights gained from taking an honest look at myself.

These steps would lead to identification of learning needs. You will next need to think about how or what needs to be undertaken successfully to achieve the identified learning needs. This will help you to identify the learning resources needed and a reasonable timescale.

Tell me about a memorable case where you have learnt something new?

Quote a case relevant to your specialty


How would you ensure that your team is up to scratch?

Use the seven pillars of clinical governance to answer the question:

  • Education and training - supporting the CPD needs of the team
  • Clinical audit - regularly auditing the practice, making the changes and improving the care
  • Clinical effectiveness - use of EBM
  • Risk management - by promoting a blame-free culture, I ensure that mistakes are pointed/admitted and lessons learnt
  • Research and development - actively participate in research
  • Openness
  • Patient and public involvement - to ensure that the team is aware of their feedback and responsive to their needs.

I also encourage reflective practice, provide regular feedback and ensure participation of all team members in decision making.

How do you assess surgical competence in a trainee?

Competence is knowledge, skills and attitudes, and each of these needs to be assessed to assess competence.  A combination of methods like Mini CEX, DOPS, MSF and OSCE are used to assess surgical competence. Direct observation by the trainer and assessment of logbook provide further evidence. Feedback from colleagues and allied health professional is also crucial.

Do registrars have a role in teaching SHOs?

Absolutely, because registrars are directly supervising SHOs and are thus in a position to identify and fulfil the learning needs of SHOs.

With the introduction of the European Working Time Directive and the reduction in the number of hours leading to CCT, do you feel you will be fully trained by the end of your registrar post?

Yes:

  • Focused and competency-based training
  • Learning does not stop with the end of training. What you are saying is that, although you are competent and positively excited at taking the next step up to becoming a consultant, you do appreciate and believe in life-long learning.
  • Reflective learner. This has helped you to identify the gaps and lacunae in your training/knowledge/skills, leading you to take steps to develop yourself further.

 

What measures do you take to improve your training?

I am a reflective learner. So I:

Review - look at my own life experiences
Reflect - sort out what I have learned from these experiences
Record - document the insights gained from taking an honest look at myself.

These steps lead to identification of my learning needs. I subsequently (on discussion with seniors/supervisor) think about how or what needs to be undertaken successfully to achieve the identified learning needs. This helps me to identify the learning resources needed and a reasonable timescale.

I am a self-directed learner and keep myself up to date by regularly reading journals and attending conferences/meetings.

How do you think trainees should contribute to their own training?

Trainees have responsibility to take charge of their own training. They need to reflect on their practice, identify the learning needs and use appropriate resources to fulfil them.  They need to liaise with their supervisors and plan their learning outcomes for each stage of their training.

What do you get out of teaching others?

I get a "buzz" out of teaching by sharing my processes of understanding with students. It gives me no end of satisfaction when a trainee comes up and tells me that my teaching session helped him manage his patients better. Teaching also helps me to consolidate my own knowledge.

What is the most interesting case you have managed?

What is the worst case you have managed?

When did you last call your consultant?

What is the biggest mistake that you have made in a clinical setting?

Tell me about a clinical situation where you’ve needed to seek advice; what lessons did you learn from it?

Discuss a case relevant to your specialty. Try and focus on a non-clinical issue, like communication skill, ethics, empathy, management skills etc. This is what you would need as a consultant.


How do you keep your skills up to date?

I constantly update myself by attending meetings, reading journals etc.
 

How did you keep your skills up to date during your research/career break?

By attending local educational meetings, as well deanery-organised ones, besides reading journals. I also attended one clinic and one theatre session a week.

 

Tell me about the most recent paper you’ve read which will change your day-to-day clinical practice?

Tell me about an interesting paper you’ve read in the past three months?

Topical question relevant to your specialty.
 

What invasive procedures have you performed and what complications have you encountered?

Most of us would have encountered complications. What is important in answering the question is how you dealt with it. Important steps:

  • Took steps to ensure patient safety
  • Involved your consultant immediately
  • Explained everything to the patient as soon as possible
  • Reflected on it and identified learning points

 

If you could improve the specialty training scheme in one way, what would you do?

Be honest and narrate your reasons for it.
You could say that you would like learning outcomes to be set for each stage of training.

 

What do you understand by personal portfolio?

Portfolio is a purposeful collection of work that, when put together, demonstrates that learning has taken place. The portfolios purpose is to demonstrate learning and not to chronicle a series of experiences.

  • Personal portfolio includes documents – CV/GMC/MDU/OH/RITA/CCST/Course certificates/audit/summaries of presentations, publications and posters
  • Revalidation sections:

   Work record – logbook and skills record
   Record of assessments – consultants' training reports
   CPD – personal learning plan and educational agreement
   Training and teaching – record of teaching
   Health - swimming, cycling and occupational health
   Other - management/teaching/new experiences/guidelines

AnaesthesiaUK would like to thank consultantmedicalinterview.com for allowing us to reproduce their material.

  Posting rules

     To view or add comments you must be a registered user and login



 
All rights reserved © 2017. Designed by AnaesthesiaUK.

{Site map} {Site disclaimer} {Privacy Policy} {Terms and conditions}

 Like us on Facebook 

vp