Clinical Teaching Module

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Jan-Feb 2005.

Unit 1

Jan-April 2005.

Unit 2

Feb - March 2005

Unit 3

March- April 2005

Unit 4

Learning Theory in Clinical Settings

Clinical Teaching Methodologies

Assess. Competence and Performance

Professional Development

Module Timetable

Weeks 2005

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4

Jan 3 - 9

Application of AL in clinical settings

W1: basic techniques

Jan 10 – 16

Learning + teaching styles in clinical T


Jan 17 – 23

Reflective practice in clinical settings

Jan 24 – 30

Experiential learning


Jan 31 – 6

Learning needs assessment

Feb 7 – 13

Evaluation theory and practice


Assessment in clinical settings

Feb 14 – 20

W2: feedback and questioning

Miller’s triangle and its uses

Feb 21 – 27

Tests of clinical competence

Feb 28 ­- 6

Assignment 1

Bedside teaching

Tests of clinical performance

March 7–13

OPD, ICU and theatre teaching

Setting standards in assessment

March 14-20


March 21-27

Teaching on the job – OMP

Introduction to professional dev

March 28-3

Assignment 3

Professional Dev. Planning

April 4-10

Teacher roles 1:


Learner supervision

April 11-17

Mentorship and role modelling

April 18-24

Appraisal techniques

Fostering life long learning

April 25-30

W3: Professional development

May 28th

Assignment 2

Assignment 4

The module is assessed as follows:


Method of assessment

Submis. dates

  1. Learning Theory in Clinical Settings

Problem based assignment and portfolio


  1. Clinical Teaching Methodologies

Problem based assignment and portfolio


  1. Assessing competence and performance

Problem based assignment and portfolio


  1. Professional Development

Problem based assignment and portfolio



Assessment - Notes

The Module will be assessed using a) one problem based assignment per module and b) a clinical teaching portfolio. The assignments (~ 1500 words) will be based on clinical teaching problems and challenges. Participants will be asked to write a response to the problems using the module materials and other relevant literature resources. Each assignment will attract 100 marks.

The continuous assessment will use a portfolio. The portfolio will comprise 3 major components: A) set exercises (500 words - one per unit), B) peer assessments, (500 words - one per unit) and C)reflective pieces (500 words- one per unit). The quality of the portfolio will be assessed using standardised marking schedules for each of the three components. The total mark for the portfolio will be 400 marks

Skills Workshops

There will be three experiential teaching days during the module, all based at NUI Galway, devoted to building clinical teaching skills. The three skills days will consist of six face-to-face skills workshops. The skills workshops list in timetable order is as follows:

  1. Introduction to distance learning and Blackboard (first week of course morning workshop)

  2. Basic clinical teaching skills: OMP and clinical teaching in different settings (first week of course afternoon workshop)

  3. Feedback in clinical teaching (week 7 or 8 of 1st semester morning workshop)

  4. The use and abuse of questions in clinical teaching (week 7 or 8 of 1st semester afternoon workshop)

  5. Professional development techniques: one to one supervision (week 8 of semester two)

  6. Professional development techniques: Learning needs assessment and appraisal techniques (week 8 of semester 2 afternoon workshop)

Unit descriptions

Unit 1: Learning Theory in Clinical Settings


This unit will build on the learning theory that students encountered in the first module of this series. In particular this module will explore the application of learning theory to teaching in clinical settings


The aims of this module is to facilitate students to incorporate and adapt learning theory for the design and delivery of clinical teaching.


  • Identify and analyze the theoretical bases of learning and teaching in clinical, biomedical and other health professions

  • Describe the interface between learning, teaching, professional practice and the influence of views of learning on teaching processes

  • Develop an awareness of current trends in health professional education with particular reference to the application of adult learning theory and learning styles,

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to design and implement process and outcome evaluation in a variety of teaching settings and contexts

  • Assess the role of professional cultures in enhancing / inhibiting learning


Learning theory revisited, analysis of clinical teaching events to discern theoretical underpinnings, Creation of a set of learning theory rules to guide future clinical teaching design, exploration of the obstacles to learning in professional practice, experiential learning and reflective practice in on the job learning

Recommended reading (essential reading provided with course materials)

Chambers, R. Wall, D. (2000). Teaching Made Easy. Radcliffe Medical Press: Oxon.

Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., Marshall, S. (1999). A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice. Kogan Page:London.
Newble, D. Cannon, R. (1994). A Handbook for Medical Teachers. Kluwer Academic Publishers:Dorchester.
Peyton, J.W.R (Ed). (1998). Teaching and learning in Medical Practice. Manticore Europe Ltd:Guilford.

Unit 2: Clinical Teaching Methodologies


This unit will provide much of the background to teaching skills workshops. It will cover the key skills of explanation, questioning and feedback.


The aims of this unit is to provide students with a set of fundamental clinical teaching skills which will allow students to facilitate high quality clinical teaching.


  • Develop an understanding of theories of psychomotor skills development and critically appraise their use in health care environments and in clinical practice

  • Explore the notion of the ‘good’ clinical teacher and describe research in this area including an evaluation of the evidence for what ‘good’ might signify

  • Explore the impact of feedback on learning and develop skills in the provision of constructive feedback

  • Demonstrate understanding of and ability to use reflective and exploratory questioning techniques

  • Define effective learner supervision, discuss critically influencing factors and demonstrate skills in its provision

  • Critically discuss the impact of role modeling in the clinical teaching context


Explanation, feedback and questioning: the core competencies, simulated teaching environments to enhance skills, learner supervision techniques and learner appraisal methods

Recommended reading (essential reading provided with course materials)
Dent, J. A., Harden, R. M. (2001) A Practical Guide for Medical Teachers. Churchill Livingstone:London.

Abbatt, F. R. (1992) Teaching for better learning: a guide for teachers of primary health care staff. Geneva, WHO.

Brown, G. A. and Atkins, M.(1992) Effective Teaching in Higher Education.
Gibbs, G (1985) Teaching students to learn: a student-centred approach. Milton Keynes, OU.

Unit 3: Assessment of Clinical Competence and Performance


The measurement of clinical competence and performance present particular challenges which reflect the unpredictable nature of the clinical work and the limited utility of many standard modes of assessment in clinical contexts. The unit will explore the peculiarities of clinical competence and performance assessment and will offer and introduction to different methods of assessment designed to test knowledge and skills in applied settings.


The aims of the unit are to introduce students to the differences between classroom and clinical assessment of competence and performance. Students will become aware of different methods for assessing clinical knowledge and skills. Students will learn how to design valid and reliable clinical assessments.


  • Describe the differences between classroom and clinical assessment of learners

  • Use Miller’s triangle to categorise and select clinical assessment methods

  • Explain and analyse assessments of clinical competence

  • Explain and analyse assessments of clinical performance

  • Set standards for clinical assessments

  • Design valid and reliable clinical assessments


Exploration of the concepts of competence and performance, Categorisation of clinical assessment using Miller’s triangle, Exploration of typical competence and performance tests, Anghoff and other standard setting techniques for clinical exams; the concepts of validity and reliability in the context of clinical assessments; introduction to designing clinical assessments

Recommended reading (essential reading provided with course materials)

Brown, G. Bull,J. and Pendlebury, M. (1997) Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education. Routledge: London.

Brown S and Knight P (1994) Assessing learners in Higher Education London: Kogan Page
Heywood, J. (1989) Assessment in Higher Education. Chichester:John Wiley 2nd Edition
Rowntree, D. (1987) Assessing Students - how shall we know them? London:Harper & Row 2nd Edition

Unit 4: Professional Development


Professionalism and professional development are now vital and regularly recurring issues for doctors in training. The advent of competence assurance and structured training have highlighted the importance of a) knowing what we are aiming for; the highest professional standards and b) how to get there; continuing professional development.


The aims of this unit are to enable learners to explore what is meant by professionalism, professional development and lifelong learning. Learners will investigate models of CME and CPD. They will learn how to identify learning needs, plan their own CPD and support the professional development of others. Students will also learn about supervision techniques and the features of effective role modeling


  • Describe different concepts of professionalism and what it means to be a health professional

  • Distinguish between traditional models of CME and the more modern concept of continuing professional development.

  • Identify personal learning needs and those of others using a range of techniques

  • Write a personal learning plan

  • Demonstrate awareness of different learner supervision techniques

  • Describe what is meant by role modeling, mentorship and how to ensure that they are effective as a teaching tools


Professionalism; History of the health professions; CME; CPD; Clinical learning needs assessment; personal learning plan design; learner supervision techniques; role modeling and mentorship

Recommended reading (essential reading provided with course materials)
Erant M (1994): Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence Falmer Press London
Schon, D. (1987) Educating the reflective practitioner. Jossey-Bass Inc. San Francisco
Grant J, Chambers E. The good CPD guide: a practical guide to managed CPD. London: Joint Centre for Education in Medicine, 1999.
Useful WEB Sites

  • Free Clinical Teaching Course Materials available online form the London Deanery

  • The Learning and Teaching Network, LTSN supply free teaching guides and ideas.

  • General guidance on teaching and learning can be fount at LTSN Generic Centre (resources)

Module Delivery and Assessment
The units will be delivered as described above. Three one day workshops to teach clinical teaching skills will be delivered during the module at NUI Galway. The workshops will be held in January, February and April 2005
Students will be required to submit a minor assignment and items for a reflective portfolio on completion of each unit. Details about the content, structure and content of the assessments workshop in January 2005.

Contact Details:

Peter Cantillon

Senior Lecturer in General Practice

Clinical Sciences Institute

NUI, Galway

Costello Road


Telephone: 091 750470


Department of General Practice, NUI, Galway

Tel: (353) 091 750 470 (Dept.)

Fax: (353) 091 750 559

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