2 UMMS faculty projects honored for innovative teaching methods

April 26, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Accolades and Milestones

Two Medical School projects are among five led by University of Michigan faculty that demonstrate fresh approaches to advance student learning and will be recognized May 2 as winners of the eighth annual Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize (TIP).

Making Every Second Count with Spaced Questioning Technology

Sapan N. Ambani, M.D., clinical lecturer in urology

Every physician knows the feeling of learning something before a standardized exam, and forgetting the concept a few days later. Repeating questions or other educational encounters over spaced time intervals can, however, result in more efficient learning and greater learning retention.

In 2015, the urologic surgery resident curriculum transitioned to a two-year cycle. In order to improve knowledge retention for topics covered only once every two years, a spaced education curriculum was developed as an adjunct to the standard didactic curriculum.

Since urology residents reported using questions as their primary mode of studying, Urostream, the Department of Urology’s own learning platform, delivers two questions per weekday via email or app. Incorrectly answered questions re-appear after two weeks. A correctly answered question returns after six weeks and, if answered correctly a second time, is withdrawn from the pool of questions.

This spacing protocol has elsewhere shown improvement in long-term retention up to two years.

Debriefing Students’ Clinical Skills with the Minute Feedback System

David Hughes, M.D., clinical assistant professor, Rishindra M. Reddy, M.D., assistant professor, Gurjit Sandhu, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Susan Ryszawa, surgical clerkship coordinator, all from the Department of Surgery; and Lisa Leininger, administrative assistant

To rise to the challenge of engaging students in a large engineering class, Wen acted on a colleague’s suggestion and showed students a MythBusters video, “Dip your hand in molten lead without being burned,” to demonstrate different regimes of boiling. This sparked spirited student discussions, and the realization that multimedia content could clarify concepts for the digital-native student generation.

The realization was reinforced when two students in her lab made a video of three lab members acting as protein molecules to illustrate a complex engineering idea. The resulting 3.5-minute video was informative, clear and engaging for a ninth-grade target audience.

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