Leveraging Instructional Technology to Design Diverse Learning Experiences Through Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement

Leveraging Instructional Technology to Design Diverse Learning Experiences Through Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement

Jessica Andrea Giraldo, Samantha Marina Lemus-Martinez, Garamis E. Campusano
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9490-2.ch011
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Medical educators often receive minimal formal pedagogical and technological training. The COVID-19 pandemic made this gap even more apparent, necessitating the development of a multidisciplinary team approach to design and implement quality online learning interactions. The team is composed of faculty development and instructional design personnel, who are positioned to provide the pedagogical, technological, and theoretical expertise and guidance on how to design and develop diverse digital learning experiences. This team works within an iterative, development process that encourages collaboration by assisting faculty in shifting from lecture-based instruction to active learning, providing medical educators a form of reverse faculty development by engaging medical students as co-curriculum constructors, informing faculty regarding the implications of cognitive load and the science of learning, and cultivating positive experiences for faculty when working with the multidisciplinary team that encourages future repeated engagement.
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Most of today’s students enter medical school accustomed to using technology (Guze, 2015) to engage with the content in their courses and to quickly access a wealth of information (Sheehy, 2019). The evolution of the medical profession is constantly making advancements in how healthcare is provided, such that it is necessary to build the digital literacy skills for all students in this increasingly technology-supported practice, regardless of whether they are versed in technology or not (Aungst & Patel, 2020). Additionally, medical students continuously engage more with online educational tools (Hughes, 2018) to supplement their in- and out-of-classroom learning experiences (Bauzon, 2021). According to Graff et al. (2021) “students’ enjoyment and comprehension of material is enhanced by interactive, multimedia education that incorporates multiple learning modalities. The integration of faculty-made technological resources…has been described as highly favored by medical students” (pp. 8-9). Thus, medical educators must answer the call to become early adopters of technology (Simpson et al., 2018) as well as assist in closing the professional gap between themselves and students (Sheehy, 2019). However, medical educators often receive minimal formal, pedagogical (Alpert et. al, 2019; Haber et al., 2006) and technological training (Torda, 2020). Their professional degree programs focus mainly on the practice of medicine. Additionally, upon graduating, their careers evolve at a fast pace, often leaving limited time to learn (Alpert et al, 2019; Bing-You & Sproul, 1992; Dandavino et al., 2007; Haber et al, 2006) and adopt the skills necessary to enhance student learning.

While the medical education community has been discussing the need for further faculty competency in digital fluency and next steps (Simpson et al., 2018; Torda, 2020), the rapid shift to remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately forced educators to reflect on and analyze on their current use of educational technology and its implications on student learning (Torda, 2020). Through this reflection, it became apparent that while instructional sessions were able to be moved online, faculty’s current minimal use of education technology tools and overuse of traditional, passive, lecture-based methods resulted in a critical missing piece: engagement and interactions that stimulated student learning.

At Florida International University's Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM), this realization guided the development of new online sessions that placed active learning at the forefront and emphasized the need to shift away from traditional, lecture-based methods. Faculty at the college were not only asked to challenge their pedagogical paradigms, but a multidisciplinary support team also encouraged and assisted them in the selection, use, and assessment of appropriate technology tools (Simpson et al, 2018). during the development process of the new sessions. The multidisciplinary support team, composed of faculty development and instructional design personnel at HWCOM, worked alongside faculty and medical students to develop engaging online experiences that were grounded in instructional theory.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Undergraduate Medical Education: A four-year medical education leading up to residency.

Instructional Designer: A dedicated instructional support personnel that develops and designs resources and workshops, contributes to curriculum enhancement projects, and provides leadership and guidance on the effective use of technology to support learning.

Self-Directed Learning: The ability to direct one’s own learning without the guidance of an instructor.

Faculty Developer: A dedicated instructional support personnel that directs and supports college-wide educational effectiveness through the development and training of faculty, including delivering workshops, onboarding, faculty observations and evaluations, support for small group teaching, instructor assessments, and student teacher development.

Educational Technology: Any program, application or the use of any program or application in the design and delivery of learning experiences.

Reverse Faculty Development: The use of specially trained medical students to model evidenced-based teaching and learning strategies to faculty, similar to a train the trainer approach.

Multidisciplinary Team Approach: A collaborative team comprising of instructional support personnel who work closely with faculty to facilitate changes in their instructional practice.

Instructional Systems Development: A systemic approach to instructional design that involves the analysis design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instruction.

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