MBBS Teaching Portal
Developing your teaching skills
- Training to teach
- The London Deanery
- TiME Conferences
- UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching
- Teaching Resources
- Accreditation for Medical Education
- Giving great feedback
A great way to improve you teaching is to get feedback. Feedback can come from self-reflection, peer observation and from learners themselves. There are many different ways to get feedback from learners and various types and designs of feedback form. Paul, a previous Clinical Teaching Fellow, has helpfully provided an example form that you can download, print and use.
Training to Teach
This very popular one-day course has been adapted from the TIPS course that was previously offered, based on feedback. It offers practical guidance on developing your teaching skills by improving interaction and applying structure to your teaching sessions with the opportunity to practice these newly acquired skills in a mini-teaching session of your own. The course incorporates core aspects of clinical teaching with small group teaching, with strong links to medical educational theory.
For more information and how to apply please visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/postgraduate/learn/training-to-teach.
The London Deanery
High quality, accessible, free online modules are provided by the London Deanery. They are a great place to start, to get an overview of various aspects of medical education.
Certificates are available on completion of individual modules, to add to your ePortfolio.
UCL Medical School TiME Conference
There are an increasing number of junior doctors who combine their interest in medical education with clinical training. There are also many more doctors in training who would like to learn more about how to increase their involvement and experience in medical education.
The TiME Conferences are a chance to get together, share experiences and ideas, and learn more about careers in medical education.
Find out more and see photos and feedback from previous conferences at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/postgraduate/teaching-fellows/conference
The UCL Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching works closely with staff responsible for teaching and learning across UCL, to provide support underpinned by the scholarship of teaching and learning, and grounded in the UCL context.
Their site has a wealth of cross-disciplinary information. Of specific interest may be:
- Professional development - for staff with honorary contracts with UCL as teachers and lecturers
- Advice and Guidelines - both general and discipline-specific
- Resources - a wealth of ideas and resources to help you influence, motivate and inspire your students.
- Courses and workshops - only on offer if you have an academic link to UCL eg an honorary contract with UCL medical school. You will need a UCL login to book via the single training booking system. If you're a Case of the Month Tutor you will already have a UCL login - lucky you!
Below is a collection of resources from external sources, which may be useful:
- to help you develop your teaching skills
- to further your interest in medical education
UCL Medical School does not necessarily endorse the content of external sites.
Run by the Alberta Rural Family Medicine Network. Concise teaching tools (videos, powerpoint presentations and text) aimed at busy clinicians involved in teaching. Sections include "preparing to teach" "teaching nuts and bolts" "observation and feedback" "assessment" and "learners in difficulty."
- MedEd World
MedEd World (linked to AMEE) is an international health professions community of individuals and organisations whose purpose is the sharing of information, ideas, experience and expertise. Resources include video clips, images, diagrams and websites. For some resources you have to be a member.
Giving better presentations:
- "Guns don't kill people: bullet points do" An alternative approach to 'death by powerpoint' in medical presentations
- 5 things every presenter should know about people - with an animation
- Think anatomy - "the best anatomy resources on the web"
Social media in medical education:
- Scoop.it curated links on social media and networks in medical education
- Wikiversity School of Medicine - open content from the Wiki group
- A blog on social media in medical education by American medical educators
- "Wishful thinking in medical education" A blog by Anne Marie Cunningham, a GP and Clinical Lecturer in Cardiff, and an advocate for the use of social media in medical education
- "Medical education matters" a blog by Clare Morris, an educationalist who runs a masters programme in Medical Education, and works in Bedfordshire
The Royal College of Physicians recently published the "Acute Care Toolkit 5: Teaching on the Acute Medical Unit." This contains a wealth of practical advice on maximising teaching and learning opportunities in the AMU. The principles apply to Postgraduate Trainees, as well as Undergraduate students
Accreditation for Medical Education
There are various ways in which you can get accreditation for your work in Medical Education:
UCL Medical School endorses the programmes and roles listed in this
teaching portal. If you take on a role and provide teaching as part of
one of these programmes you will receive an official certificate which
you can add to your ePortfolio. Talk to your programme lead about this.
The Quality Assurance Unit manages a number of schemes which aim to
highlight and support excellence and/or commission improvements in the
delivery of undergraduate medical education. These include the Top Teacher Award, and the Excellence in Medical Education Award.
If you make a sustained commitment to teaching and engage with the
literature relevant to medical education, you could apply to become an
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, through the Individual
Recognition Route. The HEA website
provides information on the criteria for recognition, and the details
of the application process (requires an application form, references and
a small fee). Then you can add even more letters to your name (AFHEA)!
In the same way that you may have undertaken small research projects and
audits alongside your clinical role, you may wish to think about
research projects in medical education, and pursue opportunities to
present at National and International Conferences, and submit letters or
papers to journals.
If you have ideas for research projects and would
like advice and support, talk to your site lead (see relevant pages), a
Clinical Teaching Fellow or another member of the research staff at UCL Medical School. Have a look at the Medical Education Journals out there and the types of articles they publish before you start your project.
The GMC is undertaking a comprehensive review of its approach to quality assuring medical education and training.
The review will conclude in 2013. Watch this space for news on new ways
that medical educators will seek accreditation throughout their
If you are interested in becoming a Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCL you can find further information on the Clinical Teaching Fellow pages. You can find out who the current fellows are, what they do, and also watch a video in which Dr Bob Klaber from Imperial Hospital talks about how being a teaching fellow influenced his subsequent career.
The MSc in Medical Education is jointly run by UCL and the Royal College of Physicians. It is a 3 year course, building to an MSc, although participants can leave with a Postgraduate Certificate after 1 year, and a Postgraduate Diploma after 2 years. The course involves a mixture of attendance days at the RCP in London, and self-directed learning, with assessed written assignments. Further information can be found on the RCP site.
Taking your studies even further could lead to a Doctorate. Twelve Tips for Studying Medical Education at Doctorate Level provides advice about the important steps on this journey.
Giving great feedback
Good quality feedback must be at the heart of all your teaching. It is an essential part of the teaching and learning process, but is surprisingly difficult to do well. There are several models and frameworks for giving feedback, which aim to ensure that it is specific, fair and useful to the trainee. A BMJ article "Giving feedback" gives some background to why feedback sometimes goes wrong, and a guide for how to do it well.
Developed in the 1980s. Most people are aware of and use this model to structure feedback.
- The trainee is asked to identifying his or her own strengths
- The trainer reinforces these and adds further strengths
- The trainee is asked to identify areas for improvement
- The trainer reinforces these, adding further areas if necessary, ensuring constructive suggestions are given for improvement
A BMJ article "Giving feedback in clinical settings" explores
how to use this model in context. The Pendleton is a good start, as it
helps the learner set the objectives, gives positive feedback first for
safety, and encourages specific rather than generic feedback. However,
it has limitations, can seem formulaic and the feedback given is often
An alternative is the SET-GO method which can be very useful in a bedside teaching context with a group. It was developed by Silverman et al as part of the Calgary-Cambridge approach to teaching communication skills.
Other group members feedback on:
- What I Saw was... (specific, descriptive)
Teacher prompts if necessary with:
- What Else did you see, group?
- What did you Think, learner? (encourage learner to problem solve for themselves)
Teacher then facilitates whole group in problem-solving
- Let's clarify what Goal we would like to achieve.
- Any Offers of how we could achieve this?
As well as needing a structure, the feedback that is actually given must be high quality.
- Balanced. Include both good and bad points
- Observed. Only give examples of what you have seen the learner see and do, don't bring in your preconceptions or previous experience
- Objective or Owned. Make sure your feedback is factual and based on actions, not any prior emotional response you may have to the person
- Specific. Always use specific examples to illustrate a comment. Exactly why or how was the action done well or badly? Avoid broad statements
- Timely. Feedback should be given as close to the event as possible to ensure accuracy and effectiveness
Alternatively you can view a description of the BOOST model as a video.
Other things to consider are where and when you give feedback, and who else is present at the time. A further consideration is how much feedback to give in order to maximise learning, and not overload the learner.
A presentation from the Higher Education Academy entitled "Giving Feedback: Tools of the Trade" is available on slideshare.