Phase 2 Block 2009

The phase 2 block has finished.  We tried a few new things, we kept some old things, we asked for feedback, and we moved and changed with the comments made.

Obviously we couldn’t get everything right, so we were very keen to find out what we did get right, and what we got wrong.  The feedback session on Friday was well attended, and I have the results to share with you.  Prof Lipworth and

I have been through the results, and would like the opportunity to comment on the figures and outcomes.

1.)  I would like the lectures to be downloadable…
Before the lecture 92 94.85%
After the lecture 4 4.12%
At end of the block 0 0%
Not at all 1 1.03%
Totals 97 100%

This was no surprise to Prof Lipworth, as this is a consistent feedback from you all.  There is some resistance from lecturers to not give the lectures for upload prior to the lecture because they feel the students will not come along to the lecture.  Clearly you mostly want to have the lectures uploaded prior to the lecture, I presume this is so you can print out the slides, annotate the slides, concentrate on the lecturer, etc.  For next year, I will ensure that there is always some material on line prior to the course starting, but I cannot guarantee that the material uploaded prior to the lecture will be exactly the lecture given.

2.)  I have used the blog, at least once Responses
Yes 97 77.60%
No 28 22.40%
Totals 125 100%

This is encouraging.  I would like to ask the 28 people why they didn’t access the blog at least once, but I suppose asking on the blog is not the way to do it!

3.)  I would like other blocks to have a blog to read
Yes 95 78.51%
No 26 21.49%
Totals 121 100%

This is also encouraging, and I will take this back to the teaching leads.  There is currently no IT support to produce these blogs, and requires a great deal of individual effort to keep it going, but you mostly want each block to have something like this, so I’ll pass it on.

4.)  If there is online content, I want Responses
A Blog 29 24.37%
A Wiki 32 26.89%
A resource repository 28 23.53%
Just the lectures 30 25.21%
Totals 119 100%

There is a consistent number of people who only want the lectures online, and no other online resource.  If you don’t want to use on-line resources, that is obviously your choice.  For the rest of you who would like to see more on-line resource, I hope to produce a resource repository, including lectures and read-after guides, and a wiki, in due course.

5.)  If we provided more small group teaching, when do you want it?
Before 9 6 4.92%
In “Private Study” time 55 45.08%
Afternoons 46 37.70%
After 5 2 1.64%
Weekends 13 10.66%
Totals 122 100%

At the end of week 2 I asked what kind of teaching modality you wanted , and the majority asked for small group teaching.  Our problem is fitting it in.  My idea was that now that we have moved most of the ITA material to being on-line, it can be done at any time, so that time set aside for the ITA can be used however you want.  For each ITA session we made sure that a senior physician was present to answer any questions, and provide ad-hoc small group teaching.  This was only taken up on one occasion.  I offered small group teaching whenever it was wanted, and only one group took me up on the offer.

The program has in it a large amount of private study time – this time seems ripe to me to have small group teaching.  The problem we have is that this block is provided by NHS staff, and we have to continue our service provision during this time.  This block I cancelled 8 clinics, and made myself available for on-line questions, and real life actual small group sessions.  I cannot realistically ask all my colleagues to put their NHS service on hold as much as I have this month.  Particularly if no-one turns up when I offer the teaching.

You are all adult learners, and have to take responsibility for your learning.  The days of being spoon fed are over, and we will not be providing teaching to spoon feed you.  We will, however, provide as much availability of resource as we can, but if you do not use the resource, particularly for small group teaching offered to you, we will have to offer the resource in a different, less manpower intensive manner.

6.)  I think this block has been: Responses
Excellent 27 21.26%
Good 62 48.82%
Mediocre 21 16.54%
Poor 1 0.79%
Abysmal 16 12.60%
Totals 127 100%

Thank-you to the 70 % of people who feel the block has been good or excellent.  We have worked hard to improve on last year, and take things forward for you.

What is very concerning for us is that 16 of you feel that this block has been abysmal.  Prof Lipworth and I appreciate that we cannot please everyone, but saying the block has been abysmal suggests that you cannot find any positives from this block.  We are very keen to know what it was about this block that you found abysmal – are the lecturers not good?  Is there too much information?  Is there too little information?  Have we not provided enough support to you throughout this block?  Please comment on this page with your honest comments.

I appreciate that the 16 people who found this block abysmal may not use the blog, so if you are reading this and did vote abysmal, please please comment, anonymously if you must.

9.)  I think the ITA sessions, in their various formats, have been
Excellent 13 10.92%
Good 41 34.45%
Mediocre 25 21.01%
Poor 20 16.81%
Abysmal 20 16.81%
Totals 119 100%

The ITA sessions are universally vilified throughout the blocks, and ours has never been any different.  This split is actually much better than previous years’ feedback, so I’m actually not unhappy with this.  I know what the 40 people who think it’s poor/abysmal want – they want facilitated, small group teaching in the ITA.  During the on-line material ITA sessions, there was always a senior physician available to go through the material, and take small groups, but no-one asked for it.  I would again like to know what more we can do to improve the experience of those 40 people.

10.)  Compared with other blocks I have experienced, this block, as a whole is
Much better than average 27 26.21%
A bit better than average 39 37.86%
Average 24 23.30%
A bit worse than average 8 7.77%
Much worse than average 5 4.85%
Totals 103 100%

I think this is pretty good – we are the first block of the year, so we retain the right to ask this question again at the end of the year, and see what you think then.  3rd years are usually very positive about the phase 2 block.

12.)  It has been easy to get my questions and queries answered in the chest block
Strongly Agree 19 16.81%
Agree 21 18.58%
Don’t Know 50 44.25%
Disagree 13 11.50%
Strongly Disagree 10 8.85%
Totals 113 100%

This is perhaps the most personally disappointing result.  As I mentioned earlier, I  cancelled a significant amount of my clinical workload to be available for this block, spent over 50 hours writing the blog, and answering questions personally on the blog.  I stayed behind after lectures, and, I felt, made it very clear that I am available for questions throughout the block.  The majority of you have said that you don’t know if you find it easy to get hold of answers, and 1 in 5 think it is hard to get access to me.

I do not think it is possible for me to have been more accessible throughout this block.  I am still available to answer questions, and I am converting the AskDundeeChest section into a separate blog to allow easier access to answers.  This will go live this weekend.

13.)  I like the formative assessments Responses
Yes 79 67.52%
No 14 11.97%
What formative assessments 24 20.51%
Totals 117 100%

Well – 20 % of you say you don’t know what formative assessments I’m talking about, which suggests to me that you’re not taking this feedback thing seriously.  You all did at least one formative, and I know the later ones have been delayed, but they are coming.  I’m pleased you find them useful – it took me personally a long time to write the answers and comments to the lecturers’ questions.

16.)  I would like to see more chest blog updates over the coming months
Strongly Agree 32 27.35%
Agree 43 36.75%
Blog? 24 20.51%
Disagree 16 13.68%
Strongly Disagree 2 1.71%
Totals 117 100%

Good.  I’ll keep updating, and I hope you keep reading.  I would also very much like it if you start posting too.  If you want to post, let me know and I’ll make you a contributor, and you can contribute.

17.)  I would like to write some blog updates, or perhaps get involved in a wiki
I am a Blogmaster 9 8.11%
I would like to help with the wiki 9 8.11%
I could do both 4 3.60%
No danger pal!! 89 80.18%
Totals 111 100%

Great.  Those 22 of you who want to help, get in touch with me, and we can have a small meeting, perhaps over curried meat and fermented hops, and we can make some plans.  I would love you to take over some responsibility for this, and direct the learning for yourselves and your colleagues.  There’s SSCs in this, as well as posters, presentations, prizes and other CV boosting stats.  Good to have you on board.

To the rest of you – I don’t blame you, but in the current climate of training too many doctors for the number of jobs we have, I strongly suggest you find some other way of boosting your CV to improve your chances of actually getting a job at the end of all this.

So, overall, I’m happy with how it went.  7.5K hits on the blog in 4 weeks.  200 comments.  Most people seem to like what we’ve done; but we’ve alienated 20 % of you who think what we’re doing is abysmal.  Perhaps you didn’t take the feedback seriously, perhaps you have your reasons, but unless you tell me what the grief is, I can’t do anything about it.  Please give us more comments, and let us know what you want / don’t want / like / don’t like a bit more specifically.

Thanks, and see you around.


12 Comments on “Phase 2 Block 2009”

  1. Marge Says:

    A couple of quick thought on the small group sessions. I didn’t think they were well publicised; I only found out about one after it had happened, due to not checking the blog for a couple of days.

    For the peer tutoring sessions we have we are required to sign up for beforehand, so they know if it’s worth running one, and can follow up people who sign up then don’t turn up. Perhaps this would make small group teaching available for those who want it, without wasting staff time?

  2. dundeechest Says:

    Thanks Marge. The extra sessions I advertised on the blog, so I fully accept that people might not have known about it. But during the ITA sessions Drs Williamson, Nair, Anderson and I were about all morning, but no-one asked us for any small group bits and pieces.

    Signing up before hand is a neat idea though. I favour an on-line manner of signing in, rather than having to find a bit of paper, etc. I could put up times and places, then people sign up on the webpage to come along?

    Do you think people would like an “End of block, pull it all together, ask questions” type of session this week coming? I have a couple of windows of opportunity, afternoons mainly, if 6 or 8 people are interested….

    And Marge, you’re a keen commenter, can I count you into my focus group, with a beer and a curry, to take this work further?

    • Marge Says:

      You don’t want me in a focus group. I’m a mature student, rather strange, and generally 100% unrepresentative of the student body 🙂

      • dundeechest Says:

        But that’s not true, I’m sure. You have a voice, and you give a shit about what we’re trying to do here!

        You’re in!

        • Marge Says:

          This is the third time this semester I have broken my “I’m not going to volunteer for anything this year” resolution, and it’s only week four!

          Yes, I’m in. E-mail me whenever this focus-group whatsit is set up 🙂

  3. laura Says:

    Hi Dundee chest,

    A few of us were talking of how feedback didn’t go as well yesterday as perhaps in your last session. People were ‘anxious’ : ) to get home in most cases or to get off to the pathology tutorials. I think this may account for some of the results you have.
    The grunts and moans about this block are also little diff from others…Where are the lectures? Where are the lecturers? Where are the answers? Thats always going to be inevitable. It didn’t happen too often, and the blog was a place to chase this up.

  4. laura Says:

    Eeek…pressed submit to early!

    All in all, I guess we have to remember we are being taught in a ‘teaching hospital’ and our teachers have to keep being doctors too! Id certainly be up for an end of block pull it all together and questions session.


    • dundeechest Says:

      Thanks Laura. We did wonder if people had switched off a little towards the end, and just pressed the button without having read the question.

      End of block debrief session – you are in charge of organising, get some names of people interested, and I’ll book a place to do it.

      Any requests for stuff to go on the blog in the next week or so?

  5. stewart Says:

    just to say from the feedback that we gave the general response was more teaching sessions. I am little bit annoyed that my whole group missed our ONLY teaching session that week as we were held back. I am preaty sure that Prof Lipworth knew we had a teaching session at 12 as he did ask us. Just a little bit annoyed, as so was the rest of Group A.

    • dundeechest Says:

      What time did you get to your pathology session? Had the facilitator not waited for you?

    • dundeechest Says:

      We have liaised with the medical school office and have rescheduled the pathology tutorials for Tuesday 20th October 10-11am. Not sure of venue at the moment.

      I hoe this helps.

  6. sherlock holmes Says:

    we got to our tutorials at about 12.15pm.
    nope none of the tutors had waited for us. which was a shame.

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