Posted tagged ‘Feedback’

Feedback your feedback

October 8, 2009

The Respiratory block is coming to and end. As I said right at the beginning, this year’s second years are guinnea pigs, and we have probably got more things wrong than right this time; but we’ve listened, and adapted, and improved over the 4 weeks. This change, and improvement is only possible with your input and feedback.

So: Friday’s feedback session at 11.45 will allow time and space for handset type feedback questions from us, shouting out comments, prepared comments from Mr Scales, etc.

I am going to continue to update the blog after the end of the block, and I now have a ‘wiki’ writing tool that I will use to provide a back up learning resource for everything we’ve covered this month.

I would also like some help. If you are interested in medical education, chest medicine, or just want to spend more time with me, I’m trying to set up a small working group of students to improve things in this block and beyond. If you are interested, let me know!

Formative Assessment Feedback

September 22, 2009

I’ve spent the last hour or so trying to tease out some useful information from the formative assessment results.  It’s not straightforward.  What is clear is that I need to change the format of the questions to make them

  1. Fairer to you lot
  2. Easier to analyse
  3. Fewer in number – I see that the individual questions we sent in to main campus were originally 10 in number, but the separate parts were split into multiple questions, so the number went up to 22.
  4. Clearer instructions

You wanted some feedback about what the answers actually are, and that seems fair enough. So here’s one of my questions, with the answer and a *brief* explanation.

1.  Your patient has dullness to percussion in the right apex, crepitations in the right apex with bronchial breathing and a right sided Horner’s syndrome.  Which of the following diagnoses are likely?  (Click all that apply)

  1. Right sided pleural effusion (No – effusions are basal, not apical)
  2. Asbestosis (No – asbestosis is a basal fibrosis, not apical)
  3. Pancoast’s tumour of the lung (Yes – the most likely diagnosis)
  4. Pulmonary tuberculosis (Yes – TB may compress the sympathetic chain, although this is far less common than in malignancy)
  5. Pulmonary embolus (No – this most often gives little, or no physical signs)

Hopefully this kind of thing is helpful?.  Now questions for you:

  • Would you like this kind of immediate feedback in the future formative assessments?
  • Would you like me to post up the answers to week 1 formative assessment in a similar format?
  • Has anyone got anything positive to say about the block so far – I’m reaching for the Prozac after today’s feedback!

I cannot believe how many of you put down breathlessness as a sign of pleural effusion.  I’m sure I mentioned in the lecture, once or twice, that breathlessness is a symptom…..  Sigh.

Formative Assessment Feedback

September 21, 2009

Thanks go out to Josh who has posted on the comments page that he was troubled by the formative assessment tool we asked you to carry out over the weekend.  I have attempted to answers his query in the response.  I think it’s important to air these issues, and get feedback from all concerned, so I’m posting it up here also.

Thanks for the comments.

The first point I should make is that the questions were written by the lecturers for each specific lecture – they have chosen questions they feel best illustrate the important learning points from each topic.

I vetted these questions and felt them to be fair, in that the knowledge and understanding required to answer the questions is appropriate to that of a second year medical student.

The next point must be that the lectures are the starting point from which you can take forward your learning, just because the exact question was not covered in the lectures does not mean that there is no expectation that you should learn it.  It is clear that part of the first week is to begin to understand what the clinical signs and symptoms are in respiratory medicine – you had only 2 lectures on this, but you have had private study time, and clinical sessions on the wards all week.

I appreciate that you want to understand the topic, to work out the answers, rather than regurgitating facts – unfortunately, medicine requires both knowledge and understanding, and we test both.

The formative assessment is meant to inform both us, the teachers, and you the students.  You now know what we expect of you with respect to knowledge and understanding of respiratory medicine.  We know now how much you have learnt, and whether we can provide further education tools to help you, and your peers.

There is no pass mark for the assessment, there is no fail mark, the marks merely serve to show us, and you, how much information, and understanding you have assimilated over the past week.

We have not provided a list of “Things you are expected to know and understand by the end of this week”, as we felt that as adult learners, you would make that decision for yourselves.  If you, as a group, feel that you would like to have that information in a more didactic manner, let me know, and I can let you know what is expected of you.

My advice prior to the next formative assessment, on COPD, Asthma, and Airways disease, mainly, is to read around the subject, follow the information provided in the blog, ask questions of your lecturers, ask questions on the blog, make the most of the iTA sessions by utilising the tutors, seek out help and advice, and be pro-active about your learning.

I urge you, and your colleagues to find the intended positives from this assessment tool – what did you learn, what did you understand, and when  we asked something you weren’t expecting, why weren’t you expecting it?

Finally – please keep commenting on the course, and the assessment tools.  I really want this kind of feedback; we will not know how to approach this and other blocks in the future without knowing how you are finding it.

I suppose I should sign off with this – learning medicine is not easy, and teaching it isn’t any easier.  We could always just tell you the chapters of the textbooks to read, then examine you at the end of the year; but we want to work with you to give you the best chance to make the most of what we have to offer.

I should be at the ITA session tomorrow morning, and also along at the Core Clinical Problems Session at 11.  I’m sure I will be able fit in the summary of the formative assessment, along with other things.