Welcome to the Teaching elective! This elective is designed to prepare senior residents who plan to be chief residents, intend to pursue a career in academics, or have an overall interest in advanced teaching skills and learning theory.


  • Rotation director: Barrett Fromme, MD
  • Faculty sessions:               C122, unless otherwise indicated
  • Observational sessions:     Locations listed on the schedule

Course Overview and Description

The guiding principle of this selective is the work of David Kolb, who proposed an Experiential Learning Cycle that, if considered when planning learning opportunities, would provide learners with a full cycle of thought and learning.  The Selective offers opportunities for residents to progress through each of the four nodes of Kolb’s Cycle.

There are four general goals for this course.

  • To provide residents with a basic background in educational and learning theory
  • To enhance their teaching skills through observation and experimentation
  • To create a process that is learner-centered
  • To provide residents with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that foster further independent development of educational success


At the end of this course, residents should be able to:

  • Describe the Kolb Learning Cycle and the principles behind Learning Theory
  • Create an educational intervention based on a perceived need in pediatric education by using Kolb’s Learning Cycle
  • Lead a small group discussion while applying the principles of small group discussion
  • Function as a team leader and educator in rounds and at the bedside
  • Create and present a case-based lecture for pediatric residents and students
  • Observe and assess teaching interventions using a checklist method
  • Utilize feedback for formative assessment
  • Assess learners using questioning techniques, RIME nomenclature, and based on goals and objectives discussed with learners.

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Course Plan

The course is designed to have three major types of learning experiences: observational, one-on-one faculty discussion, and self-reflection.  Learners will also be expected to read literature from the course collection, as well as discover new literature for themselves.

Days will generally be divided into half of the day for observation and reflection, and the other half for discussion and collaboratively learning with faculty.  Learners can expect to be at the hospital from 8am to 3 or 4pm.

Course feedback is critical to the development of this course.  This is the pilot year for the curriculum, and we look to you to provide formative feedback.  You are encouraged to offer suggestions, advice, and ideas.

There are not examinations for this course.  Performance is considered to be your participation and effor during discussions, observations, and reflection.  Readings will be provided, and you are expected to complete them for the appropriate day.  You will assess your own performance in active experiences through video and self-reflection.

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General Plan and Schedule

The general plan for the course is as follows:

Course Preparation:  You will independently read John Dewey’s Experience and Educationconsidering how his theories apply to your educational experiences.  You will also complete the workbook for Kolb’s Learning Cycle.  Consider how learning style (or teaching style) can affect selection of educational strategies.

Introductions, Course Overview, Learning Theory:  We will begin with an introduction to the course and individual needs assessment.  What do you get out of the selective?  Is there any particular area of education/teaching that interests you most?  We will discuss Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle and Dewey’s Experience and EducationHow does your educational history reflect (or not reflect) experiential learning?  How could you apply the concepts of Dewey and Kolb to your teaching responsibilities this year and in your future career?

Goals and Objectives, Small Group Teaching):  We will discuss the importance of Goals and Objectives in curriculum design, instruction and education.  When have you found goals and objectives useful?  Have you ever provided goals and objectives to your learners?  If not, why?  We will also start a discussion of smal group teaching.  What kinds of small group teaching have you experiences?  What made the experiences more or less beneficial?

Case-Based Teaching:  We will continue our discussion of teaching formats and focus on case-based instruction, including problem-based learning and the challenges of morning report as a venue of teaching.  You have had over two years as a resident to create opinions of morning report styles?  Which styles have worked for you?  How do learning (and teaching) styles affect the educational merit of morning report?  How does morning report fit into the spectrum of problem-based learning?

Inpatient Teaching:  You will attend rounds this morning.  Devise observational criteria by which you will judge the efficacy of attending teaching.  In the afternoon we will discuss your observations as well as your perceptions of what could improve the process of inpatient/bedside teaching.  What makes a “good” hospitalist?  What makes a “bad” one?  We will also discuss the role of questioning, feedback, and bedside teaching on the inpatient service.

Ambulatory Teaching:  You will attend clinic today in the morning.  We will discuss your experiences with teaching in your own clinic, as well as what you experiences in the morning. What is the essential role of the ambulatory clinic preceptor?  How is the One Minute Preceptor useful in the clinics?  Are there other instructional tools that can assist an ambulatory instructor?

Lecture Skills and Independent Study):  This morning you will spend time working on your preceptor group strategy, as well as reflecting on the lectures you have seen in the past week.  What made certain lectures better than others?  What do they o to keep your attention?  Is there a difference between enjoying a lecture and learning from a lecture?  We will discuss some features of successful lectures, including use of power point and instructional techniques.

Curriculum Design:  Your morning will be spent in ambulatory clinic.  In the afternoon, we will discuss the concept of curricular design, utilizing the planning of this course as an example. What ideas do you have for a curricular innovation for next year?  What things do you need to create such a curriculum?

Video Review and Faculty Consultation:  In the morning you will review the videotape of your preceptor group experience.  You will also work on your morning report.  In the afternoon, we will go over your preceptor group together, and you will have the opportunity to get final consultation on your morning report.

Final Project, Review, and Course Finale:  This morning you will lead morning report.  It will be videotaped, and you will have the opportunity to review your performance afterwards. What were the strengths and what needs to be improved for next time?  What did the audience response seem to be?  We will meet late in the morning to discuss your self-assessment and finalize the course.

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Course Assignments

All course assignments are listed in the above syllabus or on the class schedule.  Reading assignments are organized within the course binder by subject.  Readings should be completed during independent study time for each daily session.

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Course Materials

  • Armstrong E, Parsa-Parsi R. How can physicians’ learning style drive educational planning? Acad Med. 2005; 80:680-684.
  • Barrows HS. A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Med Educ. 1986;20:481-486.
  • Cohen SA. Instructional alignment: searching for a magic bullet. Educational Researcher. 1987; 16:16-20.
  • Dewey J. Experience & Education. The Kappa Delta Pi Lecture Series. NY: Touchstone Books, 1938/1997.
  • Furney SL, et al. Teaching the one-minute preceptor: a randomized controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16:620-624.
  • Gross CP, et al. Resident expectations of morning report: a multi-institutional study. Arch Intern Med. 1999;159:1910-1914.
  • Heidenreich C, Lye P, Simpson D, Lourich M. The search for effective and efficient ambulatory teaching methods through the literature. Pediatrics. 2000;105:231-237.
  • Irby, DM. Three exemplary models of case-based teaching. Acad Med. 1994;69:947-953.
  • Janicik RW, Fletcher KE. Teaching at the bedside: a new model. Med Teach. 2003;25:127-130.
  • Kolb D. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory, Version 3.1. Boston: Hay Resources Direct, 2005.
  • Litzelman DK, Stratos GA, Marriott DJ, Skeff KM. Factorial validation of a widely disseminated educational framework for evaluating clinical teachers. Acad Med. 1998;73:688-695.
  • Norman GR. The adult learner: a mythical species. Acad Med. 1999;74:886-889.
  • Ramani S. Twelve tips to improve bedside teaching. Med Teach. 2003;25:112-115.
  • Ramani S, Orlander JD, Strunin L, Barber TW. Whither bedside teaching? A focus-group study of clinical teachers.Acad Med. 2003;78:384-390.
  • Regan-Smith M, Young WW, Keller AM. An efficient and effective teaching model for ambulatory education. Acad Med.2002;77:593-599.
  • Schultz KW, et al. Medical students’ and residents’ preferred site characteristics and preceptor behaviours for learning in the ambulatory setting: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Med Educ. 2004;4:12.
  • Sheehan MK, et al. How well do third-year medical students learn key objectives in a case-based surgical lecture series? American Surgeon. 2000;66:470-475.
  • Smith CA, Varkey AB, Evans AT, Reilly BM. Evaluating the performance of inpatient attending physicians: a new instrument for today’s teaching hospitals. J Gen Intern Med. 2004;19:766-771.
  •  Steinert Y. Student perceptions of effective small group teaching. Med Educ. 2004;38:286-293.
  •  Svinicki MD, Dixon NM. The Kolb model modified for classroom activities. College Teaching. 1987; 35:141-146.
  •  Tiberius RG. Meeting the challenge of a changing teaching environment: harmonize with the system or transform the teacher’s perspective. Educ for Health. 2001;14:433-442.
  •  Ways M, Kroenke K, Umali J, Buchwald D. Morning report: a survey of resident attitudes. Arch Intern Med.1995;155:1433-1437.
  • Williams WC. Effective teaching: gauging learning while teaching. J Higher Educ. 1985;56:320-337.