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Motivating Staff and Students at the Research-Teaching Nexus: Experience from Student Selected Components (SSCs) in Medicine at Edinburgh Simon Riley Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Motivating Staff and Students at the Research-Teaching Nexus: Experience from Student Selected Components (SSCs) in Medicine at Edinburgh Simon Riley Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Motivating Staff and Students at the Research-Teaching Nexus: Experience from Student Selected Components (SSCs) in Medicine at Edinburgh Simon Riley Director of SSCs Undergraduate Programme in Medicine Senior Lecturer (non-clinical) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology University of Edinburgh

2 SSCs in medicine at Edinburgh Overall purpose of the 5 year SSC programme of courses is to progressively develop (a) research skills, and (b) a wider range of professional skills, where (c) the student has choice Performing ‘research’ is the defining and distinctive theme in the Edinburgh MBChB, highlighted in the undergraduate prospectus SSC programme is the main conduit to deliver the ‘Evidence-Based Medicine and Research’ curriculum ‘vertical theme’, and the main research-teaching linkage in medicine Furthermore, about 40% of our 2 nd years do an intercalated degree

3 Purposeful development of learning outcomes

4 SSCs are integrated with the ‘core’ curriculum Embedded throughout medicine programme SSC programme provides ‘choice’ and ‘opportunities’ Clear (21%) timetable commitment Regarded as a significant, integrated and important part of the course that delivers some ‘core’ skills Fully integrated into assessment: –end of each year (required for progression) –for SFAS ranking –end of the five years contributing to distinctions, prizes, etc

5 SSC Courses Students perform four different projects with research-active staff –SSC1 (Y1) - small groups - simple research project with supervisor – wide choice – diary and group poster presentation –SSC2a & b (Y2) – small groups - research two topics with facilitator – wide choice for first, self select for second – wiki presentation –SSC4 (Y4) - single student with a supervisor – self select - research/audit project over 14 weeks – project report many are useful audits that inform practice sometimes attain either conference abstract and/or peer reviewed journal article or review (10-20%?) –Also - SSC3 (Y3; ‘working in teams’) and SSC5 (Y5; elective) are also enquiry led, for instance critically appraising a situation (14% of total curriculum time)

6 What sort of ‘research’ SSC1 – Hospital-based – generate audit data from simple patient questionnaire, with clinical exposure SSC2a & b – usually critical appraisal of existing literature - first is a topical clinical subject, second is self-selected and may be outside medicine SSC4 – wide range of projects –Clinical retrospective or prospective audit –Linking into existing clinical research study –Small research study with/without audit component –Systematic review –Interrogate a database, medical teaching, history of medicine, sports science, medical law, medical ethics, music in medicine……

7 Staff involvement and support Large number of staff - spreads teaching load (with ~260 students per year) Informal network well established SSC1 – 32 facilitators UoE and NHS in and around Edinburgh SSC2 – 69 facilitators UoE and NHS in and around Edinburgh SSC4 – 165 supervisors UoE and NHS in and around Edinburgh Statistician dedicated to support SSC projects, teaching ‘applied statistics’, and developing web based resources including experimental design Ethics triage and medical ethicist in support Good administrative support Course Organiser and Programme Director

8 Motivating staff and students - ‘alignment’ Progressive accumulation of skills Students bring skills that are useful to a project Partnership Real partnership between supervisor and team (perhaps in contrast to teaching elsewhere on course); ‘motivated’ Contribution Want to ‘do something useful’; may result in useful audit to change practice, perhaps an abstract or paper; promote specialty Enjoyable A word regularly seen in feedback from students and supervisors Not too onerous Often much more work than expected! Well supported and resourced, teaching load spread Opportunity / valued / purposeful Real opportunity to gain from both project and for PPD (SFAS application! a reference / paper, ‘I want a job on that unit’); integrated assessment; supervisor’s own vested interest, recognised as teaching

9 Motivational tips at the research-teaching nexus!? Align elements that motivate both staff and students so an ‘opportunity’ for both Develop student research skills Provide resources Remove impediments Value teaching, a way research staff can fulfil this role empower students to find their own projects and supervisors

10 Feedback from staff…. For SSC4 After a prompt asking for projects for next year, 90+ members of staff have ed me over the last couple of months offering about 160 projects, plus local support, etc (‘Indirect’ feedback, but similar responses over the last few years)

11 …. feedback from students “I didn’t like the idea of having to do 14 weeks of independent clinical research, but actually I really enjoyed it” “Thoroughly challenging, yet enjoyable and stimulating. I’ve never worked so hard and yet felt so motivated to do so” “I enjoyed the project very much. It helped me realise how much I enjoy independence. I am looking forward to doing further research later in my career”


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