Workshops: How and Why

Guerandel, Allys and Tessema, H. (2014) Workshops: How and Why. In: Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), Excellence in Education - the 21st Century Teacher, 30 August - 3 September 2014, Milan, Italy.


Background : Workshops are encountered in many Teaching and Learning contexts ranging from undergraduate to Continuing Professional Development level. Most doctors have at some point in time attended a workshop. However the terms workshop, tutorial and small group teaching are often used indiscriminately. It is therefore important to think/reflect as to what characterises a workshop, the learning theories behind the development of workshops and what learning needs workshops meet best. This, and looking at the available evidence in Medical Education for the use of workshops may guide doctors to decide when to use workshops as a teaching delivery method. Summary of Work: The evidence for workshops in Medical Education is appraised and outlined. The principles governing how to conduct workshops are reviewed. The use of technology supporting and enhancing delivery is discussed. Data collected from an undergraduate Psychiatry course delivered in an Irish University has been collected via questionnaires from both the learners and teachers perspective. Summary of Results: The results illustrate how utilising the principles described above contributes to optimising the use of workshops as part of then teaching process. Both learners and teachers find workshops help reach learning outcomes and rate workshops higher than other teaching delivery methods used in the course. Discussion and Conclusions: Workshops can be an effective and interactive method of teaching when developed and delivered following the appropriate pedagogical principles. Take-home messages: Consider workshops as part of your teaching delivery.

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