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Self-Assessment Activities

Select one or more of the activities below to develop your skills in setting educational objectives.

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1. Setting learning objectives in planned teaching sessions

  • Using some of the tools and techniques from this module (such as the lesson plan from the Teachers’ toolbox) and associated reading, spend some time formally planning the learning activities for your next teaching session(s). Specifically:

o Find out about the learners: what stage of their professional development have they reached? What will they have been involved in before your session and what are they going on to next? How many learners will be present? Do the have  major assessments coming up?

o Find out about the expectations of you for this session: are there any set learning outcomes or topics that the learners will expect you to cover? How long have you got for the session? Where will you be teaching and what facilities will be available? Will patients or carers be present?

o Write a small number of clear, specific and achievable learning objectives for the session (using the material in this module and associated reading) i.e. after this session, the students/trainees will be able to: ………………………………………………….

o Link your teaching and learning methods clearly to each learning outcome.

o Think about assessment: how will you know that the learners have achieved the outcomes you have set?

  • Observe the reactions of the learners (and others) to your modified approach.
  • List some of the advantages and difficulties you encountered.
  • Using the 'plan – do – reflect – review' cycle: what changes will you make to your teaching practice?

2. Setting learning objectives in informal situations

When working with students or trainees, there are many informal opportunities to ‘teach’ or facilitate learning. This activity asks you to devise some personal techniques and strategies for building setting learning objectives into your day-to-day clinical teaching so that it becomes part of your teaching routine.

  • Using some of the background learning and techniques covered in this module, write down and plan how you could build opportunities inyo day-to-day clinical teaching for setting learning objectives. You may find Spencer’s (2003) article a useful starting point for thinking about this in a structured way.
  • Build these opportunities into two or three teaching sessions. These might be simple techniques such as simply asking learners what they hope or want to learn, defining tow or three objectives for what you are about to do, using questioning techniques and signposting throughout the learning event or a check at the end to see whether learning was effective.
  • Reflect on how this worked in practice. Did it help to make the learning more effective? Did it make your teaching more difficult?  What were the key practical effects on the teaching?
  • Review your teaching practice and plan how you will change your teaching to incorporate the learning from this activity

3. Setting educational objectives with individual learners

There are many occasions when clinical teachers or supervisors are required to work with individual students or trainees to formally set educational (learning) objectives. Using some of the models and frameworks from the module (such as Bloom’s Taxonomy or Miller’s pyramid) work with a learner on two or three occasions to structure the way in which the educational objectives are agreed and defined.

For example, you may wish to set objectives in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes, aiming to include objectives in all three ‘domains’. For skills objectives, think about the level of competence it is realistic to expect from the learner at their particular stage of learning.

Try to make each objective SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound), think carefully about exactly what you expect from your student or trainee.
Finally, use the ideas from Bloom’s Taxonomy to use appropriate verbs to map learning outcomes onto the appropriate level.

Take some time to reflect on how using the models and frameworks worked for you:

  • What worked well?
  • What didn’t?
  • What further information or learning do you need?
  • What did the student or trainee think?