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Harnessing the science of learning in the setting of a pandemic

Date:                    Friday 27 August
Time:                    1330-1630


  • Keith Wilson
  • Wendy Stewart

Summary of the theme and why it is important: The global pandemic required rapid changes in the delivery of undergraduate medical curricula worldwide. The need to move learning online, reframing of clinical experiences and the importance of learner exposure to virtual care all occurred with little time for adjustments to curricular delivery methods. Online learning requires thought and consideration to maintain learner engagement and support. It also presents challenges in the facilitation of learning and recall, as ready access to online content can lead to superficial learning. Many teachers and facilitators have had little experience delivering curricular content online. Challenges with technology and an inability to see all the learners can also be barriers for teachers. 

In both face to face and online learning we can influence knowledge retention and recall using different teaching strategies. Research has shown that spaced learning, interleaving and testing, for example, are effective ways in which to enhance knowledge retention. Cognitive load is an important consideration when teaching complex key concepts.  This workshop will introduce participants to key features of the science of learning, ways to engage and support students in meaningful online learning, and opportunities for them to apply this knowledge in the delivery of some aspect of their own curriculum.

What participants will gain: Through the use of brief didactic presentations and experiential learning, participants will develop an understanding of key concepts in the science of learning and how they can be applied in an online setting. 

By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:


1. Explain key science of learning concepts and how they can be applied online.
2. Describe ways to engage and support students in online curriculum delivery
3. Give examples of online teaching strategies that maximize learning and recall
4. Apply the concepts learned to a part of their own curriculum and demonstrate this to other participants

Who should participate: This workshop targets educators involved in curriculum development and delivery. It also has implications for assessment.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

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