Medical art student showcase – sketchnotes, animation and 3D printing

Over the past few years at Dundee we’ve had growing opportunities to work with our colleagues in medical art and suggest project ideas to students studying the Masters programme.  There have been some great projects over the years with students developing learning resources, creating comics to support patient communication and exploring the potential of 3D printing to help surgeons.  With a long standing interest in the potential of sketchnotes to support student leanrning and in particular revision I’ve pitched a project idea around sketch notes for a couple of years but it’s never grabbed anyone’s attention.  This year I floated the idea again and suggested a focus on neurology teaching given that many medical students seem to find this a challenging area of medicine and I was delighted when Susanna Brighouse took on the challenge.   First off Susanna created a sketchnote based on a lecture on pain and thermosensation and is with all our student developed resources it was peer reviewed by one of our academics.  She produced different versions including one that could be coloured in and labelled by students to support revision.

NEUROLOGY WK 2, LECTURE 8: Pain & Thermosensation Summary Sketch by Susanna Brighouse, University of Dundee

Following positive feedback Susanna went on to make sketchnotes the focus of her Masters project and produced a further 15 sketchnotes based on a series of neurology lectures covering topics such as the anatomy of the spinal nerves, body innervation maps and radiculopathy.  Feedback on the sketchnotes from medical students identified that they would make most use of them to help revision.  We hope to share these further sketchnotes soon.

sketchnotes

Alongside with Susanna’s project there were a few others with a medical education focus where the students had worked closely with Dr Richard Oparka our pathology teaching lead.  Two of the projects were super animations, first up a delightful video on the phases and main components of the cell cycle by Cristina Sala Ripoll, which Richard will be using in his teaching with 1st year medical students in a few weeks time.  The video highlights the the different phases of the cell cycle that lead to cell division and includes some of the cellular components involved in them.

 

The second animation comes from Elvire Thouvenot-Nitzan and gives an overview of apoptosis looking at the important role apoptosis plays in growth and development as well as removing DNA damaged cells. It goes on to show how the activation of the caspase cascade occurs in each external and internal signalling pathway and ends with a glimpse of cancer cells and their ability to block apoptosis.

 

The fourth project I want to showcase is Anna Sieben’s 3D epithelium.  Anna, who’s a doctor, has created a fantastic teaching resource for medical students on epithelium which links to the virtual microscope used in teaching at Dundee. Students can select to look at the epithelium in different body organs and explore the structure and function of these different tissues through a series of 3D models. I’ve embedded Anna’s model of the epithelium of the skin from sketchfab below.  You can 3D print these models from sketchfab and Anna had a wonderful display of these at her degree show.

There’s a lot of focus on technology enhanced learning in medical education and higher education at the moment but I get the impression it’s rare to find medical artists in elearning teams.  At Dundee we’re very lucky to have two medical artists in Annie Campbell in medicine and Emily McDougall in dentistry but we don’t have similar posts at the moment in the central elearning team or in other schools.  Much of the work that Annie and Emily produce is shared as OER and FAOMed so that others can reuse these resources to support medical and dental education.

Susanna, Cristina, Elvire and Anna are four super talented medical artists and I hope they get snapped up with job offers from other medical or dental schools. I’m looking forward to following their work in the future.

 

Student created OER and FOAMed for #openeducationwk

This week is Open Education Week so it seems appropriate to share some work recently completed by one of our Year 3 Medical Students at Dundee as part of our 4-week SSC The Doctor as Digital Teacher.

I’ve blogged before about our SSCs which see medical students developing their digital teaching skills and creating learning resources.  Over the years we’ve seen a range of different learning resources developed including online tutorials, iBooks and videos. The students are always very creative and they’ve developed some excellent resources.  We only had one student on the latest run of the SSC and I was a bit concerned that we couldn’t offer the same learning experience we usually do when we have five or six students.  Thankfully this doesn’t seem to have been the case and our student, Zoe, seems to have enjoyed the experience and has produced a super series of videos on the anatomy of the larynx.

Central to the videos is a 3D model of the larynx which our medical illustrator Annie Campbell worked up as a derivative from content from the Japanese-based BodyParts3D database.  We’ve shared this model on SketchFab so that it can be used as OER in other teaching resources.

The videos that Zoe’s created based on this model together with other content that she created, including her own hand-drawn tutorial are all posted up on Vimeo and you can view them here.

Part 1 – Anatomy of the larynx: Cartilage structures

Part 2 – Anatomy of the larynx: Membranes and muscles

Part 3 – Anatomy of the larynx: Laryngeal cancer

John Seely Brown on entrepreneurial learners

This talk from John Seely Brown is 3 years old now but still much food for thought. Seely Brown’s book on ‘The New Lanscape of Learning‘ (co-authored with Douglas Thomas) is one that I suggest to my SSC students to read and review and it always gets a posiitve response.  However the students that present this book always highlight that the curriuclum doesn’t particularly embrace these new landscapes of learning and they question whether we are preparing the for the change they will constantly face when they graduate.  So after some quick reflection I’m left thinking are we helping to prepare our students to develop their participatory learning skills along with their self-directed and self-regulated learning skills.  With the growing trend of viewing students as consumers and spoon feeding is it time for us to start innovating more in our teaching and to become entrepreneurial teachers if we want entrepreneurial learners?

Learning subjectives – things that glisten

How to put pretty stuff in those drops. by Steve took it, on Flickr

I’ve not got a good track record with MOOCs, I sign up for them, start a few, lurk a bit but invariably don’t finish them as I never  seem to have enough time to commit to them.  Last year I managed one post on #rhizo14, the other week I spotted that #rhizo15 was starting up so here goes let’s see if I manage more than one post this time round!
For the first task we’ve been asked to think about building learning subjectives and how we design our own learning when we don’t know where we’re going.  I’m not sure if I have specific learning subjectives for #rhizo15 but the concept of subjectives brought back to mind the final year of my degree.
Thinking back to my undergraduate student days I can’t really remember having learning outcomes, there was a sense that we’d be assessed on what was covered in the lectures, labs and practicals.  I’m sure there will have been course objectives and outcomes but I don’t recall them being explicit or communicated at the start of teaching sessions in the way they are now. Was this a bad thing? After some of my peers complained that they couldn’t hear one of our lecturers he pitched up at his next lecture making it clear that if we wanted to get a decent class of degree then we’d have to do more than regurgitate lectures in our finals.  He went on to say we should be doing 10 hours reading per week per module to supplement the lectures. This struck a chord with me and it’s something I’ve reflected on quite a bit over the past few years as I’ve pondered whether our use of technology in higher education has led to spoon feeding students.  I didn’t do 10 hours reading per module but I remember reading more round topics that particularly interested me.  Certain things spark off a light in your mind, and you pursue your curiosity, or you want to find the information that will help you solve a problem.

In medicine it sometimes seems that students are almost like slaves to learning outcome and objectives, so much of their learning is driven by assessment.  The one opportunity they have to break the tyranny of objectives is when they choose their student selected components, they can propose their own 4 week module and set their own objectives.  It’s a bit like when you’re at primary school and you all get to pick a topic to explore and create your own topic book.  There are things that standout and almost glisten as they grab your attention and stimulate your interest and curiosity.  You get drawn to question and explore as they lead you to discover a whole series of other interesting things and take you down paths you’ve never been down before.

I’m not sure what my learning subjectives are but there are things that I’ve been thinking about the past few months including an exasperation around the concept of minimum standards in VLEs and the fact that so often when it comes to technology in higher education there seems to be tunnel vision and a lack of joined up thinking.  I’m not sure if these directly relate to the whole concept of rhizomatic learning but perhaps #rhizo15 might serve as a catalyst to help me put aside some time to think and explore and unpick the things that are glistening and catching my eye.

Image Credit
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  Steve took it 

Image credit

Healthcare education TEL Hack – Leeds 7-8 March #hetelhack

Technology enhanced learning (TEL) is playing a growing role across the continuum of healthcare professions education supporting both formal and informal learning.  Virtual learning environments, e-portfolios, e-assessment, online learning and apps are all features of the TEL landscape.  Social media is also supporting learning conversations via hashtags like #FOAMed, #ecgclass, #wenurses etc and hosting videos and podcasts on blogs and YouTube.  There’s lots to like in the world of TEL in healthcare professions education but there are also frustrations.  Frustrations about the clunkiness of institutional learning tools, the barriers to accessing resources from within an NHS setting, the lack of the right sort of apps to support mobile learning.  Alongside these problems there are also lots of ideas of how to  improve things and make things better together with dreams of how to present and develop content in new more imaginative and effective ways. But these ideas can sometimes lead to additional frustration as indviduals aren’t sure how to turn their ideas into a reality.  To help address this NHS Health Education England and the Higher Education Academy are teaming up to run a healthcare professions education hack day – #hetelhack – in Leeds on 7-8 March.

#hetelhack is hoping to build on the success of NHS Hack Days, which have attracted individuals from across the healthcare professions together with patients and developers and coders.  The most recent NHS Hack Day in Cardiff is a great example of the creativity and innovation that happens at these events.

Workshops at ASME and AMEE last year highlighted that many of us involved in healthcare professions education face similar issues.  Som eof the things that educators and students alike are looking for include

  • that elusive intuitively designed e-portfolio solution
  • how we might be able to use technology to make topics like ethics more interesting and engaging
  • a learning repository that looks more like youtube or slideshare
  • how we can use tehnology to support the role that patients can play in healthcare professions education
  • how we might use immersive environments and virtual reality to support developing skills in team working and situational judgement/awareness to help improve patient safety
  • ways to effectively use 3D printing to support learning
  • an application that supports collaborative learning
  • a content authoring app you can quickly and easily use to author and create a short piece of learning that outputs as HTML5

#hetelhack provides an opportunity for individuals to come together and work together over a weekend with coders and designers to solve some of the problems we face or to explore a new idea and be creative.  This is the first NHS focussed hack event which has a focus on education and one of the hopes is that we can start to build a network which can also take the ideas that emerge from the hack and collaborate to see them developed further.

There’s been a lot of interest in the #hetelhack but there are still spaces for developers, coders and designers so if you’re free that weekend come along to Leeds.

For more info on #hetelhack and to sign up visist the NHS HEE webiste.

Post Script to #AMEE2014 #PCW16 Workshop on Personalising Learning

Here’s the second of my post AMEE blog posts which focuses on the pre-conference workshop I ran with John Sanders from the University of Sheffield on ‘How to create personalised learning opportunities in the information age: Essential skills for the 21st century teacher’.  John kicked off the workshop looking at why we might personalise learning and some relevant learning theories and how technology is being used to personalise learning.

I went on to give a quick overview of how I’ve been using technology to support my own learning and talked about some of the elements of my personal learning environment (PLE) and how I’ve built a personal learning network (PLN).  I talked about how this related to my ongoing learning in relation to professional development and the 12 roles of the medical teacher outlined by Crosby and Harden (1) back in 2000.  Whilst their focus is on medical education a good number of these roles apply to lecturers whatever their discipline or subject area in higher education.

12 roles of the medical teacher

You can see my slides below which walk through my journey of using social media including blogs, Twitter and the emergence of free open access meducation – FOAMed.

For those of us who’ve been inhabiting digital landscapes for sometime the concepts of PLEs and PLNs are nothing new but for some these are new terms.   In the lead up to the conference I was struck by a blog post by Martin Weller asking the question ‘Why don’t we talk about PLEs anymore?’.  I think Martin is right, there’s less discussion these days on Twitter and in the blogosphere about PLEs than there was 5 years and I posted this comment on Martin’s blog with some of my thoughts on why this might be.

I wonder if it’s also dropped off the radar slightly because personalised learning is talked about much more rather than personal learning. Much of this is perhaps being driven by the attention on learning analytics and how this can be used to support personalised learning. Along with MOOCs and the flipped classroom, learning analytics seems to be one of the big buzzes (hypes?) in education. I do wonder whether this is a good thing and whether we should actually be focusing more on personal learning so that students develop the skills to become lifelong and wide learners.

I picked up on these themes in another section of the workshop and made the distinction between ‘personal’ learning which is made by and for oneself and self-organised and managed versus what seems to be the current trend around ‘personalised learning’ which to me seems to have become more about learning being customised for individuals and linked to machine learning.  Learning analytics seems to be the big driver here and whilst I can see that this can all help support student learning I do have concerns that this is technology spoon feeding students rather than encouraging students to become independent self-directed and regulated learners.  Once our graduates are in the work place they have to take personal responsibility for their own personal development and lifelong learning, I’m not sure learning analytics are going to be prescribing learning pathways for them in the world of work (but who knows MOOCS might have taken over the world and this will be the future!).

John  went on to look at the importance of both students and teachers having the digital, information and learning literacies to be able to personalise their own learning.  He also highlighted that teachers need to have the skills to be able to design learning activities which provide the appropriate scaffolding for students to develop their own personal learning approaches.  I think we still have a way to go with teachers developing these skills and the continued reliance on the walled garden of the VLE perhaps doesn’t help.  There have been several posts over the past few days about VLEs/LMSs talking about why we’re sticking with VLEs which if time permits I’d like to respond to but in essence I think they kind of miss the point.  I think these posts also provide a further answer to Martin Weller’s question about why no one is talking about PLEs anymore, which I think is a real shame.

Within the medical education and health care professions world there is still some scepticism around the use of social media for learning, not least from students who make great use of facebook to support collective learning in their year and study groups but don’t connect much beyond that.  There are growing communities around #FOAMed, #WeNurses, WePharmacists etc and there’s a nice editorial by Moorley and Chinn (2) in the Journal of Advanced Nursing looking at using social media for continuous professional development.  Closer to home I was interested to see that NHS Education Scotland (NES) have teamed together with the The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) to make this video on building your personal learning network.

The press release that accompanied the launch of this video included a great quote from Malcolm Wright who’s the Chief Executive of NES.  He said:

‘The social use of knowledge is an important strand of the Knowledge into Action strategy which aims to make finding and using knowledge a routine part of everyday work.  By social use of knowledge we mean the tools, techniques and skills that connect people so that they can share experience and find ways of applying knowledge.

We know that published evidence does not translate into practice until people start talking about it and sharing practical examples.  Social networking tools such as communities of practice, Twitter and Yammer can play a vital role in this socialising process.’

If you walk the online corridors of #FOAMed this is exactly what you see, personal networks talking over the latest evidence, guidelines, critically appraising them.  Senior medics serving as virtual mentors to new doctors and students. With organisations like the NHS recognising the benefits of PLNs perhaps we can start to get PLEs talked about again.

If you’re new to the concept of a PLN and PLE take a look at Join the PLN Challenge and Earn a Rare Prized Badge to get some useful tips.

REFERENCES

(1) Crosby, R. H. J. (2000). AMEE Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturer-the twelve roles of the teacher. Medical teacher, 22(4), 334-347.

(2) Moorley, C., & Chinn, T. (2014). Using social media for continuous professional development. Journal of advanced nursing.

Anyone going to follow Clay Shirky & ask students to put laptops away?

Not Allowed!

Not Allowed! By My Sideways World on Flickr

Back in February I blogged about attention and and whether students were checking out of the flipped classroom.   In the post I mentioned the work Howard Rheingold has done around attention literacy and videoing one of his classes and then subsequently only allowing one or two students to take notes on laptops in his classes.

Several months on I continue to mull over these issues and so probably no surprise that a tweet linking to a piece on Medium from Clay Shirky outlining why he’s asked his students to stop using laptops and mobile devices in his classes caught my attention.  Shirky has banned the use of laptops in class unless they are required and in the piece he explains his rationale.  He says:

Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I do have a specific reason to ask everyone to set aside their devices (‘Lids down’, in the parlance of my department), it’s as if someone has let fresh air into the room. The conversation brightens, and more recently, there is a sense of relief from many of the students. Multi-tasking is cognitively exhausting — when we do it by choice, being asked to stop can come as a welcome change.

So this year, I moved from recommending setting aside laptops and phones to requiring it, adding this to the class rules: “Stay focused. (No devices in class, unless the assignment requires it.)”

Shirky goes on to outline the problems with multi-tasking, including the long term negative impact it can have on declarative memory.  He says:

People often start multi-tasking because they believe it will help them get more done. Those gains never materialize; instead, efficiency is degraded. However, it provides emotional gratification as a side-effect. (Multi-tasking moves the pleasure of procrastination inside the period of work.) This side-effect is enough to keep people committed to multi-tasking despite worsening the very thing they set out to improve.

On top of this, multi-tasking doesn’t even exercise task-switching as a skill. A study from Stanford reports that heavy multi-taskers are worse at choosing which task to focus on. (“They are suckers for irrelevancy”, as Cliff Nass, one of the researchers put it.) Multi-taskers often think they are like gym rats, bulking up their ability to juggle tasks, when in fact they are like alcoholics, degrading their abilities through over-consumption.

Shirky doesn’t say how his students have taken to this laptop ban though he does highlight that some students will opt of paying attention anyway (something which has always happened anyway even in the days when we didn’t laptops).

Has Shirky been too radical? It would be interesting to hear what lecturers and students think about banning laptops.  Is anyone else thinking of banning laptops or already done it.  How has that gone down with students.