FOAMed

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

Exploring rhizomatic learning on #rhizo14

A new year, a new MOOC!  Over the next few weeks Dave Cormier is running a cMOOC on rhizomatic learning over on the Peer2Peer University platform.  I’m  hoping to dip in and out of this MOOC as I’m interested in exploring the concept of rhizomatic learning a bit further and particularly in the context of of #FOAMed (Free Open Access Meducation).

I’ve chipped in on conversations on Twitter about FOAMed and the learning theories that might be relevant to this growing movement in medical education. FOAMed is frequently described as a community of practice and it can also be seen as an example of connectivisim. Social networking and media tools like Twitter, blogs, YouTube etc have played a key role in the growth of FOAMed providing open publishing platforms and facilitating connections shaping a new online learning landscape.

In ‘Communities of Practice: Critical perspectives‘, Yrjö Engeström has contributed a chapter ‘From communities of practice to Mycorrhizae‘ in which he considers the social production of learning as a new landscape of learning. Engeström presents a framework for conceptualising this landscape where runaway objects are created, which have the potential to gain a global scale of influence. These are then exchanged, negotiated and peer reviewed in a learning  environment that is highly expansive, multidirectional and has a swarming type of engagement, which he describes as being like ‘mycorrhizae’.  I think his framework does describe how I see FOAMed.  Engeström had considered rhizomatic learning as a framework but felt the horizontal and vertical rhizomatic connections too limiting.

I’ve been mulling over this off and on for a few months and so hoping that whilst the rhizomatic learning MOOC is running I’ll be able to give a bit more time to exploring these ways of viewing learning further. Against the backdrop of this MOOC I’m also continuing to think about our students’ learning literacies including their digital literacy skills. Reading Ronan Kavanagh’s blog post last week ‘How Twitter cured my mid-life crisis‘ highlighted yet again how differently our students view Twitter.  We’ve used Twitter to support our teaching in public health but the majority of students don’t seem to really like using it or see the point of using it to support their learning.  Those that do get it put it to good use and seem to reap the benefits.  We’re looking at other ways to try and engage students with all of this and make them aware of the potential but maybe we’re flogging a dead horse … or maybe they won’t get it till they’re middle aged!

Further reading

Rhizomatic learning – Why we teach? by Dave Cormier

Mycorrhizal networks and learning by David WIley

What did I learn from #FOAMed yesterday

I loved this series of tweets that appeared in my Twitter timeline this morning from Nick Smith.  Great to see #FOAMed in action and a super example to refer to and quote in workshops on #FOAMed and the role of social media in supporting and enhancing medical education.

Many thanks to Nick for sharing his #FOAMed learning points.  Vive la FOAM!!

AMEE 2013 #FOAMed Workshop

Today I’m running a workshop on #FOAMed with at AMEE 2013, along with my colleagues Annalisa Manca and Ellie Hothersall from Dundee and Laura-Jane Smith from UCL.  We’ll be giving a brief introduction to the growing movement of Free Open Access Medical Education #FOAMed.  We’ll be asking our participants to identify if if they are already using elements of FOAMed and how.  Annalisa is going to go over some of the educational theories that are at play in FOAMed and then Ellie and LJ will be demonstrating how they’ve adopted elements of FOAMed to support undergraduate teaching and in particular how they’ve used to Twitter to support teaching in public health and case-based discussions. We’ll also highlight some of the other FOAMed activities that are going a cross the continuum of education before we get our groups to look at how they might design a #FOAMed approach to some learning scenarios that we’ve come up with.

The slides from our session are here and there’s also a handout that I’ve put together with a brief intro to FOAMed, some examples, information on tools that can form part of a FOAMed toolkit and some tips taken from comments left by some of the FOAMed community on my last post.

What are your top tips on #FOAMed?

FOAMed-Origin-work2-signed-small-280x200Tomorrow I’m co-running a workshop on using free open access meducation – #FOAMed with my colleagues Annalisa Manca from Dundee and Rakesh Patel and Terese Bird from Leicester at the ASME Annual Scientific Meeting being held in Edinburgh.

Encouragingly the workshop is fully booked.  Our plan is to give an overview of open medical education and networked open learning, some examples of #FOAMed, address issues such as digital professionalism in developing #FOAMed resources, highlight how the use of a #FOAMed approach can support the development of communities of practice/learning collectives in medical education. We’re also going to ask the participants to design a #FOAMed resource/approach around some scenarios we’ve put together.

I’m just getting myself organised for an early start tomorrow and thought it might be good to touch base with the #FOAMed community and see if anyone might want to give some advice to our workshop participants on getting the best out of #FOAMed that I could share in the workshop.  For example

  • why do you use #FOAMed?
  • what do you think is the biggest benefit of #FOAMed?
  • what’s your favourite #FOAMed resource/site?
  • what tip would you give to someone who’s new to the #FOAMed approach?
  • what do you like most about #FOAMed?

I’d welcome comments on the blog or you can tweet me at @nlafferty.  If tweeting you might want to say where you’re from and what you’re specialty is or whether you’re a students and perhaps use the hashtag #FOAMedtips and then I can curate the tweets in Storify and publish these later and share with everyone.

If you have spare couple of minutes and can pass on a few tips or thoughts on #FOAMed that would be great 🙂

P.S. – Some updatesfor recommended viewing & reading

Simon Carley has suggested this video by the Mike Cadogan who’s been a key inspiration to many who’ve engaged with #FOAMed including me!

Various blog posts are linked here too which are recommneded reading

Web 2.0 & Social Media – Access in the NHS

I’ve blogged previously about connectivity issues in the NHS and the problems with accessing Web 2.0 and social media sites that can support teaching and learning. In one of these posts I mentioned the work that the NHS-HE Forum Connectivity Best Practice Working Group, which I’m a member of.  This group has been pulling together and sharing case studies of good and best practice around IT connectivity in the NHS, which locally have certainly helped us make progress in Tayside.  My contribution to the working group has been to write a paper on Web 2.0 and social media in relation to education and research and this was published last week following the most recent NHS-HE Foum meeting held in London on 14th May 2013.

I had originally hoped to have the paper finalised before Christmas, however the delay perhaps has been quite timely given the Department of Health publishing its new digital strategy just before Christmas.  The DoH strategy “sets out how the Department of Health will give its staff the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to embrace digital opportunities to deliver better health, better care and better value for all.”

At the moment for staff wanting to engage in digital opportunities to support learning and collaborative research there are still barriers with access to many Web 2.0 and social media tools being blocked.

The paper I’ve written highlights the emerging benefits of Web 2.0 technologies and, whilst taking account of potential risks, outlines some recommendations concerning their access.  I’m grateful to my colleagues from both the NHS and HE on the NHS-HE Forum Connectivity Best Practice Working Group for their feedback on the various drafts on the paper and their input into the final version of the document. We hope this document will prove helpful to various groups within the NHS as they seek to raise issues around the accessibility of web-based technologies.

I hope the paper will be of some use to those wanting to start a dialogue with NHS organisations about access to Web 2.0 and social media sites in the NHS to support learning and research.  I’m also hoping that we can start to gather case studies that can demonstrate ways that these technologies can be used to maximise their benefits for education and research particualrly given the growing interest in #FOAMed. I’m also planning to do some follow-up work to this paper which I hope to share over the next month or so.

If you’d like to contribute a case study on good practice or are interested in connecting around these issues please do leave a comment.

 

#ukmeded chat: MOOCs the future of medical education?

Moocs-mededT`onight’s #ukmeded Twitter chat is going to look at MOOCs and their potential role in the future of medical education.  In prepartion for the chat, this post provides a very brief introduction to MOOCs and sets out a few questions and points to think about that we can hopefully discuss and follow-up on the chat.

If you spend time on Twitter and you’re involved in education there’s literally no escape from the constant mention of MOOCs – massive open online courses.  MOOCs have been around for several years and the early MOOCs pioneered by George Siemens and Stephen Downes were designed around a connectivist approach to learning. This video from Dave Cormier gives an overview of how these early MOOCs operate.

Over the past 18 months the hype around MOOCs has been gathering pace as universities such as Stanford and MIT have started to run MOOCs.  Stanford had planned to run a clinical anatomy MOOC in March 2012, but this never materialised.  What did emerge though was three MOOC providers, Coursera, Udacity and edX with ambitious plans to run MOOCs across a range of subjects taught in higher education.  Universities have joined these MOOC providers and there’s a growing range of courses available.  Tens of thousands of individuals are signing up for MOOCs, and whilst not everyone is completing significant numbers are though they don’t generally receive any formal accreditation for completing the MOOC.  The MOOCs run by Coursera, Udacity and edX have become known as xMOOCs whilst those run with a more connectivity approach are labelled cMOOCs.

xMOOCs typically are built around 10-15 minute video lectures, discussion boards and different learning activities such as online quizzes or written work which might be marked by other students enrolled on the MOOC. Online learning is already widely used in medical education and so it’s no surprise that growing numbers of medical courses are being offered as MOOCs by Coursera and a piece in the BMJ a couple of weeks asked Are MOOCs the future of medical education? This is what we’ll consider in the #ukmeded chat on Thursday 9 May at 9pm (UK time).

There are lost of things we could discuss, but here a few points to start us off.

  • Will medical students in the future be able to study elements of their degree online via MOOCs?  Whilst medical students will need to be attached to a medical school or hospital for the clinical aspects of their training could the early years of a medical undergraduate curriculum be studied via MOOCs.  Could students pick and mix MOOCs from different medical schools?  How would learning on MOOCs from different universities and different countries be validated given that medical degrees are accredited and quality assured by regulatory organisations like the GMC.
  • Do MOOCs lend themselves more as a way of increasing options for student selected components or special study modules?
  • Could the cMOOC approach support more creative ways of teaching around topics like digital literacy skills, ethics, public health and global health, connecting students from different countries and cultures?
  • Are MOOCs more appropriate in terms of supporting continuing medical education and lifelong learning? Medicine is changing fast and MOOCs could be one way to support doctors keeping up to date.
  • What about #FOAMed?  The piece in the BMJ makes no mention of the growing #FOAMEd movement or connectivist MOOCs, do these have the potential to become more significant in medical education than the mega xMOOCs.

Tonight’s #ukmeded chat kicks off at 21.00hrs UK time.  The chat is open to anyone, you don’t have to be a doctor or medical student to take part or be based in the UK  so please feel free to join in the conversation.

POST SCRIPT

All the tweets from this #ukmeded chat have been curated and you can read them in the PDF file linked below.

#ukmeded chat – Thurs 9 May transcript on MOOCs via Symplur

Trends in online learning: #FOAMed

In recent months RSS feeds and Twitter have been overflowing with mentions of MOOCs, as Cousera, Udacity and EdX continue to attract new university partners and launch growing numbers of courses.  As these big guns have entered the world of MOOCs they’ve attracted lots of attention from the mainstream press, whilst MOOC participants are blogging about their experience as learners on these MOOCs and some of the issues they’ve encountered.

So how about MOOCs and medical education?  Back in January I blogged about an open online anatomy course that Stanford were due to be running in March.  Out of curiosity, I signed up along with a few colleagues, but the course was postponed and it’s not one of the 24 Coursera offerings listed under medicine so who knows if it’s going to go ahead.  I’m sure we’ll see more medical themed MOOCs come on stream from the big players running what are now being referrred to as xMOOCs.  Overall though in terms of online medical education I think there’s another emerging trend that’s more interesting than MOOCs and that’s free open access medical education (#FOAMed).

#FOAMed resources are typically being delivered via blog sites and much of the credit for the emergence and growth of #FOAMed is down to Mike Cadogan and Chris Nickson of Life in the Fast Lane fame and the growing band of emergency medicine bloggers that are following in their footsteps such as the team at St Emlyn’s.

It’s not just all about emergency medicine though, there are growing numbers of clinicians using blogging platforms to support and deliver medical education and particularly at postgraduate and CME level that can be branded as #FOAMed.  One example that’s been gaining momentum over the past year is  #gasclass set up by Sean Williamson and colleagues on Teeside.  #gasclass uses a WordPress blog and Twitter to support case based discussion for trainee anaesthetists.  Set up originally to  support weekly face to face training and discussion of local trainees it now attracts an international audience and is a great example of #FOAMed.  Another example is #ecgclass run by Heather Watherell and her Keeping ECGs Simple blog.  There are other sites and related twitter chats springing up around different medical specialties including urology and public health and a growing list of #FOAMed supporters.

More recently it’s been great to see undergraduate medical students getting involved with #FOAMed activities.  There’s the Twitter Finals Revision Group #twitfrg set up by Faye Bishton.  Each week Faye posts up notes for revision topics for medical students and hosts a Twitter chat on Thursday evenings at 8pm (UK time) and doctors are joining in to provide additional support to this student led initiative. Another student example is Anatomy Zone.

I don’t think the #FOAMed approach is just relevant to medical education, tools such as blogs, twitter and social media are open and accessible to anyone and in essence it’s perhaps another way of describing open educational recources (OER).  Last week I was interested to see some posts in my Feedly feed from Clive Shepherd on Kineo’s Learning Insights 2012 report and one in particular in which he highlighted that elearning is changing and said:

If you want to know about, say, photography – one of my current interests – the first thing you do is go to Google and YouTube. Your search doesn’t lead you to slide shows full of bullet points and multiple-choice questions, but to blogs, Wikipedia articles, screencasts and lots and lots of videos.

You know the detailed information will always be available online so you don’t bother trying to learn any of that. You want the big picture, the important ideas, lots of tips and tricks, and demonstrations of the key skills. If you have questions, you go to the forums. If you want to benchmark your progress against that of your peers, you join groups, share your work and provide helpful critiques to others. We are completely accustomed to learning in this fashion and very satisfied with how well it works. We cannot see why things should be so different at work.

So e-learning design is changing because, more often than not, it’s not traditional e-learning that people want. They’re looking for resources not courses. They want these resources in all sorts of forms – plain text will often do, graphics are nice, but they particularly like video. They are not expecting these resources to be fully-functioning learning objects, that take a learning objective through to its conclusion. Rather they want to pick and choose from a range of materials that can each make a contribution to whatever evolving goals they may have.

We’re looking for a new breed of digital learning content designers. Yes, they will be able to analyse a need and understand an audience but, most importantly, they will be great communicators in a wide variety of media.

It used to be that we turned to text books for resources, but as Clive suggests we’re all increasingly looking online for resources and when we find them we share them.  One of the roles of the doctor is the doctor as teacher and with the advent of #FOAMed what we’re seeing is a new generation of digital medical educators. Educators (or digital learning content designers as Clive describes them) who’ve engaged with technology and used it to create learning resources and enhance learning and create new opportunities for social learning that can both complement and supplement face-to-face and on the job learning.

The interesting thing is that this approach hasn’t emerged out of an institutional top down approach or beacuse of funding calls.  It’s being led by individual doctors who want to improve and enhance medical education and have grasped that technology can help to make resources openly accessible and support online learning.  There are also doctors who’ve started blogging who’s blog posts are also being used to support learning and in turn #FOAMed resources.  Two recent cases that spring to mind include Laura Jane Smith’s post on the Human touch which was posted up on our respiratory teaching blog and shared with our 1st year students and also Jonathan Tomlinson’s post on Shame which medical students were sharing and resharing via the Twitter sphere.

When I took up my current post, Life in the Fast Lane was one of the few medical education blogs around and Mike Cadogan was one of the first doctors I started following on Twitter.  Together with Alan Cann’s MicrobiologyBytes, Sam Webster’s blog and  Jim Groom’s work at University Mary Washington, Mike got me thinking about using blogs to support our undergraduate teaching and that led to an interesting journey for us at Dundee with our VLE.  Four years on it’s clear to see that Mike and his Life in the Fast Lane team are continuing to inspire growing numbers of doctors to embrace free open access medical education.  I hope this a trend that continues.  The future’s bright, the future’s #FOAMed!