Clinical teacher training programme course

Clinical teacher training programme course

Proposed one-day workshop on the essentials of clinical teaching

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Overview of programme

It is essential that clinical teachers understand and develop proper techniques necessary for facilitating clinical training sessions. Teaching in the adult context requires consideration of certain issues including the special needs and characteristics of adult learners. The impact of motivation and learning styles on learning outcome also needs to be considered. Additionally depending on the intended outcome of any lesson and on the nature of the subject matter being taught, different teaching strategies are more effective in carrying forward different objectives. An understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using different teaching strategies is therefore essential. Furthermore in order to ensure that learning is the most effective consideration has to be given to the particular learning style of each learner so that strategies could be employed to ensure that teaching sessions reap the optimal results possible. This one-day workshop would therefore seek to clarify issues related to motivation, teaching strategies and learning styles.


By the end of the workshop you should be able to:

·                     Describe and identify the different types of motivation

·                     Define the characteristic features of adult learners

·                     Identify and compare different learning styles

·                     Discuss how an individual’s learning style impacts learning

·                     Identify the attributes of an effective teacher

·                     List different teaching methods

·                     Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each teaching method

·                     Decide which teaching methods/strategies are more relevant and appropriate to particular learning styles

Contents of workshop

Among the topics to be covered in the workshop are:


Definitions of motivation by Eggen and Kauchak 1, Wakefield 2, Glynn3 and Slavin 4 will be examined. These definitions will be analyzed, compared and used as the basis for forming personal definitions. The different classifications of motivation as intrinsic and extrinsic as well as identifying intrinsic and extrinsic motivators relevant to clinical education will be discussed. Further consideration will center around the role that motivation plays in enhancing learning, the most effective motivators and the merits and demerits of each class of motivators.3

Definitions of learning and the adult learner

Definitions of learning according to the behaviourist, cognitivist and constructivist schools 4. Dr. Malcolm Knowles’ androgogy theory, which seeks to define the characteristics and needs of adult learners, will be discussed 5. Particular focus will be on distinguishing between androgogy and pedagogy, the teaching of adults and children respectively. Key features of the adult learners relevant to clinical education will be highlighted.

Learning Styles

Kolb identifies a four-stage learning style with prescribed learning styles and learning experiences that are most beneficial for optimal learning to take place 6. The four learning styles will be defined as well as the characteristics of learners with these styles and a description of learning situations and teaching strategies that are more relevant to each learning style. The Honey & Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ) 6 and its use in predicting learning styles will also be examined.

Figure 1 Stages of the learning cycle according to Kolb

Teaching Strategies

The role and usefulness of cooperative learning strategies to a variety of learning situations will be discussed. Countless authors have pointed to the merits of using small groups as an effective teaching strategy to ensure participation and involvement 4. This approach has special relevance to clinical teaching sessions and therefore particular emphasis will be placed on this approach. Experiential learning as put forward by Kolb and Piaget will be explored 4. The role of lectures, possible drawbacks, and methods to overcome such will be discussed. Use of computer technology 1 to enhance delivery of content will also be examined with specific focus on the use of PowerPoint presentations. The usefulness of simulation and demonstration 4 in the clinical context will be considered.


In preparation for the workshop each participant will be requested to submit one issue that they would like addressed in the workshop pertinent to facilitating learning sessions. These issues will be used as the framework for the entire day’s programme. The session will commence with a one-minute brainstorming session where participants list the teaching strategies and learning styles that they are familiar with and that they have employed in their practice. A ten-minute PowerPoint presentation will then follow highlighting different learning theories, motivation, learning styles and teaching strategies. During and subsequent to the presentation there will be a question and answer forum in which concerns and issues will be clarified. A second list containing learning styles and teaching strategies will then be placed on the white board this time identifying those styles and strategies that were highlighted in the presentation and the discussions. Both lists will be compared.

In the two-hour evening session participants will be administered the learning styles questionnaire developed by Honey & Mumford 6 and assigned to groups based on their learning style. In these four groups participants will discuss and list preferred teaching strategies that best meet their individual learning needs. Each group will make a presentation on the teaching strategies that are most appropriate to specific learning styles as well as suggestions on how facilitators can make learning more meaningful for this type of learner.


The programme is so structured as to give comprehensive content knowledge of theories and issues pertinent to facilitating adult learning sessions. The use of a PowerPoint® assisted lecture allows for an easy and interesting transfer of knowledge 7,8. The initial issues submitted prior to the session allows for the presentation to be specifically targeted to meet those needs and ensures that the participants see the relevance and feel ownership of the material presented. Whole-group discussions facilitate the transfer and sharing of knowledge with fellow participants so a cooperative learning environment is created. Finally the evening session allows for participants with shared interests to work together in a problem-solving 2 atmosphere in recommending teaching strategies that are more suited to specific learning styles. The individual experiences of the participants will inform these discussions. In this way learners get to bring their own experiences into the learning environment. The use of lecture, cooperative learning strategies, small group and whole group discussions in the delivery of the workshop allows participants to see these strategies demonstrated so they have a better working knowledge of a few of the strategies that would be emphasized throughout the day.

Works Cited

1. Eggen, P, Kauchak, D. Educational psychology: windows on classrooms. New Jersey: Merril; 1997.

2. Wakefield, JF. Educational psychology: learning to be a problem solver. Boston, Tennessee: Houghton Mifflin Company; 1996.

3. Glynn, SM, Aultman, LP, Owens, AM. Motivation to learn in general education programs. The Journal of General Education 2005 Apr; 54(2):150-70.

4.  Slavin, RE. Educational psychology: theory & practice. Boston, U.S.A.: Allyn and Bacon; 2000.

5. Knowles, M. The adult learner: a neglected species. 3rd ed. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing Company; 1984.

6. Honey, P, Mumford, A. The manual of learning styles. Maidenhead: Peter Honey; 1992.

7. Ricer, RE., Andrew TF, Short, J. Does a high tech (computerized, animated, powerpoint) presentation increase retention of material compared to a low tech (black on clear overheads) presentation? Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2005, 17(2):107-111.

8. Amerson, R. Energizing the nursing lecture: application of the theory of multiple intelligence learning. Nursing Education Perspectives 2006 Jul/Aug, 27(4):194-6.

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