Frequently Asked Questions
Before contacting us, please browse our FAQ.
What is Faculty Ed Solutions ?
Faculty Ed Solutions, LLC provides solutions to enhance learning, teaching, and scholarship in medical education. It provides consultation, coaching, and training to the academic medical community through virtual or onsite programs for health science professionals (faculty and students/residents), a medical education blog, and academic resources. The program content is comprehensive and balanced to include both personal development (goal setting, fitness/wellness, inspiration) and professional development (learning how to learn, teaching, scholarship, and board preparation).
What audience is Faculty Ed Solutions designed to serve ?
Our programs and services are designed for professional educators and learners in health professions education.
How does the individual coaching program for board preparation work ?
Prior to the first coaching session, the client completes a form supplying the following information: the board examination for which they are preparing, the date of the examination, their past test performance on standardized examinations, their study strategies and test taking strategies, and any challenges related to board preparation. From this data, an initial action plan is developed and negotiated with the client during their first session (face-to-face or online). Depending on the client’s need(s), future sessions generally include the following: a discussion of the exam blueprint, active learning strategies, tips on reading texts and journal articles, the top ten effective strategies for board preparation, how to “read” multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and improve MCQ performance, the differences between lower-level and higher-level MCQs and their relationship with Bloom’s taxonomy, how to increase test-wiseness and test-taking skills, identifying the best study resources, time management, and exam day strategies. A minimum of three sessions is recommended with one or two follow-up appointments scheduled to monitor progress.
What do clients find most helpful in your approach to board preparation ?
Clients (third- and fourth-year medical students, residents, and practicing physicians as well as other health care professionals) like the practical “learning-how-to-learn” approach with action plans tailored to the individual’s needs. Resources, based on “best practices”, help keep individuals motivated and on track. Best of all, coaching is available face-to-face or via videoconference.
What do your seminars on board preparation for learners include ?
Seminars on board preparation for professional students in the health professions are 90 minutes and involve the audience in practical, meaningful activities that make the learning “stick”. There are two seminars related to board preparation: (1) “Learning Styles in Medical Education” helps learners identify their preferred learning style, use specific strategies to benefit their learning preference, and become more “flexible” learners; (2) “Successful Strategies for Passing Your Board Examination” includes information, strategies, and resources (related to the group’s upcoming board examination). The seminar helps learners prepare more thoroughly, use a “game plan” that eases their anxiety, and increases their chance for success.
What is meant by Faculty Development ?
Faculty development can include three aspects of faculty life—the faculty member as a teacher, the faculty member as a scholar and professional, and/or the faculty member as a person. Teacher Focus: Faculty development programs most often focus on the individual faculty member as a teacher. In this situation, faculty development specialists provide consultation on teaching, including class organization, evaluation of students, in-class presentation skills, questioning and all aspects of design and presentation. They advise faculty on other aspects of teacher / student interaction.Scholar/Professional Focus: Faculty development that focuses on scholarship and professional development offers assistance in career planning, professional development in scholarly skills such as grant writing, publishing, committee work, administrative work, supervisory skills, and a wide range of other activities expected of faculty.Personal Focus: Faculty development programs that focus on personal development includes wellness management, interpersonal skills, stress and time management, assertiveness development and a host of other programs which address the individual’s well-being. (This definition of faculty development was adapted from the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.)
How can faculty development help me teach better ?
– engage your learners during your teaching
– generate feedback that informs what learners liked best or still didn’t understand
– accommodate learners with different styles of learning
– save time by using templates or rubrics
– connect with colleagues to learn Best Practices for Teaching and Learning
– link with colleagues that are addressing learning / teaching issues through a scholarly approach through monthly sessions online.
What is a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) ?
A Faculty Learning Community is a group of teachers and other professionals who meet monthly (or more frequently) to discuss and share ideas related to teaching, learning, and scholarship. Individuals work on educational projects, share ideas, and prepare their work for presentation at conferences and publish to refereed journals.
What is the purpose of an FLC ?
Being a member of a Faculty Learning Community gives one another lens from which to explore scholarly teaching in a collegial and inviting environment that provides a safe place to experiment with new teaching strategies. If you provide instruction to health care professionals (residents, medical students, nurses, allied health students) and are looking for solutions, support, and/or collaborators, the FLC could be the answer.
How does an FLC differ from other forms of faculty development ?
Some faculty development programs resemble target practice—they don’t always hit the bullseye and are often sporadic. One of the advantages of an FLC is that you meet on a regular basis for one year (some meet biweekly, others meet monthly) and you work with a small group of 12 – 14 individuals whose aim is to learn from each other as well as from the resources that are made available. The purpose of the FLC is to engage individuals in learning about and discussing practical issues related to learning, teaching, and scholarly activity. During the 12-month program, individuals become more at ease in sharing experiences of their teaching successes and challenges. Their enthusiasm about putting new ideas into practice promotes a genuine willingness to share, listen, encourage, and offer support to their peers.
What is the process for joining an FLC ?
(1) State your reason for wanting to join,
(2) Describe the nature of your current teaching responsibilities and any innovative teaching activities,
(3) Indicate any teaching awards received, publications, or presentations given related to learning/teaching,
(4) Describe two or three of the most pressing needs regarding your teaching,
(5) Indicate possible areas of interest you might pursue for an individual teaching project, and
(6) Cite possible contributions you can make to the program?
How can participation in an FLC help professional educators ?
The FLC experience provides a new venue for faculty development that has been found to:
– revitalize teaching faculty
– enhance teaching and learning skills
– provide opportunities for research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning
– recognize faculty for their contributions in education
– enhance collaboration between and among colleagues
– foster the sense of community across departments
What has the FLC experience meant to participants ?
– The FLC … has brought back collaboration and creative thinking into my work environment. It provided a safe place to express my raw ideas and learn from others how they would grow these ideas (Family Practitioner).
– We found that teachers of all disciplines had common barriers including finding time to work on worthwhile learning objectives and on our projects. The FLC experience places me in a better position to identify and use resources for research projects, to receive constructive feedback and ways to present my projects in terms of the organization’s priorities (Pharmacist).
– In my view the FLC experience fulfills several of the values of … including collaboration, stewardship and excellence. The design and format of each learning session allowed me to set aside time to focus on specific aspects of teaching and learning and exploring each topic contributed to my repertoire and confidence as an adult educator (Nursing Researcher).
– The FLC is an academic endeavor. The participants were all active. We taught each other and that made us all realize that there is nothing we can’t accomplish. The FLC is lifelong learning in action (Pediatrician).
How can I learn more about how to start an FLC in my program / institution ?
While Faculty Learning Communities are fairly new in health professions education in general and medical education in particular, they have been operating in higher education for several decades. Dr. Milton Cox at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) has directed a very successful FLC initiative for over 25 years. Visit his website at http://www.units.muohio.edu/flc/ for further information. In 2005 Dr. Linda Carr and Dr. Cheryl O’Malley co-facilitated the first city-wide Faculty Learning Community on Adult Learning at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. From this beginning, ‘graduates’ have gone on to start FLCs at their own institution. The first city-wide FLC expanded to three FLCs at neighboring teaching hospitals. Since then, over 130 medical educators, mostly physicians, have successfully completed this one-year program. Contact Dr. Carr for more information at mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What services can Faculty Ed Solutions provide to help launch an FLC in my program / at my institution ?
– assessing your readiness to launch an FLC
– conducting a needs assessment
– working with a faculty development advisory council /department chairs to recruit participants
– establishing a theme and suggested topic schedule
– providing weekly email messages and “Connectivity Tips” to sustain learning and energize teaching
– delivering a year-end summary of participants’ reflections on the FLC and individual outcomes