Print this page Email this page Users Online: 1003 | Click here to view old website
Home About us Editorial Board Search Current Issue Archives Submit Article Author Instructions Contact Us Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 222

Collaboration between Academic Institutions towards Faculty Development for Educators

1 University of California, San Francisco, USA
2 Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania

Date of Submission17-May-2008
Date of Acceptance22-Oct-2008
Date of Web Publication26-Nov-2008

Correspondence Address:
S Omer
University of California, San Francisco
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19967641

How to cite this article:
Omer S, O'Sullivan P, Masters S, Souza K, Taché S, Hickson G, Mkony C, Kaaya E, Loeser H. Collaboration between Academic Institutions towards Faculty Development for Educators. Educ Health 2008;21:222

How to cite this URL:
Omer S, O'Sullivan P, Masters S, Souza K, Taché S, Hickson G, Mkony C, Kaaya E, Loeser H. Collaboration between Academic Institutions towards Faculty Development for Educators. Educ Health [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Jan 28];21:222. Available from:

Dear Editor,

Faculty development encompasses a broad range of activities that assist faculty in their roles as teachers, researchers, and administrators. Successful faculty development programs can improve teaching skills and student learning outcomes (Steinert et al., 2006).

While faculty development encourages and rewards excellence in teaching, faculty in Sub-Saharan Africa have access to few in-country and affordable faculty development programs (Burdick et al., 2007). Therefore, describing successful efforts will provide guidance to others considering similar efforts. In 2004, Tanzania’s Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and the University of California San Francisco’s Global Health Sciences (UCSF-GHS) formed a collaboration centered on medical education (Taché et al., 2007).

The faculty development model employed included an observation period, identification of specific goals, and implementation of collaborative learning interventions.

Observation began with a two-week visit to UCSF by four members of MUHAS’ education leadership who were heads of departments and/or directors of research and continuing education. They observed UCSF medical students learn in lectures, small groups, laboratories and clinical skills centers. Based on their experience at UCSF and an assessment of MUHAS’ needs, the delegation identified two priorities: 1) introducing innovative teaching and assessment methods to cope with the large numbers of students and 2) solutions for the acute shortage of lecturers, particularly in biochemistry.

MUHAS and UCSF teams proceeded with two faculty development efforts to help meet these priorities. First, the MUHAS/UCSF teams planned an intensive teaching skills workshop for MUHAS faculty. Second, UCSF sponsored two post-doctoral fellows from UCSF to help address the teaching crisis in biochemistry. These post-doctoral fellows also piloted novel teaching modalities and implemented skills development sessions for future MUHAS faculty.

The UCSF/MUHAS teams identified the objectives for an educational leadership workshop: to enhance recognition for teaching faculty; to improve old and offer new approaches to large group teaching; and to introduce technology to reduce the burden of grading examinations. The workshop schedule is presented in Table 1.

Table 1. MUHAS faculty development workshop schedule

The topics and educational strategies included in the workshop were tailored to the 52 participants (23% of total MUHAS faculty), who were selected to represent leadership across MUHAS’ basic science and clinical departments. The UCSF team brought an optical scanner and software for grading exams, and trained two MUHAS faculty members, who subsequently served as co-facilitators for one of the workshop’s sessions. Another session included videoclips of the post-doctoral fellows implementing strategies to engage 350 first-year MUHAS biochemistry students in team-based discussions.

The post-doctoral fellows also provided an “effective teaching” workshop for Masters of Medicine students, who are potential future faculty for MUHAS. The two-hour session focused on presentation skills (Irby, 2004). Students shared their teaching experiences, challenges and perceived qualities of effective lectures. One week later, the students practiced the workshop skills by presenting a ten-minute lecture and giving and receiving peer feedback.

The participants were highly satisfied with the workshops and enthusiastically suggested topics for future workshop sessions: preparing lessons and teaching materials; teaching methods for clinicians; identifying relevant media for enhancing educational materials and assessment; and strengthening lecture and course evaluation.

The initiative helped cement other important outcomes. Notably, the education leadership workshop stimulated the establishment of a Directorate for Continuing Education and Professional Development at MUHAS to coordinate education programs for faculty and graduates, support faculty development in health professions education and encourage educational innovation.

The optical scanner provided by UCSF as part of the workshop has been used to grade over 8,000 exams, saving approximately 158 hours of faculty and staff time per exam. MUHAS subsequently acquired an additional scanner.

In recent collaborative activities between the two institutions, MUHAS leadership prioritized expanding faculty development for present faculty and establishing novel programs to recruit and train future faculty.

We introduced the idea of using masters students to supplement undergraduate teaching and help them advance their teaching skills. Their participation in teaching will help relieve teaching shortages and provide masters students with valuable experience-based training (Morrison et al., 2005). MUHAS has recently introduced a Masters of Science program to recruit and train newly graduated students for a career in teaching professional students.

Overall, we recommend an initial stage of “on-site” observation to showcase teaching activities, with subsequent development of specific goals to identify local priorities before implementation. The combination of collaboratively identifying and addressing local priorities and participating in a tangible product such as a faculty development workshop fostered ownership by both partners.

Selma Omer, Patricia O’Sullivan, Susan Masters, Kevin Souza, Stephanie Taché, Gilles Hickson and Helen Loeser,

University of California San Francisco, Global Health Sciences and The School of Medicine,

Charles Mkony and Ephata Kayaa,

Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Medicine


Burdick W.P., Morahan P.S., & Norcini J.J. (2007). Capacity building in medical education and health outcomes in developing countries: the missing link. Education for Health, 20(3), Article 65. Retrieved August 5, 2008, from:

Irby D. (2004). Practical teaching: Great presentations every time. Clinical Teacher, 1:5-9.

Morrison, EH, Shapiro, JF, & Harthill, M. (2005). Resident doctors' understanding of their roles as clinical teachers. Medical education, 39(2), 137-44.

Steinert Y, Mann K, Centeno A, Dolmans D, Spencer J, Gelula M and Prideaux D. (2006). A systematic review of faculty development initiatives designed to improve teaching effectiveness in medical education: BEME Guide No. 8. Medical Teacher, 28:497-526.

Taché S, Kaaya E, Omer S, Mkony CA, Lyamuya E, Pallangyo K, Debas HT, & Macfarlane SB. (2007). University partnership to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in Africa. Global Public Health, 3: 137–148.


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded125    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal