Education for Health

: 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63--64

Co-Editors' notes 31:2

Danette McKinley1, Michael Glasser2, Maaike Flinkenflögel3,  
1 Co-Editors, Education for Health, Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Rockford, Illinois, USA
2 Co-Editors, Education for Health, University of Illinois, Rockford, Illinois, USA
3 Co-Editors, Education for Health, KIT Health, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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How to cite this article:
McKinley D, Glasser M, Flinkenflögel M. Co-Editors' notes 31:2.Educ Health 2018;31:63-64

How to cite this URL:
McKinley D, Glasser M, Flinkenflögel M. Co-Editors' notes 31:2. Educ Health [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Sep 25 ];31:63-64
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We are pleased to publish this issue of Education for Health. Contents include Original Research, Practical Advice, and Letters to the Editors from around the world. We continue to publish authors from a number of different regions. In this issue, there are contributions from Australia, Canada, India, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The topics covered in this issue include assessment validity, student and physician retention, environmental features affecting teams, hybrid simulation models for instruction and the use of innovative materials in instruction in health professions education.

In “Choosing medical assessments – does the multiple choice question make the grade?” the authors provide validity evidence for the use of multiple choice questions (MCQs) in evaluating the knowledge of fourth and fifth year students in the MBBS program at their institution. Using a modification of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives and published guidelines regarding item writing quality, the authors matched 40 MCQs and 40 short-answer questions (SAQs) for content and cognitive demands. They examined performance and changes in pass-fail status and found that MCQs could be used to test higher cognitive levels and were more efficient in scoring than SAQs. The findings from this study also indicated the positive effects of item review for flaws that improve the quality of the test and precision of pass/fail decisions.

Gamel and her co-authors described the development and piloting of a rubric used to grade systematic review based on PRISMA guidelines in “Development and testing of an analytic Rubric for a Master's course Systematic Review of the Literature: a cross sectional study”. The authors presented evaluation results from both faculty and students, and students provided substantial feedback on the usefulness of the grading system in their systematic review of literature course. They document the use and revision of the rubric in response to feedback received from both faculty and students. The interesting finding in this study was the differences students saw in the use of the rubric when formative (on the concept SLR) and summative (final SLR) feedback was provided. The students were most critical about a lack of feedback when there is minimal feedback, even when higher rubric ratings were provided. This article provides insight into students' expectations for feedback and grading.

From Malaysia, Behzadnia, Smith and Goodson provide insight on how stress may affect students' approaches to learning in their paper titled “A cross-sectional examination of the relationship between approaches to learning and perceived stress among medical students in Malaysia”. They looked at the relationship between perceived coping and distress and whether students were focused on memorization ('surface learners') or comprehension and application ('deep learning'). While studies in this area have been conducted, the authors focused on whether the cultural context would result in similar findings in this British MBBS program offered in Malaysia. The authors found that students experiencing stress reported feeling incompetent. They also found that the students in this program did not report interpersonal and social relationships to be significant stressors. This may be because the curriculum promoted deep learning, since this was shown as a perceived coping factor. Considering the nature of the curriculum and the context in which it is delivered can assist in the reduction of student stress.

In “Gibson's Theory of Affordances and Situational Awareness occurring in urban Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Emergency Medicine”, Clapper and his co-authors take a different look of team functioning – by considering affordances. This different view provides a new lens through which to view team activities. By identifying what team members focus on in a simulated clinical environment, the authors identified difference in team functioning. In each simulation the teams from emergency medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics performed a resuscitation task. The findings suggest that training in situational awareness and mutual support could improve team functioning. The authors recommend the use of TeamSTEPPS as an educational tool.

Finding time for patient counseling and education can be challenging. In the article titled “Teaching and Evaluating Smartphone Applications: An Inter-professional Curriculum Expansion”, Rodder and her co-authors examined the extent to which physician assistants and clinical nutritionists could be taught to use mobile applications to help patients track their health behaviors. Given the increase in obesity among patients worldwide, this investigation showed that students in these disciplines could be taught to communicate clearly with patients and educate them in the use of the apps to monitor their conditions. While the outcomes were assessed using standardized patients, the findings provide the basis for incorporating training in course work that covers patient communication and education.

Sabzwari, Pinjani, and Nanji present study results on factors affecting faculty ratings of students in “Effect of Faculty personality, Rating styles and Learner traits on Student Assessment in Medical Education: A mixed methods study from the Aga Khan University Karachi”. The study combined data from document analysis of student yearly feedback reports. Interestingly, while students thought that the faculty members were stringent, they held the opposite opinion. That is, faculty members thought they became more lenient over time. Another challenge identified was that it is difficult to rate group rotations; some students stand out, but others ('the quiet ones') are hard to assess. Students noted that the feedback received made them feel as if they were not evaluated as individuals. This study provides some insight into rater perception and provides the basis for additional study of the effectiveness of rater training.

In their study of student perseverance, Miller-Matero and her co-authors identified 'grit' as a trait that was related to student performance and completion (see “Grit: A Predictor of Medical Student Performance”). Students with higher grit scores were more likely to complete the curriculum in four years (the typical length of the program) and had higher clinical performance scores. This non-cognitive characteristic of students supports the assertion that selection to medical school needs to take into account more than test scores and science course performance.

In their research from Thailand, Boonluksiri and co-authors (”Community Based Learning Enhances Doctor Retention”) examined the factors affecting retention in community health - a timely issue internationally. In their investigation, they looked at the effect of rural, community based training on production of rural doctors. The study was impressive because they looked at the career trajectories of more than 5,000 physicians. They were able to demonstrate a relationship between the community-based training and retention in the government health care system and rural communities four years after graduation. Their study showed that the additional contact time resulted in greater retention.

Identifying the factors that allow successful use of low fidelity simulations can be particularly important in low resource environments. In their article “Hybrid Simulation Training: An Effective Teaching and Learning Modality for Intrauterine Contraceptive Device Insertion” from Pakistan, Amerjee, Akhtar, Ahmed, and Irfan evaluated the effectiveness of hybrid training to teach contraceptive device insertion. In this study, they examined student satisfaction, knowledge and skills. They found that the approach was effective; students evaluated the approach as innovative and scores increased from pretest to posttest.

While graphic novels have been used to teach history and other humanities, research has shown that they can be used in medical education, particularly to assist in sharing patient perception of illness. In the paper titled “Use of comics in medical and nursing education among students in health professions schools in Delhi”, Anand, Kishore, Ingle, and Grover investigated students' awareness of use of comics in medical education as well as their perceptions of its effectiveness. Medical students thought that the use of comics would be most useful in community medicine while nursing students thought that the approach would be best used in anatomy.

Lawrence Cheung provided practical advice about publishing educational materials as electronic resources in “Advancing Scholarship by Publishing Curriculum as an E-book”. He offered suggestions for identifying educational content that could be published as an e-book. He reports on efforts to develop online resources for postgraduate students to use at their own pace by publishing an e-book. He identified several critical steps in identifying content, selecting a publisher, adapting the material, and promoting the resource. His advice provides a method for instructors who have already written the material to translate it to a publication for scholarship and academic advancement.

Finally, there are two Letters to the Editor from the UK and the US focusing on the comparison of student and institution run peer-assisted learning, and examining postgraduate physicians' learning styles.

We believe that these articles meet the goals of the journal to disseminate work about health professions education that leads to improved health and health care delivery. Please let us know whether these articles help you in your own educational and scholarship efforts.