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Guest Post: Ten pitfalls of small group teaching

1 May, 13 | by Ian Wacogne

A guest blog post from Nadine McCrea


Recently I had the pleasure of facilitating an evening seminar on small group teaching. We had a lot of fun, spending most of the time having discussions and undertaking tasks in a variety of bizarrely named set-ups (snowballing anyone?). We identified that small group teaching provides huge scope to promote active learning. Instant feedback is possible (for the teacher as well as the learners), and individual learning needs can be addressed. It can also promote skills in problem solving, communication and team-work. However, it isn’t always plain sailing: we also discussed a long list of potential pitfalls. Don’t worry though, here are a few key principles which, if followed, will help you tackle most pitfalls and produce some innovative small group sessions.


Cracking the mould

12 May, 12 | by Bob Phillips


While Archimedes does, not infrequently, get all concerned about invasive fungal infections, this post is not of the issue of beta-D-glucan testing, or problems of azole interactions. Instead, its a swipe at the problem of how, given a transparent system of asking questions, acquiring information, and appraising the evidence we can come to such differences when we get to applying this. Why do we find it so tricky to break our clinical practice mould?  more…

Natural frequencies “keeping it real”

8 Sep, 10 | by Bob Phillips

So, on hearing Matthew Thompson open up a mini-session with natural frequencies my mind turned to the healing power of crystals, and I become acutely concerned that the open-minds approach of the Teaching EBM Conference had gone too far.

But this was quashed quickly by his description: more…


7 Sep, 10 | by Bob Phillips

Well, the world of EBM teaching has once more benefited from the bilingual brilliance of Amanda Burls [@ajburls for the Tweeterati], in a superb hour-long lecture at the 16th Oxford Conference on Teaching Evidence Based Medicine.

Gardening and teaching are not too different, it seems. The role of the facilitator is to encourage growth of the tiny flowers by providing warmth, nutrients and watering them. And to make the little seeds of knowledge grow, you need to give them a little help.

As a teacher, you can make a space in the mind of the learner, a learning need, by setting a question without clear answer. And it doesn’t have to be obvious – for example, the title of this blog is probably an unfamiliar word to many … and you might be reading to get to the meaning … and here it comes. more…

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