‘The flipped classroom’-future of endoscopic training?

Read our latest blog on pedagogical strategies in gastroenterological training from Dr Neel Sharma. Neel Sharma is currently a gastroenterology trainee in Singapore having worked in a medical education setting across the UK, Asia and the US

Medical education is now a well-recognised academic discipline. However, compared to traditional basic science it is still fairly premature having recently celebrated 50 years in the making.

Despite this prematurity, we must start to understand the advances in the field and attempt to uncover the potential evidence or lack of in terms of pedagogy. Here I highlight some current trends in the hope that the GI community can determine their potential worth.

Team based learning is one example where by learners are provided cases and problem solve with the addition of written assessments and expert feedback. In gastroenterology there has been little formal research into the value of TBL. One of its positives is that of feedback, unlike its counterpart PBL where feedback was typically lacking.

The next movement making waves is that of the flipped classroom. In fact this approach has been adopted wholeheartedly by Harvard Medical School during their recent curriculum reform. In brief videos are provided to learners pre class, with class time spent problem solving. Its potential benefits have been the ability to receive the so called ‘homework’ element before class so that in class learners can focus more on problem solving applications. Again little has been done in the form of flipped learning in gastroenterology.

How can such pedagogies be utilised? Well countless examples exist but one potential use is in image enhanced endoscopy – with the advances in NBI, confocal imaging and OCT, problem solving cases could prove useful, particularly as the classification systems in endoscopy become more complex.

I look forward to further movement in the field.