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Our commitment to preparing the next generation of physicians and healthcare leaders extends to supporting the internationally renowned faculty of approximately 2,000 teachers and physician-scientists across three Illinois sites. One of the most important factors in educating medical students is the ability to recruit and develop faculty to be great teachers. Our faculty members are chosen for their subject matter expertise, but they must also understand the fundamentals and best practices of teaching our students.

In this section of the website, you can find evidence-based best practices for design, development, and delivery of content for a variety of delivery types.

Click the tabs below to learn more about the roles and responsibilities for Phase 1 and Phase 2 faculty leaders.

Roles and Responsibilities for Phase 1 and Phase 2 Faculty Leaders Heading link

This section of the website is split up into two main areas: design and development of instructional content, and delivery of instructional content. What’s the difference between the two? To be able to effectively deliver (e.g., facilitate, teach, lead, etc.) your topic, you first need to know how to design it (e.g., map out the session based on the the topic, consider teaching methods and technology to include) and develop it (e.g., organize information in a logical manner, determine more specifically what to cover, structure time appropriately, etc.), based on the goals and objectives for an activity. For some people, this sounds a bit backward. In fact, it is backward – backward design! In backward design, you:

  1. Identify desired results, (e.g., goals and objectives)
  2. Determine acceptable evidence (e.g., assessment, whether informal, formative, summative), and
  3. Plan learning experiences and instruction.

You will probably recognize this model as it is used to address specific content delivery types.

Caryn Stalburg, MD, from University of Michigan summed this up nicely in a blog post. The University of Nebraska Medical Center also has a great document called THRIVE. You need to create an account to download this document.

Learning theories are a set of principles that explain how best a student can acquire, retain and recall new information. It can be helpful to understand the various theories around teaching and learning and how they work. Some of the most well-known encompassing theories include social constructivism, experiential learning situated learning, and cognitivism. More information on the top 15 learning theories can be found here: In the UICOM curriculum, one of the learning theories we try to implement is Jerome Bruner’s spiral curriculum theory (1960). The basics of spiral curriculum theory:

  1. Students revisit the same topic multiple times throughout their school career. This reinforces the learning each time they return to the subject.
  2. The complexity of the topic increases each time a student revisits it. This allows progression through the subject matter as the child’s cognitive ability develops with age.
  3. When a student returns to a topic, new ideas are linked with ones they have previously learned. The student’s familiarity with the keywords and ideas enables them to grasp the more difficult elements of the topic in a stronger way.

We know that medical education is complex. The design and delivery of content does not need to be so complex it seems impossible to implement. Take a look at some of the best practices we have collected and feel free to suggest some of your own.