Background & Purpose During the MB21 curriculum review at the University of Bristol, a novel 10-week phase has been established at the start of year 1, the Foundations of Medicine (FoM). This introduces the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA) (1) required to succeed as a medical student and future doctor. The approach is one of enquiry, to encourage development of adult learning skills (2) alongside scientific principles, in line with the GMC Outcomes for Graduates, Section 21: reflect, learn and teach others.(3) Summative examinations are often used as the assessment of choice in the early years of medical school. However, whilst examinations assess the cognitive domain, they can fail to promote intrinsic motivation for scholarship, and may poorly assess psychomotor and affective skills. As such, a novel approach to assess FoM was needed. Methodology The ‘Foundations Conference: The Art and Science of Medicine’ was designed to bring students together in a community of practice (4) to present their learning experiences. Each student group (n=24) was tasked as a team to create a Pecha Kucha, a poster, and a creative piece. They were given simple guidance and templates, but freedom to choose their topics. The teams submitted drafts to a staff review panel to check for ethical or logistical issues, but no marking was undertaken. On the day of the conference, students presented their work, and formative peer and staff assessment was completed via online forms. The top three pieces from each category as voted by the students were put forward for prizes, and were awarded to the winning teams by a staff panel. Feedback data was collected as part of teaching evaluation procedures. Results The students engaged well with all aspects of the conference. Topics chosen included mental health, cadaver use in medicine, and perceptions of the medical profession. The students gained diverse skills, for example, researching literature, peer teaching, using creativity to deepen understanding of illness experience, and constructive appraisal skills as part of the peer assessment. They also developed as teams, working to each other’s strengths to produce work of exceptional quality. The conference was attended by the students, staff and invited guests including the external examiner. Praise was unanimous on the standard of work and comments included, “moving” and “extraordinarily impressive”. Some of the work has been put forward for display on external websites, and requests made to exhibit the artwork more widely at the University. Examples of the works and further feedback will be presented. Discussion & Conclusions By embracing the educational ability of our students to design and showcase their early learning experiences, we have found an exciting new method to assess all KSA learning domains. Student feedback evidenced that they found the experience enjoyable and inspiring, and it helped them to get to know their study group, develop research skills and experience a conference environment. Our vision for the outcome of the conference was epitomised in the reviews of our external visitors, “…the opportunity for students to collaboratively develop and discuss their learning with tutors and peers in the three different formats is perhaps cutting edge in terms of educational initiatives…”, “…a novel educational approach, and potentially a ‘disruptive innovation’ to the developing medical curriculum…”. The ‘Conference Concept’ allows us to bring together cognitive, humanistic and social constructivist approaches,(5) and promote skills that we want to engender in doctors of the future. References 1. Bloom BS. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: The Cognitive Domain. New York: David McKay Co Inc. (1956) 2. Farringdon I. How do Adults Learn Best. Journal of further and higher education. 1996 20 (1) Spring 3. General Medical Council, Outcomes for Graduates, July 2015. Available from: https://www.gmc-uk.org/static/documents/content/Outcomes_for_graduates_Dec_16.pdf (accessed 08.01.18 20:37) 4. Wenger-Trayner E, Wenger-Trayner B. Introduction to communities of practice: A brief overview of the concept and its uses. 2015, 1-8. Available from: http://wenger-trayner.com/introduction-to-communities-of-practice/ (accessed 08.01.18 20:40) 5. Reece I, Walker S. Teaching, training and learning: A practical guide. 6th edition. Tyne & Wear: Business Education Publishers Limited. (2007)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018


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