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Date posted: March 21, 2012

Medical Council of India Regulations on Graduate Medical Education 1997 has emphasized that the faculty members should avail of modern educational technology while teaching the students and to attain this objective, Medical education Units/Departments be established in all medical colleges for faculty development and provide learning resource material for teachers. With this directive from MCI, Medical Education Units (MEU) have been created in all medical colleges, but many are not effectively operational and functioning, perhaps due to lack of a defined framework within which these MEUs are supposed to work and lack of understanding and clear guidelines about the role of MEUs. This document is designed with the objective of giving guidelines for effective establishment and functioning of the Medical Education units and creating uniformity in all Govt. Medical Colleges in the state ofMaharashtra 

Role of Medical Education Units:

1. Faculty development:It is a planned program to improve an individual’s knowledge and skills in teaching, educational research, educational administration and to prepare institution and faculty members for their various roles. The main crux for the faculty development is motivation.

No curriculum document can be meaningful unless it is supported by a system of faculty development which gives opportunity for the teachers to update their skills in teaching, introducing innovative methods of teaching learning and assessment. Curricular changes must be supported by a process of faculty development as well as establishment of infrastructure and facilities in the form of skill laboratories and computer based simulators in place. The M.C.I. has already recommended the establishment of Medical Education Units (MEU) in each college to promote faculty development.

The impetus to faculty development should be viewed in the broader perspective of accountability, motivation and recognition to the contributions made by the faculty to the teaching. The faculties in the individual department also need to keep themselves updated, which when combined with better teaching skills will help them further. The concept of peer evaluation of the teacher may be brought in, to encourage critical appraisal and improvement of teaching skills.

Medical Education Units can play a vital role in the faculty development and hence need to be strengthened. At least some leading medical education units can be helped to develop as Regional Centres

1.1 Basic training in education technology: This is an important component of faculty development. Whereas, elementary, primary and secondary school teachers have to undergo training in formal schools or colleges of education to be eligible for appointment as well as for promotion, there is no such requirement for appointment of teachers in medical colleges inIndia. Bhore committee (Health Survey & Development Committee) had recognized the need for training of medical teachers as early as in 1946.

Training in basic educational technology is therefore essential for all medical teachers. The training program should include the following:

  • Communication skills including interpersonal communication, transactional analysis and group discussion
  • Educational objectives including taxonomy of objectives and framing of specific instructional objectives
  • Curriculum planning and evaluation
  • Teaching learning process including principles of learning, teaching methods, use of audio visual aids
  • Microteaching
  • Evaluation: including types and methods of evaluation; details of written test questions (LAQ, SAQ, BAQ, MCQ & item analysis); practical and clinical examination; oral examination; thesis; projects 

1.2 Advanced training: It is necessary for teachers to be aware of new developments and suitably adopt them in our medical education system. Hence, once the teachers are trained in basic education technology, the training activity should include advances and changes in the medical education.

  • Changing learning styles such as application of adult learning principles, student autonomy, self learning, experimental learning, reflective learning, computer assisted learning, distance learning, e- and web based learning, use of skill learning laboratories
  • Innovative curriculum models such as problem based curriculum, integrated curriculum, competency based curriculum and hybrid curriculum
  • New evaluation methods such as Objective structured long examination record (OSLAR), Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) & Objective structured practical examination (OSPE), Case evaluation exercise (Mini CEX), Case based discussion (CbD), Portfolio, Multi source feedback, 360 degrees, Videoing consultation, Patient satisfaction questionnaire.

1.3 Grooming teachers to play additional roles: Teachers have been playing the traditional role of a ‘teacher’ in the teaching-learning activities. It is necessary for a teacher to look beyond and assume additional roles such as facilitator of learning, curriculum and course planner, resource material creator, student assessor, mentor and curriculum evaluator. Faculty development therefore also should include grooming of teachers for these tasks.

2. Curriculum development and reforms:

  • Providing consultation for curriculum designing
  • Innovations in curriculum and their implementation
  • Newer assessment methods and their validation
  • Curriculum evaluation and incorporation of suitable modifications

The curricula to be implemented by teachers are derived from the documents prepared at the national & university levels by a group of few experts and the majority of teachers are required to faithfully implement the same. Nevertheless, trained and experienced teachers can give their inputs at the stage of curriculum designing. Innovations in curriculum, newer assessment methods and their validation can be taken up by teachers as research in education which must be done as a progressive step towards development of education technology. The most important role of all teachers is in the evaluation of curriculum. They are the key factor in the implementation of the curriculum. Hence teachers must give a feedback on their observations on the current curriculum and suggest corrective measures if any.  MEUs should play central role in encouraging teachers for curriculum development and suggesting reforms.

3. Monitoring the rational use of education and information technology: MEU can play a vital role in the monitoring of application of the principles of education technology by the teachers in the institute.

4. Research in medical education: The MEU should encourage teachers in promoting and generating research in medical education and publications.  Enthusiastic MEU members can undertake research in medical education. The innovative techniques of teaching and learning should be introduced in colleges and their effectiveness be assessed. Medical students are exposed to various learning aids and tools in medical education. Utilizing simulators, video recordings, self assessment quizzes for MCQs, computer aided reading and learning methods (utilizing the hypertext formats) etc. could be introduced and their effectiveness evaluated. All the Government Medical colleges are still pondering with the traditional curriculum based teaching and training.   This will help in development of innovative techniques and will provide recognition to medical education as a speciality.

Even though, over utilization of these aids transformed the teacher oriented education into a electronic device dependent teaching, these devices can be effectively used for enriching and dissemination of the teaching material. All the Government hospitals are rich sources of clinical material. The video recordings of classical clinical cases observed at these hospitals should be circulated to all the other colleges where similar cases are not available. The best example is that produced by the UNICEF for the skill development in Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness(IMNCI). The video recordings of good lectures supported by suitable animations should be shown to the budding teachers. Motivational films can also be screened for them during the medical teacher induction training courses. The classical bland courses of Medical Educational Technology should be revamped to inculcate innovation and motivation among medical teachers.

5. Education administration & Education Audit: Education administration is an area which deals with administrative control on all the facets of education from curriculum dissemination to monitoring of all the educational activities in the institute. The specific components need to be identified. Education audit shall focus on the evaluation of effectiveness of the different aspects of the education program being implemented. The evaluation shall include curriculum evaluation, student performance and also the teacher performance in achieving the desired goal.

Situation Analysis
First step is to collect information regarding the number of teachers trained in education technology. Information is to be collected from all medical colleges. The formats given in Annexure I, II & III shall be circulated to all Govt. Medical colleges which will help in creating a database of the existing status of the institutional MEUs and comprehensive information of the trained teachers.

Guidelines for Medical Education Units
Following guidelines will help in creating uniformity of the activities of MEU at all the institutions in the state.

The role of MEU shall be faculty development, curriculum planning and educational research. Activities need to be initiated in the following major areas:

Faculty Development:
Conducting Teaching Technology workshops( Basic and Advanced)

Nurturing and promoting faculty interests in Medical Education:

  • a) Involve teachers in research in medical education
  • b) Introduce innovative teaching technology methods like PBL, OSCE etc in colleges having well established MEU
  • c) Conduct microteaching methods every month and attendance to these sessions by junior faculty members should be ensured
  • d) Regular feed back sessions from students
  • e) Meritorious teachers to be rewarded
  • f) Training and retraining of teaching staff at regional/ national institutes
  • g) Developing a cadre of Professionals in medical education and researchers in medical education

1. Medical Education Unit Committee
Constitute a committee for implementation of MEU activities.

Structure of Committee:

  • Chairman  -  Dean
  • Coordinator  – 1
  • Members  -  4 – 5
  •  -The coordinator should be Professor trained at NTTC and involved in MEU activities.
  •  -The members can be from any cadre (Prof., Asso. Prof., Lecturer), interested in taking   up the activities of MEU. 

Functions of the Committee :

1. Organize & establish the MEU infrastructure, including identifying suitable space   & provision of necessary equipment.

2. a) Organize basic training workshops at regular intervals for new faculty. All the faculty members to undergo refresher course every 5 years

b) Development and availability of standard modular training manual for the basic course

3. a) Conduct advanced training courses for the MET cell faculty in the region

b)  Development and availability of standard modular training manual for the advanced course( one each for Problem Based Learning, Objective Structured Clinical  Examination, How to Evaluate the practical skills, etc

 4. Organize the integrated teaching program.

MEU should co-ordinate with departments in the following areas:

5.  a) Guide in development of teaching material. Preparation of standard educational material for the students in various topics eg. Topic wise sets of transparencies or power point  slides

b) Guide the departments to formulate instructional objectives for individual teaching –  learning sessions subject-wise & topic-wise

c) Scheduling the curricular activities

d) Guide in peer-review and feedback to the teachers. Conduct microteaching methods every month and attendance to these sessions by junior faculty members should be ensured

e) Preparation of ‘Question bank’. Guide & co-ordinate with departments in validation of questions

f)Assessment of previous examination questions and preparation of model answers and questions

g) Monitoring the academic progress of the student

h) Identify the slow learners and devise suitable learning methods

i) Guide the departments in implementation of innovative   techniques in teaching – learning and evaluation program.

6. Supervise research in education technology.

7. The Committee may undertake publishing a bulletin where the teachers may  contribute their experiences in education technology. 

2. Guidelines for training workshops :

1.   Frequency:
 Biannual workshops on education technology be conducted in the month  of January/February & August/September.

  • All teachers (permanent/ad-hoc/temporary) should be trained in education   Technology
  • Trained teachers may also undergo reorientation in the regular workshops conducted at the institute. Refresher courses to be taken up by teachers every 5   years.
  • Teaching is an integral part of training of postgraduate students (Medical  Council ofIndiaPostgraduate Medical Education Regulation 2000).

 Thus, medical education units should take the responsibility of training  Postgraduate students of the institute.

  • Fresh postgraduate students (Ist year Residency) be trained after their  Joining in the month of May. Thus the August/September biannual slot  of the training workshop be dedicated to postgraduate students.
  • No. of participants be restricted to 20 in each workshop.
  • Faculty : Dedicated & enthusiastic trained teachers from the institute be

 Identified & involved as faculty

  1. Duration of training workshop should be for a minimum period of 3 days.
  2. Course contents :

Basic Course:

  • Communication skills including interpersonal communication, transactional analysis and group discussion
  • Educational objectives including taxonomy of objectives and framing of specific instructional objectives
  • Curriculum planning and evaluation
  • Teaching learning process including principles of learning, teaching methods, use of audio visual aids
  • Microteaching
  • Evaluation: including types and methods of evaluation; details of written test questions (LAQ, SAQ, BAQ, MCQ & item analysis); practical and clinical examination; oral examination; thesis; projects

Advanced course:

  • Changing learning styles such as application of adult learning principles, student autonomy, self learning, experimental learning, reflective learning, computer assisted learning, distance learning, e- and web based learning, use of skill learning laboratories
  • Innovative curriculum models such as problem based curriculum, integrated curriculum, competency based curriculum and hybrid curriculum
  • New evaluation methods such as Objective structured long examination record (OSLAR), Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) & Objective structured practical examination (OSPE), Case evaluation exercise (Mini CEX), Case based discussion (CbD), Portfolio, Multi source feedback, 360 degrees, Videoing consultation, Patient satisfaction questionnaire.

3. Infrastructure:

Training area – 100’ X 40’
With 8’ X 4’ back board.

  1. Waiting room for faculty 15’ X 12’.
  2. Dining area -  30 x 15 with buffet dining facility.
  3. Office: 12’x 10’

Furniture: Preferably oval table to accommodate, 30 participants with hands on mike & chairs or 30 chairs with writing pads (movable). Other necessary furniture (tables, chairs, storage cupboards, stools, podium) be provided as required.

5. Staff:
The MEU shall be under the administrative control of the Coordinator.

Following supportive staff be provided.

  • Clerk/Stenographer (1) – shall be responsible for all the office work related to the  activities of MEU
  • Projectionist (1)- shall be the caretaker of all the audiovisual aids and the lap-top computer. He/She will assist in all the projection related jobs in the activities of MEU.
  • Attendant (1)
  • Sweeper (1)

The supportive staff may be dedicated staff for MEU, or part time responsibilities may be given to the staff working elsewhere in the institute.

The services of photographer and artist shall be taken from the staff of respective   sections at the institute.

6. Equipment:

  1. Audio system, complete with amplifier, set of table mikes, floor mike with stand, collar mikes, cordless mikes, speakers (detailed specifications to be worked out by individual institute depending on the space)
  2. LCD/DLP projector
  3. Laptop computer with necessary software (for projector)
  4. Laser pointers 2 nos.
  5. Desktop computer with necessary software and printer
  6. Xerox machine (printer / copier machine may be installed as a unit)
  7. Overhead projectors 2 nos.
  8. Projection screens with stand 2 nos.
  9. Video camera with provision for still photography
  10. Television
  11. White boards (3’x2’) with stand with marking pens

* Slide projector, video cassette recorder as per requirement of MCI are not included    as these equipments are now redundant with better available options.

7. Consumables:
Computer & copier stationary (including paper, ink etc.), transparencies, marker pens, CDs/DVDs, chalk sticks

Conclusion:
Teachers have a key role to play in not only imparting formal education to medical students but also in their overall development. A teacher must acquire optimum proficiency in education technology for effective execution of his/her responsibility as a teacher, facilitator, mentor and guide of students. Medical Education Units have take up the responsibility of “grooming” the teachers for these roles. 

Patrons:
Shri Amitabh Chandra
Principal Secretary,
Medical Education & Drugs Department,
Mantralaya, Mumbai

Dr. W. B. Tayade
Director
Medical Education & Research, Mumbai

State Coordinator:
Dr. Ameeta Joshi
Officer on Special Duty
Directorate of Medical Education & Research, Mumbai 

DMER Core Committee:

  • Dr S V Jalgaonkar, Prof Microbiology, IGGMC, Nagpur: Coordinator
  • Dr S D Suryawanshi, Prof Medicine, IGGMC,Nagpur
  • Dr M M Ruikar, Asso Prof PSM, GMC,Nagpur
  • Dr D S Patwardhan, Prof Anesthesia, GMC,Akola
  • Dr P R Kulkarni, Prof Anatomy, VMGMC, Solapur
  • Dr G N Dakhale, Asso Prof Pharmacology, VNGMC, Yavatmal
  • Dr A S Kale Prof Pharmacology, VNGMC, Yavatmal
  • Dr Padmakar Pandit, Asso Prof Pharmacology, BJMC, Pune
  • Dr Anil R Joshi, Prof Pathology, GMCAurangabad
  • Dr S P Rao, Prof Preventive & Social Medicine, SBHGMC, Dhule
  • Dr P G Dixit, Prof  FMT, GMC,Nagpur

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