Teaching highlight: Not just another deck of slides!

On Wednesday, December 19th, I was invited to observe Esther Yue, MD teaching a session on “Pediatric GU Trauma.”  This observation was part of the Education Scholar’s Program directed by Lainie Yarris, MD.    The purpose of the program is: “to provide early career education scholars with training in education theory and methods, and impart a skill set that will allow them to build a successful career upon the scholarship of teaching in academic medicine. “  As faculty plan, implement and evaluate curriculum, they are encouraged to invite colleagues to observe their teaching and provide feedback.  The Teaching and Learning Center is supporting this effort by facilitating one of the small groups.

From the outset, the session with Esther Yue was lively, engaging and very challenging for the participants.   After a brief introduction where she stated the learning objectives for the session, the group was divided into teams, and we soon heard the voice of Alek Trebec and the Jeopardy game show theme music.  Here is the “gameboard” slide:


Dr. Yue explained that she had found a template for a Powerpoint jeopardy game and that the two teams would compete to answer questions related to the three learning objectives.

  • List the main cause of kidney injuries in the pediatric population and verbalize diagnostic testing of these injuries.
  • Identify associated injuries of ureteral and bladder injuries and utilize appropriate diagnostic testing as indicated.
  • Match presenting features and diagnostic tools to the appropriate lower genitourinary injury.

The process of revealing the answers and asking the teams to take turns responding with questions in the Jeopardy format “What is….” led to discussions about the topic, as participants sorted through 25 questions.    There were also a nice variety of questions ranging from factual/content-based questions to questions that required higher order thinking skills: evaluation, analysis and synthesis.    Below is an example answer and question.

The participants were very competitive and actively participated in each round of questioning.   This strategy is a great way to activate prior knowledge,  introduce new content and conduct formative assessment, to check for understanding along the way.    This was a very lively and engaging hour.   Applause!  Applause!

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