In This Issue
Director's Message
Director photo

How Learning Works? 

I want to recommend a book. This summer I read "How Learning Works: Seven Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching" and I found it to be an interesting, case-driven exploration of common questions, concerns and problems encountered by teachers. Susan Ambrose and colleagues have organized this book around seven learning principles, posed as questions:


  • How does students' prior knowledge affect their learning?
  • How does the way students organize knowledge affect their learning?
  • What factors motivate students to learn?
  • How do students develop mastery?
  • What kinds of practice and feedback enhance learning?
  • What do student development and course climate matter for student leaning?
  • How do students become self-directed learners?

Each chapter focuses on one of these questions, and begins with two cases, drawn from across academic disciplines, which help highlight the basic learning principles of interest. The commonality of problems faced by the educators in these cases is both interesting and reassuring that it is "not just us." After the cases, the authors provide a review of the educational research relevant to the problems illustrated by the cases, covering classic as well as newer research. But what sets this book apart is that the last section of each chapter provides a synthesis of the educational research in the form of specific strategies that can be used to enhance learning. This is where the book comes to life. Each strategy is clearly described and for some, additional example materials are provided in the appendices. Anyone reading this book can clearly see the relationship between the research and the strategies, and the real-world operation of these principles. While the cases focus on classroom education, the principles and strategies can be applied to a wide range of educational settings and adult learners. The book is easy to read and easy to put to use.



Brian Mavis, PhD
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine



CGEA Proposals Due November 15
The CGEA 2014 Spring Conference will be held March 27-29, 2014 at the InterContinental Cleveland. Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are the host institution.
The CGEA is calling for proposals in the following formats:
  • Innovations in Medical Education poster
  • Medical Education Scholarship, Research and Evaluation poster and oral abstract presentation
  • Small group discussion
  • Workshop
  • Panel discussion
  • Medical Education Resource Exchange (MERE) Session
  • Medical Education Scholarship, Research and Evaluation consultation
The submission deadline of November 15, 2013. Please visit for more information and links to the web based submission form. 

New Resource Available - BrowZine for Tablets

For all of you who love your tablets, you'll be interested to hear that the MSU Libraries now has a subscription to BrowZine, an iPad and Android app that can help you read and stay current with scholarly journals.

Within the BrowZine app, you can:

  • Create a bookshelf of your favorite journals for easy, fast access
  • Read articles in a format optimized for a tablet device
  • Get alerts when new journal issues are published
  • Save articles to Zotero, Dropbox, or an app of your choice for pdf collecting and notetaking
  • Share links to articles with others by email, facebook, twitter

For more information, visit MSU's BrowZine page at

BrowZine is an app that you freely download yourself from iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore.  Once you have the app on your device, you will choose MSU as your library and login with MSU net ID and password. Then you will be able to add journals subscribed to by the MSU Libraries to your bookshelf.

BrowZine is a brand new product and has worked to include journals from many of the major publishers, particularly in the sciences, but you'll find that not all journals are yet included.  More and more journals will be added over time.

We welcome your feedback about this product,

Andrea C. Kepsel, MLIS

Health Sciences Educational Technology Librarian

Liaison to the College of Human Medicine - Grand Rapids

Michigan State University

[email protected]


Promoting Scholarship Through Social Media Webinar


Thursday, October 24, 2013

2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT


The strategic use of social media in academia has many benefits. Tweeting, blogging, and other online activities can help you promote research activities and build a strong professional network.


To learn more about using social media in academia, we invite you to register for an upcoming webinar, "Promoting Scholarship through Social Media." Speakers include the editorial team of the AAMC-powered blog, Wing of Zock, and Dr. Marlene C. Welch of the University of Toledo School of Medicine. Topics will include how use social media for scholarly research and career advancement, a case study of its effective use, and a review of standards for digital professionalism and safeguarding your online footprint. Interested participants may join a post-webinar session on "Twitter 101."


Click here to register now!



Jennifer J. Salopek, Managing Editor, Wing of Zock

Marlene C. Welch, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S., Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Toledo

Medical Center, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, University of Toledo College of Medicine

Sarah Sonies, Associate Editor, Wing of Zock, Health Care Affairs


Steven J. Durning, MD, PhD, FACP

Professor of Medicine

Uniformed Services University

Bethesda, Maryland


Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education

This year the Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education was awarded to Steven J.  Durning, MD, PhD, FACP, professor of medicine and pathology at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.


Dr. Durning directs the Introduction to Clinical Reasoning Course for second-year medical students and has developed a variety of innovative measures that significantly improve medical student performance on both standardized tests and clinical practicums. In 2005 he received the Herbert S. Waxman award, a national award for outstanding teaching. In 2007, while in his role as course director, he started his PhD project at Maastricht University.


His research has focused on exploring contextual factors associated with the clinical encounter and their influence on the clinical reasoning success. Dr. Durning has participated on a variety of research grants as a principal or associate investigator. He is a talented and prolific scholar with over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts to his name.


Dr. Durning's Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education presentation will be featured as the plenary address at the 2013 annual meeting of The Generalists in Medical Education, to be held in Philadelphia on November 1. His presentation is titled New Directions in Assessing Clinical Learning: Knowing is Not Enough.


Previous Scholars are listed at Some of their presentations are available as videos or PDF files.


Social Media Competencies for Medical Educators

Physician Violations of Online Professionalism and Disciplinary Actions: A National Survey 

of State Medical Boards

Greysen SR, et al.JAMA.2012; 307(11):1141-2 

On October 10th, OMERAD hosted the last of the Fall 2013 webinar series presented by the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE). The webinar was focused around the topic of social media competencies for medical educators and explored the opportunities, as well as the pros and cons of this approach to medical education. 


This timely topic highlights the competencies needed by faculty to work with medical students and residents who are constantly utilizing social media services to learn, share resources and communicate with each other.


The presenters (Martha S. Grayson, MD and Katherine Chretien, MD) discussed study results about medical students and their use of social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube, etc.), how often students use these services, and how competent students felt using the services. Their research also focused on ethics and professionalism and the type of information students posted online about themselves and others (e.g., unidentifiable patient information, identifiable patient information, profanity, sexually suggestive material, intoxication, etc.)


Finally, they discussed a set of guidelines for social media competencies for faculty that originated at the AAMC 2012 conference session "What Faculty Should Know about Social Media" and described different faculty development programs designed and implemented to provide faculty and students opportunities to learn about the benefits and challenges of social media use. 


Uses of Social Media for Faculty


Slides and handouts from this presentation are now available for download.

To access slides click here 

To access handout click here


To learn more about other topics presented at the OMERAD Fall 2013 IAMSE webinar series, please visit:


Geraud Plantegenest

B-CLR Manager

Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine
517-353-2037 ext. 237

[email protected] 


programeval CHM Program Evaluation

Evaluation Results of the Early Clinical Experience Pilot Test


This summer CHM organized a six-week educational program to pilot test the feasibility of implementing meaningful early clinical experiences (ECE) for new medical students and the extent to which these experiences could support learning necessary science. Twenty-one students-a mix of prematriculants, ABLE students and students at the end of their 1st year-worked in small groups with faculty in an integrated experience that involved apprenticeships in local clinical settings complemented with a variety of instructional approaches. A number of important lessons were learned during this pilot related to the feasibility of early clinical experiences, the extent to which these experiences could support students' learning in clinical skills, basic and social sciences and our success at using a variety of instructional approaches. More information about the new curriculum and the pilot test can be found here.


The ECE was extensively studied and here we report some of the results of the pilot program evaluation, focusing on the feasibility of the clinical apprenticeships and on students' responses to the various instructional approaches implemented.


Instructional Approaches

Ten different instructional approaches were used and in this regard the pilot program was not an accurate representation of any curriculum. Nonetheless some valuable feedback about the various approaches was obtained from students. At the conclusion of the pilot program, students asked to indicate their relative valuing of each approach. Each student had $100 to divide among the approaches; they were told to allocate more dollars to the ones they valued more. Generally simulation, problem-based learning and post-clinic debriefing groups were the mostly highly valued, while case presentations and journal club received the lowest allocations (Figure 1). The others were generally equally valued in the midrange. Independent study was the most variable approach revealing clear differences by student cohort: End-of-Year 1 (Mean=$13.9), Pre-matriculants (Mean=$9.7) and ABLE students (Mean=$4).


Feasibility of Early Clinical Experiences

A central goal of the ECE pilot test was to determine if teaching clinics could accommodate medical students with little to no patient care experience. OMERAD surveyed these clinics and staff and learned the students were a positive addition to the health care team. Responses to specific questions:



HAVING AN ECE STUDENT WAS USEFUL TO THE CLINIC                            100% (YES) 
RECOMMEND PARTICIPATING IN ECE AGAIN                                               87%  (YES)

HAVING AN ECE STUDENT DID NOT SLOW ME DOWN                                  67%  (YES)


While clinics reported a strong positive response to having ECE students in the clinics, focus groups with the supervising staff revealed that clinics spent significant initial start up time preparing students to be effective and productive in their new roles. Medical assistants were most likely to be the supervisor for the students but in some cases nurses or clinical faculty performed this duty. Issues we will be examining are the optimal tasks for ECE learners and the amount of time they should be in this service role to support necessary science learning.

facdevFaculty Development
CHM Educator: New Website for CHM Medical Teachers 

OMERAD has created a new website for community preceptors, campus instructors, and directors of courses and clerkships. This new website--CHM Educator--contains links to helpful instructional resources in various formats such as videos, online tutorials, and PDF files.


Topics addressed include:

  • Assessment of student performance
  • Teaching clinical decision making
  • Methods of teaching
  • Teaching in lectures, cases or small groups
  • Writing objectives
  • Designing a curriculum
  • Writing tests

 ...and many more!


In addition to the instructional resources, CHM Educator is where you can find information about CHM, such as the Block III Handbook and objectives, a guide to using the CPE form, and a video history of CHM. CHM Educator also provides links to the CHM Faculty Affairs and Development website and to the CHM Research Office.


The CHM Educator website is accessible at This website is under constant improvement. If you have suggestions for additional resources to include on this site, please submit them to Deborah Sleight, PhD, at [email protected]. If you have created a useful resource for yourself, and feel others could benefit from it, don't be shy! Send it in. We would love to include resources from our creative and capable instructors.

hotpressHot Off the Press

- Mavis B, Wagner D, Henry R, Carravallah L, Gold J, Mauer J, Mohmand A, Osuch J, Roskos S, Saxe A, Sousa A & Winkler-Prins V. Documenting clinical performance problems among medical students: Feedback for learner remediation and curriculum enhancement. Medical Education Online. 2013; 18: 20598


- McDougle L, Mavis B, Jeffe DB, Roberts N, Ephgrave K, Hageman H, Lypson M, Thomas L & Andriole DA. Academic and professional career outcomes of medical school graduates who failed USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt. Advances in Health Sciences Education. 2013; 18: 279-289. DOI



- Reznich C & Wagner D. "Preparing Test Blueprints or 'Grids'." MedEdPORTAL

(2013). Available at:


- Ferenchick GS, Solomon D. (2013) Using cloud-based mobile technology for assessment of competencies among medical students. PeerJ 1:e164


- Ferenchick GS, Solomon DJ, Foreback J, Towfiq B, Kavanaugh K, Warbasse L, Addison J, Chames F, Dandan A, Mohmand A. (2013)  Mobile technology for the facilitation of direct observation and assessment of student performance. Teaching and Learning in Medicine 25 (4) doi:10.1080/10401334.2013.827972.

resourcesOMERAD Resources

B-CLR Showcase 

An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR.



A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD.


Medical Education Online (MEO)  

Peer-reviewed international open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals.


Vital Signs Newsletter Archive

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter.


Medical Education Scholarship Group

Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A116 East Fee Hall from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm.For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian Mavis:[email protected]


OMERAD Technology Center (OTC)  

Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.


The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall. For questions about the OTC contact:

John Williamson ([email protected]


The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.


Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.


A-202 East Fee Hall

965 Fee Road 

East Lansing, Michigan 48824


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