Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Instructional Methods and Strategies

A great digital repository is MerlotELIXR. It showcases 70+ multimedia stories that are discipline-specific. This content is not specific to medical education, however, you can gain some ideas on how to implement different instructional methods. We are fortunate that UIC pays for a subscription to LinkedIn Learning. If you are not familiar with it, it is a massive repository of video tutorials where you can learn almost anything. Learn more about teaching and technology tips.

Rather than recreate the wheel, here are some excellent resources from UCSF School of Medicine – Continual Professional Learning.

Active Learning Heading link

Active learning refers to the various ways in which learners engage in the learning process that does not include passively listening to lecture.  Some connect the terms ‘active learning’ and the ‘flipped classroom.’ They are related, and here is how: according to Moffett (2015), “[t]he flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed” (p. 331). The ‘active’ portion refers to the in-class experience where there are engaging activities to promote understanding.

Pre-Recorded Lecture Content Heading link

One way to bypass the standard lecture in a face-to-face session is to create short, to the point, videos on a particular topic. There are many tools that you can use to create these types of videos, and rely on your instructional designers to help with the process. Some examples include:

  • PowToon
    Dr. Amy Lin uses PowToon to create short videos on various topics in Pathology. Watch video on YouTube.
  • Explain Everything (mobile device – works best on a tablet)
    Dr. Elliot Kaufman has used this tool to create short videos on topics related to Medical Genetics. Watch on YouTube.
  • Echo360 Universal Capture
    This is a free service; work with your instructional designers to learn how to use it.
  • Adobe Captivate
    UICOM Faculty can purchase this directly from Adobe (request educational pricing). Here is an example of the potential of this product, and the templates used. This product, like many Adobe products, has a significant learning curve.
  • Camtasia
    It is considered easier to use than Adobe Captivate with less ramp-up time for learning how to use it. UICOM Faculty can purchase this directly from TechSmith (request educational pricing) or through iBuy.
  • Panopto
    This tool is similar to Echo360 Universal Capture. COM generally uses Echo360 for lecture capture but this is also an option.
  • Zoom
    You can also record using Zoom. Here is a handy FAQ that can give you an idea of how it works. Contact a coordinator or instructional designer at your campus for help using Zoom to record.

Note: A best practice for instructional videos is to is to keep them to under 7-10 minutes. The point of using these tools is that you are not recreating a full hour-long lecture for preparatory material. They should be just one of the ways in which students can prepare for a session, where the focus should be on active learning techniques to keep them engaged. See the selected resources below for more information.

Polling for Understanding Heading link

At UICOM we use a product called Poll Everywhere. It is an audience response system that uses mobile devices, Twitter, and the web. Responses are displayed in real-time to promote discussion. Here is a document created for faculty and staff to use it effectively.

Mobile Apps Heading link

According to a 2016 survey on technology use by UI College of Medicine students, 70% of them indicated that they frequently use educational apps on their mobile devices. While we have not gone to a full mobile device implementation for students and faculty, many students already use these devices for educational purposes. As faculty are increasingly using these devices for teaching, we thought it might be helpful to list some resources you might consider implementing in your instructional sessions.

  • The Library of the Health Sciences has a great page listing all of the apps that are available to all UICOM students and faculty. It includes apps such as:
    • PubMed for Handhelds
    • UpToDate
    • Access Medicine (and others in this series)
    • DynaMed
    • Clinical Pharmacology
  • National Institutes of Health Mobile Gallery

Subject Specific Mobile Apps

If you have suggestions for apps to be included on this list, contact your instructional designer.

Selected References Heading link

  • Brame, C. J. (2016). Effective educational videos: Principles and guidelines for maximizing student learning from video content. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 15(6), 1-6.
  • Issa, N., Mayer, R. E., Schuller, M., Wang, E., Shapiro, M. B., & DaRosa, D. a. (2013). Teaching for understanding in medical classrooms using multimedia design principles.  Medical Education, 47 , 388-396.
  • Moffett, J. (2015). Twelve tips for ‘flipping’ the classroom. Medical Teacher, 37, 331-336.
  • Norman, M. K. (2017). Twelve tips for reducing production time and increasing long-term usability of instructional video. Medical Teacher, 39(8), 808-812. DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2017.1322190
  • Walling, A., Istas, K., Bonaminio, G. A., Paolo, A. M., Fontes, J. D., Davis, N., & Berardo, B. A. (2016). Medical student perspectives of active learning: A focus group study. Teaching and Learning in Medicine. DOI: 10.10080/10401334.2016.1247708
  • White, C., Bradley, E., Martindale, J., Roy, P., Patel, K., Yoon, M., & Worden, M. K. (2014). Why are medical students ‘checking out’ of active learning in a new curriculum? Medical Education, 48, 315-324. DOI:10.1111/medu.12356
  • Websites