Over the course of the past few years, the Teaching Methodologies Committee of the AALS Clinical Section has conducted online teaching rounds with clinicians whose primary responsibilities include either supervising students in an in-house clinic or supervising students and field supervisors in an externship course.
Teaching rounds accomplish two important goals: (1) To build a learning community through which a group of faculty can come together and increase faculty collaboration around a shared enterprise of teaching, and (2) To improve our teaching. During rounds sessions, participating clinicians talk about events in their classrooms/supervisions, present “problems” to be probed and re-conceptualized, get ideas about what and how to teach, as well as innovative assessment tools. Clinicians reflect with supportive colleagues about the relationship between what they have done and their teaching goals, and plan with the benefit of the insights of others. Rounds conversations explore assumptions embedded in teaching decisions as well as naming potential strategies for improving teaching.
Many professions use rounds-type conversations as a way to locate learning in the on-going professional experiences of the group members. Those attending past rounds conversations have found them useful in thinking about concrete solutions and broader themes in their teaching. Participants collectively choose topics on issues of clinical teaching and will engage with each other, in a structured conversation, about these teaching issues.
Through the use of online technology the committee seeks to provide this opportunity especially to clinicians who do not reside in places where there is a concentration of clinical or externship programs.