UCSF Academy of Medical Educators Teaching Observation Program (TOP) Mentor Training Module
|672||April 9, 2013||Evaluation Tool, Multimedia|
The UCSF Academy of Medical Educators developed the Teaching Observation Program (TOP) to provide peer mentorship for faculty through observation of teaching and supportive feedback. TOP mentors have traditionally been trained in a workshop that combines observation of teaching videos, feedback role-play, and discussion of best practices for effective feedback. We have now developed an efficient, web-based method of training TOP Mentors. We developed the training module using the principles of “blended learning”, which combine the benefits of live interactions with the flexibility and efficiency of web-based technologies to provide an optimal learning experience.
The module benefits both novices seeking to learn basic feedback skills as well as experienced mentors seeking to hone their skills or practice with a different teaching setting. While we recommend using the module in its entirety, you should feel free to adapt it to the needs of your own institution. The live interactions require TOP Module Coaches, who are familiar with the training module and experienced in providing peer feedback. We recommend using this module to first train a group of mentors who can serve as Module Coaches for future TOP Mentors.
The module includes self-assessments and reflection exercises in addition to videos of teaching sessions and associated feedback sessions. Standardized feedback forms are included to allow for practice of formulating appropriate feedback.
The videos cover four different teaching settings so users of the module can select the setting that most closely resembles the type of teaching they will be observing: 1) large classroom lecture, 2) pre-clerkship small group discussion, 3) clinical chalk-talk, and 4) clinical morning rounds.
The final step of the training is a live debrief with a Module Coach.
Note: To access the full resource you may need to download resource files and access an external website.
Goals for this innovative training module:
- Include flexibility in time and location of training.
- Maximize efficiency in time and resources.
- Accommodate diverse teaching settings.
- Provide current examples of teaching.
- Accommodate different users.
- Provide accountability and feedback.
- Promote community building.
- Create an interactive and enjoyable experience.
- Facilitate development of peer mentorship programs, similar to UCSF's Teaching Observation Program, at other institutions.
Objectives for users of training module:
- Describe the elements of effective feedback.
- Describe the TOP (Teaching Observation Program) process of preparation, evaluation and feedback.
- Evaluate a teaching session and compose feedback for the instructor.
- Effectively deliver feedback to a faculty member.
- Blended Learning, Feedback, Peer Mentorship, Teaching, WeTeach, Peer Evaluations
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Personal & Professional Development
Practice-based Learning & Improvement
Practicing Health Professional
Professional & Faculty Development
Professional School Post-Graduate Training
Authors & Co-Authors
Katherine Hyland, PhD
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Sandrijn van Schaik, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
The Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators, University of California, San Francisco
Effectiveness and Significance
Mentoring and feedback play important roles in academic medicine, and are essential components of practice-based learning and improvement. Although feedback is a key step in the acquisition of teaching and clinical skills, it is often omitted or handled improperly in academic medical institutions. Faculty who have the opportunity to receive quality peer feedback value it highly, but it is not yet a customary aspect of teaching, or academic life in general.
The goal of feedback is to be helpful – to reinforce positive behaviors and bring awareness of those that are detrimental. But even when the intent is positive, the outcome may be of little value, or even negative, if the process is not handled skillfully. Therefore, it is imperative to train faculty in the skills of giving effective feedback, and to establish an accepted culture of peer feedback in our academic communities.
The UCSF Academy of Medical Educators developed the Teaching Observation Program (TOP) to offer faculty a valuable opportunity to receive peer mentorship through observation of teaching and supportive feedback. The training of TOP mentors is an important aspect of this program. TOP mentors were previously trained at a facilitator-led workshop comprised of watching videos of teaching sessions, role-play with feedback, and discussion of best practices.
Barriers to the efficiency of this training include busy faculty schedules, multiple campus locations, and limited ability to “customize” the training for individual needs. To facilitate the training process, we have developed an innovative training program that uses a “blended” approach, combining online modules, which can be completed at a time and pace convenient for the trainee, with live interactions, which provide opportunities for further practice and discussion of challenges and best practices.
Special Implementation Guidelines or Requirements
After posting this training module on iCollaborative, we plan to incorporate any feedback and submit it for publication on MedEdPORTAL. We will recruit volunteers from institutions that use our materials to participate in an educational research study on the usage of this training module. The study will involve a brief online survey and a follow up interview.
This “blended learning” approach to training faculty mentors incorporates interactive components and guided mentorship in an efficient, effective and engaging format that can be individualized to the module user. Use of scripted role-plays and a professional videographer generated a high-quality module that is frequently requested by different departments at our institution. This innovation enhances an important resource for faculty development and learning.