Original Publication
Open Access

Enriching Educators' Repertoire of Appropriate Instructional Methods

Published: April 9, 2010 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7968

Included in this publication:

  • Exercise Instructions.docx
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Method Cards.doc
  • Objective Cards.doc
  • Objective Writing Form.doc
  • Score Sheet Form.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Educators frequently depend on familiar teaching methods to achieve their educational objectives, reporting limited knowledge of alternative instructional methods. This resource was developed to actively engage educators in learning and applying new instructional methods. Methods: During this 1.5-hour card-game exercise, participants begin by either writing one to two objectives derived from their own teaching on a preprinted objective form or drawing from Deck 1, a set of preprinted ACGME-linked objective cards. Then, each participant is dealt at least as many method cards as there are players plus one from Deck 2, which contains more than 75 teaching strategy/instructional method cards. One objective card (from Deck 1 or the player-completed form) is shown. Players each select one method card from their hands and attempt to enthusiastically persuade the other group members that their chosen method is the most suitable to achieve the objective. Participants then vote for the best method presented in that round, receiving 1 point for each vote for their suggested method. Play continues until all participants have had at least one objective reviewed. Upon conclusion of the exercise, each player identifies one to two new methods to pilot. This resource contains a detailed instructor guide and the five exercise components: method cards, objective cards, Write Your Own Objectives form, score sheet, and exercise instructions. Results: We have received consistently high ratings for this exercise as evidenced by tabulated descriptive statistics and positive narrative comments focusing on its quality and effectiveness. The exercise has been conducted several times during different faculty development sessions at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Faculty participants on average rated the exercise 6.4 (1 = poor, 7 = excellent) for learning and content, with 93% of participants piloting a new teaching method when meeting 1 month later. The exercise was conducted at the March 2009 CGEA meeting in Rochester, MN, and received an average rating of 6.5 from the participants. It was also presented at the May 2009 Pediatric Academic Society Conference to approximately 40 educators, receiving an average rating of 6.7. Many of the participants requested the list of all the methods and/or the actual exercise itself. The exercise has subsequently been used by other faculty development colleagues with equally positive results. Another Midwestern medical school utilized the exercise with its faculty, rating the exercise 6.1. Discussion: This resource has proven to be an engaging and effective approach to expanding educators’ repertoires of teaching methods and strategies.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this exercise, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe multiple teaching strategies/instructional methods and select the method/strategy best matched to achieving their individual objective.
  2. Successfully pilot a method/strategy with learners to achieve objectives.
  3. Report back to colleagues regarding key successes and challenges associated with the piloted method/strategy.

Author Information

  • Deborah Simpson, PhD: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Judith (Julie) Fenzel, MS, MC, MBA: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Judi Rehm, BS: Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Karen Marcdante, MD: Medical College of Wisconsin

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Simpson D, Fenzel J, Braza D, Brown D, Marcdante K, Rehm J, Sebastian J. Poster presented at: Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting; February 2009; Colorado Springs, CO.

Brousseau D, Moraski L, Warwick A, Marcdante K. Workshop presented at: Academic Pediatric Society; May 2009; Baltimore, MD.

Fenzel J, Simpson D, Marcdante K, Brousseau D, Warwick A. Workshop presented at: AAMC CGEA Annual Meeting; March 2009; Rochester, NY.


Simpson D, Fenzel J, Rehm J, Marcdante K. Enriching educators' repertoire of appropriate instructional methods. MedEdPORTAL. 2010;6:7968. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7968