Original Publication
Open Access

Strengthening Your Teaching Toolbox

Published: August 6, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9873

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Strengthening Your Teaching Toolbox Presentation.pptx
  • Participant's Handout.docx
  • Suggested Timeline for Teaching Toolbox Workshop.docx
  • Playing Cards Guidelines.docx
  • Playing Cards Template.pub
  • Teachable Moments Teaching Demonstrations Script.docx
  • List of Teaching Techniques.docx
  • Video Observation Guidelines.docx
  • Workshop Evaluation Form.docx

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: This workshop was designed for improving/fine-tuning the teaching skills of health professionals who teach in a clinical setting. It covers three phases related to teaching: (1) prevention—teaching techniques that can be used when first meeting the learner, such as clarifying expectations, orientation, and assessing needs; (2) intervention—teaching techniques that can be used during patient encounters, such as priming the learner, teachable moments, and observation; and (3) maintenance—improvement techniques after the teaching has occurred, such as reflection, peer coaching, and self-development. Methods: This workshop contains multiple demonstrations and interactive activities. It can be conducted in a number of different ways: as is for 90 minutes, extended version for 120 minutes, card game only for 45 minutes, or without the card game for 60 minutes. Materials include a PowerPoint presentation, instructor’s guide, participant handout, video observation guidelines, teachable moments demonstration script, playing cards guidelines, playing cards templates, list of teaching techniques, suggested time line for the workshop, and workshop evaluation form. Results: This workshop was designed in fall 2013 and delivered to family medicine community preceptors in six regions around the state of Iowa as part of a continuing faculty development initiative. Evaluation data indicated that the sessions were well received. Discussion: The workshop can be facilitated by two instructors. One is sufficient, but two different facilitators’ perspectives can add to the workshop. Participants may want to spend a great deal more time than allotted in talking about each of the teaching techniques. While this could be very useful, it will detract from the overall learning. Facilitators may find it necessary to cut people off in order to maintain the time frame.

Educational Objectives

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

  1. Describe challenges and barriers to effective teaching in the clinical setting.
  2. Identify effective strategies before, during, and after a clinical encounter.
  3. Given a case situation, select a teaching strategy from a list of possible techniques that may or may not be effective and explain their choice.

Author Information

  • Jeff Pettit, PhD: University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
  • Marcy Rosenbaum: University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Pettit J, Rosenbaum M. Strengthening your teaching toolbox. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9873. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9873