Original Publication
Open Access

Teaching Triangles

Published: December 1, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9966

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Introductory Presentation.pptx
  • Participant Implementation Guide & Resource.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: Faculty at Academic Medical Centers are often not formally educated or prepared for their teaching role. Similarly, residents, fellows, nurses, and many other health care teams find themselves in a teaching role while taking care of patients. While formal education programs are optimal, there is often not the time, resources, or commitment. Methods: Teaching Triangles utilizes peer- and self-observation to enhance one’s teaching skills. The instructional material and associated forms can be used in any venue for any type of teaching. Teaching Triangles can be included as part of a formal class curriculum and assignment. It can also be used among teachers or faculty at an institution interested in collaborating as part of professional development. The materials are intended to address all forms of teaching including teaching at the bedside, large lectures, journal clubs, etc. Teaching Triangles can be easily implemented. Results: One of the authors and director of certificate in college teaching program (HC) requires Teaching Triangles for all graduate students enrolled in his program. After slight modifications, the program was adopted as a required component of an institutional Resident as Teacher program in Graduate Medical Education. Participants have reported that Teaching Triangles have been critical to their development as a teachers. Twenty-one GME trainees have utilized Teaching Triangles as part of their GME training at Duke. Discussion: Using the materials included, participants can find themselves quickly able to identify what they do well and what can be improved in their role as teacher. The opportunity to observe oneself and reflect on self and other’s feedback is often eye opening. Similarly, collaborating with triangle partners outside of one’s discipline allows an opportunity to focus on actual teaching skills and less on content. Lastly, there is minimal time commitment and robust outcomes. Given its value and success, the School of Medicine Academy will be offering a similar program for volunteer faculty across all disciplines.

Educational Objectives

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

  1. Identify personal areas of teaching for enhancement.
  2. Realize effective teaching techniques.
  3. Utilize meaningful feedback methods.
  4. Recognize opportunities for improvement in teaching.
  5. Reflect on the overall process.

Author Information

  • Mariah Rudd, BS: Duke University Hospital
  • Alisa Nagler, MA, JD, EdD: Duke University Hospital
  • Hugh Crumley, PhD: Duke University Graduate School

None to report.

None to report.


Rudd M, Nagler A, Crumley H. Teaching triangles. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9966. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9966