In medical training, lecture-style presentations have both advantages and disadvantages. Experts with good presentation skills are able to transfer knowledge to the learners, providing them not only with a list of facts but also showing them how this information is connected. Lectures also give learners the opportunity to ask questions and to discuss the content with the expert.
Lecture-style presentations are also associated with disadvantages, however. They place the learner in a passive role where they sit and listen, receiving information in what is mostly a one-way exchange. If the learner does not choose to engage by asking a specific question, there is a significant risk that information will be misunderstood or not understood in its full complexity.
What can be done to make medical training engaging and to encourage active learning?
We need engaging activities for both face to face and virtual settings to help our learners really understand this information, and to put it in context.
Activity-based training can be used to address some of the limitations of eLearning courses and presentations, and to support knowledge comprehension and retention. The key to doing this is to ensure that the right sort of activities are being included. Rather than using fact-based games that focus on recalling knowledge, activities should be both challenging and engaging. This encourages learners to think about the work they do every day in a new way and motivates them to participate. The goal of activity-based training is to leave the learner with a better understanding of the bigger picture and empower them to meet their professional responsibilities.