Harvard Macy Institute Community Resources

This post is to share a fantastic health care education resource that provides resources, discussion, hot topics and is a global community of practice. One to definitely follow.

Harvard Macy Community Blog: “Fostering the ongoing connectedness of health professions educators committed to transforming health care delivery and education”


Key terms: Social learning; situated learning; community of practice; innovation; incubator; social media; global citizen

Note: No affiliation with any of the recommended resources (I wish!)

Spoon Feeding & Learning in Healthcare

This post from LITFL peaked interest around the topic of social media and healthcare, especially the spoon feeding discussion on research paper summaries.

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL)

What Is PAL?

“People from similar social groupings who are not professional teachers helping each other to learn and learning themselves by teaching” (Topping, 1996).

“A two-way, reciprocal learning activity” (Boud, 2001).

Simply put “PAL is the umbrella term and encompasses all programmes in which students learn from students” (Olaussen et al, 2016).

Benefits for the Learner

  • Increased knowledge
  • Increased psychomotor skills
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved communication skills
  • Emotional support
  • Learn the ‘hidden curriculum’
  • Able to admit areas of development in a flattened hierarchy

Benefits for the Tutor

To teach is to learn twice” by Joseph Joubert.

  • Revision and reinforcing learnt knowledge
  • Improved teaching skills
  • Improved feedback skills
  • Improved communication skills
  • Increased knowledge
  • Increased confidence and responsibility

For the Team

The role modelling, communication and working together may improve teamwork practices.


Some studies found PAL programs provided no benefit or effect, or the benefit of improved learning occurred for the tutor rather than the learner (the power of reinforcement).

The evidence of PAL in healthcare is predominantly from the student setting so questions remain on introducing PAL in the workplace.

PAL Presentation


Olaussen, A., Reddy, P., Irvine, S., & Williams, B. (2016). Peer-assisted learning: time for nomenclature clarification. Medical education online, 21(1), 30974. [abstract]

McKenna, L., & French, J. (2011). A step ahead: Teaching undergraduate students to be peer teachers. Nurse Education in Practice11(2), 141-145. [abstract]

Topping KJ. The effectiveness of peer tutoring in further and higher education: A typology and review of the literature. Higher Ed 1996; 32: 321–345. [view pages 1-25]

Ten Cate, O., & Durning, S. (2007). Peer teaching in medical education: twelve reasons to move from theory to practiceMedical teacher29(6), 591-599.

Kotter 8 Step Change Process

See below resources around a change model by Dr. John Kotter to consider implementing when designing a project plan.


Bush, H. (2017). How to Embrace Change. Ausmed.

Campbell, R. J. (2008). Change management in health careThe Health Care Manager27(1), 23-39.

Kotter J & Cohen D 2002, The Heart of Change, Harvard Business School Press NHS Improvement Foundation, Boston, MA [summary]

Kotter International. (2019). 8 Steps Process. Kotter International, Boston, MA.

Small, A., Gist, D., Souza, D., Dalton, J., Magny-Normilus, C., & David, D. (2016). Using Kotter’s change model for implementing bedside handoff: a quality improvement projectJournal of Nursing Care Quality31(4), 304-309.


Introduce and provide an overview of heutagogy:

  • What is heutagogy
  • Challenges of sandpit approach in healthcare

This is part of the presentation series from Nursing Education Network. All based on microlearning, they will be short quick snippets on education topics to provide an introductory overview.


Nursing Education Network. (2018). Heutagogy & Nursing.

Kirkpatrick 10 Requirements for an Effective Training Program

Learning & Development

Training & Evaluation guidance for delivering quality education programs: ” we strongly suggest that you take the right steps to ensure that training is actually accomplishing what it was intended to do and contributing to the bottom line. Don’t think about evaluation in terms of demonstrating overall value until you are sure you have done all you can to ensure that your training programs are effective” (pg. 3, Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2009). 

Ten Requirements for an Effective Training Program

  1. Base the program on the needs of the participants.
    • Needs analysis from the learners on what they need to learn and also what the organisation needs to develop.
    • View from the perspective of managers and the organisation.
  2. Set learning objectives.
    • What is expected to be learned
    • Any behaviour or cultural changes?
  3. Schedule the program at the right time.
    • Best method of delivery and time/day for the learners. Engage a positive mindset from the start.
  4. Hold the program at the right place with the right amenities.
    • Right location for appropriate amenities and travel time.
  5. Invite the right people to attend.
    • Right number, right mix of hierarchy within team members.
  6. Select effective instructors.
    • Internal or external subject matter experts.
  7. Use effective techniques and aids.
  8. Accomplish the program objectives (return to point 2).
  9. Participant satisfaction.
  10. Evaluate the program


Kirkpatrick, D. L. & Kirkpatrick, J.D. (2009). Implementing the four levels: A practical guide for effective evaluation of training programs. Berrett-Koehler Publishers [exerpt].