Integration in Action: Strategies to promote cognitive integration through curriculum and learning design
Date & Time
Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10:00 AM - 4:45 PM

This full-day workshop will introduce attendees to tools and approaches that can promote cognitive integration in the minds of their learners.  The workshop is designed to be delivered virtually and includes activities that allow participants to interact with colleagues from disciplines in basic science and clinical medicine as well as medical educators and administrators with a wide variety of experience across the educational continuum.

Purpose: To provide IAMSE members with an opportunity to engage and work with experts and their peers to create solutions to the biggest challenges of integrating basic science and clinical medicine.

Goals: To enhance participants' skills in designing and effectively implementing novel methods for cognitive and curricular integration of basic science and clinical medicine at their home institution

Timeliness and significance to the field: Medical educators struggle to meaningfully integrate basic science core concepts and teaching into the clinical curriculum, particularly in a manner that supports clinical reasoning and the causal mechanisms underlying common conditions. Further, research demonstrates that basic science knowledge is increasingly cognitively integrated with clinical knowledge as expertise develops. Expert clinicians may have difficulty accessing their encapsulated basic science knowledge as they make clinical decisions, yet that information must be available to support novice learners in cognitively organizing their growing clinical knowledge. On the other hand, expert basic scientists' cognitive schema and teaching strategies may be less likely to be organized around clinical conditions.  Integrated Illness Scripts and Mechanisms of Disease maps can serve as a shared mental model of successful cognitive integration for both basic science and clinical educators.  The challenge of designing effective learning activities that successfully implement the use of cognitive integration tools in health professions education curricula will be addressed in this workshop.  

Workshop description: This full day workshop will begin with an interactive group discussion to identify key barriers to designing instruction that promotes cognitive integration and transfer. Following a brief review of the literature on concept-based learning and knowledge organization, participants will engage in hands-on activities to collaboratively develop concept-based Integrated Illness Scripts, Mechanism of Disease (MOD) maps, and classroom application exercises designed to facilitate learners' cognitive integration and clinical decision-making for common clinical conditions.  Participants will practice using cognitive integration  tools in the  design of learning activities within their own curricular frameworks and across various educational settings (e.g., pre-clerkship classroom, bedside teaching, faculty development).  Concrete examples of the use of the tools described across several schools and various educational settings will be provided.

Throughout the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers from other institutions to facilitate creative and shared problem-solving.  Breakout rooms will be used to ensure a high degree of interaction, and facilitators will be available in the breakout rooms to help with questions.

Presenter's qualifications/expertise: The presenters are all members of the Aquifer Sciences Initiative leadership team and represent expertise in basic science education, clinical education, curriculum development and management, and faculty development. Each presenter has had significant experience designing and delivering previous IAMSE and other workshops on this subject. Additionally, the presenters have had direct experience working with faculty and students to develop and implement these tools, both at their home institution and at peer institutions

Outcomes: Participants attending the workshop will acquire the knowledge, skills, and methods needed to develop Integrated Illness Scripts, Mechanism of Disease (MOD) maps and learning exercises that can be used throughout their health professions education programs.  

Robin English Leslie Fall Tracy Fulton David Harris Khiet Ngo James Nixon Leah Sheridan