Incorporating Coaching in Your Work with Medical Students: A Tool to Promote and Strengthen Learners' Self-Regulated Learning Skills
Date & Time
Saturday, June 12, 2021, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Purpose: Coaching is increasingly being used to support students' personal and professional development. While advising and mentoring have long been recognized as one of the five domains of educators' work (Simpson, et al), coaching involves a different approach providing a new tool for educators to use in their work with learners. Importantly, coaching can be used as a teaching strategy to facilitate the development of students' self-regulated learning skills. In this interactive session, participants will learn about and practice methods to integrate coaching in their courses and curricula at their home institution.

Goals At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Define the skills associated with self-regulated learning and how these skills impact the ability to engage in life-long learning
  2. Describe how coaching differs from advising/mentoring
  3. Examine how coaching can be used in courses/the curriculum at their home institution
  4. Explore ways to measure the impact of coaching as a component of one's work with students

Timeliness and Significance to the Field: The needs of patients and of healthcare continue to evolve. As such, we must prepare learners for a career in which they will continually adapt their knowledge and skills to meet these needs. Specifically, medical students must learn to become self-regulated learners and to develop the habits of mind associated with life-long learning. Self-regulated learners are prepared to manage and address their learning needs throughout their careers. Coaching is a specific strategy faculty can use to partner with students to equip them to evaluate their performance, use this information to identify specific learning goals, and create a plan to achieve these goals.

Workshop description including teaching methods and timeline for educational activities: 

  1. Introduction: Facilitators will use poll everywhere to identify the attendees experience with coaching/coaching programs and to create a word cloud to represent the participants' beliefs about the primary goal of coaching in a medical student educational program (5 min)
  2. Brief didactic and large group exercise: Introduction to coaching followed by an exercise to compare and contrast advising, coaching and mentoring. (10 min + 10 min)
  3. Paired practice and report out: Participants will be given a scenario that will allow them to practice a coaching approach to a conversation with a mock student. A script for the mock student will be provided. A large group report out will allow participants to identify any challenges encountered and to create a list of best practices as a review of the key principles of a coaching approach. (15 min + 10 min)
  4. Brief didactic: Review of the principles of Self-Regulated and Life-long Learning. (10 min)
  5. Small group discussion and report out: Participants will share how the skills of self-regulated learning and/or life long learning skills are currently being taught/addressed at their home institutions. Discussion will be followed by a large group report out during which exemplar curricula/learning activities will be described. (15 min + 15 min)
  6. Brief didactic: Facilitators will share how co-creation of individual learning plans to enhance students' clinical skill development is being used throughout the pre-clerkship, clerkship and post-clerkship curriculum to facilitate students' skills in self regulated learning. (15 min)
  7. Individual and small group work followed by report out: Participants will first work individually, and then in pairs/triads to identify how they can enhance currently used learning activities designed to promote self regulated/life long learning within their own courses or the curriculum as a whole, through the use of coaching. In the paired/small group discussion, participants will share feedback and offer additional ideas for consideration. A worksheet will be provided so that each attendee leaves with a plan to use coaching in their work with students. In a report, exemplar plans will be shared. (10 min individual work + 20 min paired/triad discussion + 15 min report out).
  8. Large group brainstorming exercise and individual commitment to action: Participants will discuss potential measures of the impact of coaching within the context of their course/curriculum and then create an individual action plan for scholarship related to the use of coaching to promote students' self regulated learning skills. (15 min + 10 min)
  9. Questions (5 min)

Presenter's qualifications/expertise in area: Dr. Bradley is the Director of Evaluation and an Associate Professor of Medical Education. Dr. Bray is the Associate Dean for Curriculum and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Gusic is the Senior Advisor for Educational Affairs and a Professor of Medical Education and Pediatrics Drs. Bradley, Bray and Gusic are part of the leadership team that developed the coaching program and the tools used by coaches and students to develop students' skills as self-regulated learners at the UVA School of Medicine. They have provided professional development training for the coaches to help faculty develop and use these new skills. In addition, Dr. Gusic has created opportunities for faculty in two national professional development programs to learn to use coaching as a tool in their work with the learners in these programs.

Outcomes - What skills will attendees acquire? The attendees will learn how to coach students so that students develop and enhance skills as self-regulated learners. Using existing learning activities/courses, participants will create a plan to incorporate coaching and to measure the impact of these initiatives as a potential focus for scholarship.

Reference: 1. Simpson D, Fincher RM, Hafler JP, Irby DM, Richards BF, Rosenfeld GC, Viggiano TR. Advancing educators and education by defining the components and evidence associated with educational scholarship. Medical education. 2007 Oct;41(10):1002-9.

Elizabeth Bradley Maryellen Gusic