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Modeling integration: co-teaching basic and clinical sciences medicine in the classroom

Authors Willey JM, Lim YS, Kwiatkowski T

Received 30 March 2018

Accepted for publication 17 May 2018

Published 2 October 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 739—751


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Joanne M Willey, Youn Seon Lim, Thomas Kwiatkowski

Department of Science Education, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA

Purpose: Calls for revision in undergraduate medical education frequently cite the importance of integrating basic and clinical sciences and the use of active pedagogies. One under-appreciated approach to accomplishing both is interactive co-teaching, defined as two instructors with complementary expertise engaging students and each other instead of lecturing. This study sought to determine if interactive co-teaching helped students integrate and learn basic and clinical sciences, as well as to explore potential advantages and barriers to co-teaching.
Methods: The comparative success of solo- and co-teaching in a microbiology/infectious disease course was determined by surveying student perceptions at the end of the course and examination scores for questions based on either solo- or co-taught content. The advantages and barriers to co-teaching were explored by thematic analysis of student responses to open-ended survey questions.
Results: Results suggest that co-teaching supported content integration as a significant majority of students (92%, n=112) reported they understood the connection between basic and clinical sciences better when content was co-taught. In addition, a plurality of students indicated that co-teaching provided a better overall learning experience (81%, n=99), was more engaging (74%, n=90), and made it easier to apply content (74%, n=90). These positive perceptions were reflected in better exam outcomes for materials covered in co-taught over solo-taught sessions.
Conclusion: Results suggest students value co-teaching as a means to integrate basic and clinical sciences. However, interactive co-teaching pedagogies require careful planning and collaboration among faculty. Co-teaching requires the commitment of both faculty members to this pedagogy.

Keywords: team teaching, microbiology, infectious disease, shared teaching, content integration, session integration

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