AMIA 2019 Informatics Educators Forum Workshops

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

C. Weir, W. Chapman, D. Borbolla, D. Ziegenfuss, University of Utah

Biomedical Informatics programs have students from diverse backgrounds and complex career paths. At the same time, most of the informatics training programs offer specialized tracks like clinical informatics, bioinformatics, or data analytics. Mentoring these students involves helping them reach their full capacity in their academic, social, and motivational dimensions. The goal of this workshop is to help faculty gain skills for inspiring students through stories.

M. Zozus, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; H. Lehmann, J. Harlan, Johns Hopkins University; T. Williams, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; E. Berner, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Program evaluation is a cornerstone of curriculum management. Educational theory usually includes evaluation in curriculum development and maintenance. Systematic program evaluation is expected for federal T-mechanism funding, graduate medical education, and informatics program accreditation. Yet, little has been published regarding application of general educational program evaluation frameworks, models, and methods to biomedical and health informatics degree programs.

This workshop will cover program evaluation frameworks and models from the education field with a firm focus on their application in biomedical and health informatics graduate degree programs. Models considered and used by the speakers will be shared. Similar experience will be solicited from attendees. Qualitative information, process metrics and outcome measures used in the models by the speakers will similarly be shared and solicited. Workshop participants will work individually or in groups to select an evaluation model for use with educational goals from their own program. Desired and hard-to-measure outcomes will receive dedicated group discussion. A focus on data sources and methods for ascertaining information on hard-to-measure outcomes (such as job placement and career transitions) for all graduates will be discussed along with progression toward academic independence for doctoral program graduates.

The workshop will be led by faculty from three Biomedical and Health Informatics graduate programs (the authors) to drive a focus on pragmatic program evaluation strategies, models and measures. Leading indicators for formative assessment, program management and curriculum maintenance will be shared and solicited as well as outcome measures.

D. Leonard, The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis

Synchronous and asynchronous online environments can provide students with a unique and dynamic learning experience in higher education. Traditional and non-traditional university students are looking for flexible and accessible learning spaces that integrate well with personal and professional responsibilities. Online learning spaces give students opportunities to work across various time zones to collaborate and share ideas with peers across the globe. Yet, the design, the logistics, and management of an online course requires instructors to both anticipate and reduce barriers that might hinder student engagement online. Eliminating student anonymity, monitoring for cognitive overload through visual and hearing channels, and being explicit in providing clear directions are key for successful online learning. In this workshop, we will focus on three design areas that will maximize student learning in online settings. First, we will consider best practices in course design to establish a strong foundation for learning. We will talk about the importance of learning objectives and how learning objectives can support activities that will help students engage with course content in a way that deepens their learning. Second, we will consider how to structure opportunities for online student engagement by examining approaches that will allow for community building between students and instructors. Third, we will discuss how to assess the effectiveness of an online learning environment.

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

D. Zabloudil, The Learning Studio, Inc.

Where there are people, there is conflict. While conflict may be viewed negatively by most, healthy conflict does help individuals, teams and organizations to grow and flourish. Effective conflict resolution skills are essential in order to maintain the health and viability of an organization or department. Understanding the root of conflict, how to turn conflict into a constructive dynamic and lead through it all is an art, and one that is essential for any professional today. This course will pull from key Harvard research (and The New Conflict Management) as well as the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict mode instrument, illuminating how understanding conflict styles and situations will improve your relationships and career.

Key Takeaways:

  • • Recognize individual conflict styles (your own and others) to determine the best path to a healthy resolution

  • • Develop strategies for how and when to address conflict

  • • Assure that situations of conflict are healthy and productive within your organization

G. Randhawa, Island Health/McMaster University; A. Shachak, University of Toronto

Video tutorials are a popular way to train people in how to accomplish tasks using various software applications. Research shows that video tutorials can be effective in helping users develop a mental model of the software’s user interface and facilitate initial learning. Video tutorials can be convenient to learners, allowing them to control the time, location and pace of training. For organizations, video tutorials can provide a scalable, cost-effective, and sustainable way to train software users.

Nevertheless, it has been noted that video tutorials may sometimes lead to passive learning. They can also lead to superficial learning by mimicry (without deeply processing the information presented) which may result in low retention and transfer. Therefore, it is important to design software video tutorials according to learning and instructional design theories and evidence-based best practices.

In this workshop, we will review a number theories relevant for the effective design of video tutorials, including Minimalism, theories of attention, Dual Coding Theory, Social Learning Theory, and Demonstration-Based Training design. Next, we will present guidelines for designing software video tutorials, which have been proposed based on these theories and evidence from research. In the second part of the workshop, participants will analyze a number of video tutorials for various software according to the theories and guidelines presented earlier. Finally, participants will work in small groups to design their own video tutorial for a software of their choice.

 View the video abstract

J. Johnson, The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis

Lecturing is one of the most common strategies used to communicate content with students, especially when faced with teaching a considerable amount of material to achieve competencies and/or teaching a large number of students. However, research tells us that students are unable to focus for the entirety of a traditional 60-minute lecture. In fact, it is thought that as instructors, we have student attention for an estimated 15 minutes at the beginning of a lecture before they require an attention reset. To aid in this reset, it is recommended to change something in your lecture every 15 minutes to support student attention, learning and engagement with the material. These change-up strategies are typically active learning strategies. Active learning has been defined as learning that “engages students in the process of learning through activities and/or discussion in class, as opposed to passively listening to an expert. It emphasizes higher-order thinking and often involves group work.” Freeman, S., et al. (2014). Research overwhelmingly supports the shift from passive learning environments to more active ones, however this transformation can be difficult to envision in large STEM lecture courses. This workshop will help participants recognize ways to strategically incorporate active learning into their lectures and identify how these techniques can strengthen student learning. Through exploration of what defines a lecture, how to leverage students as active members of the learning process, and hands-on experience, participants in this workshop will learn evidence-based strategies to make lectures a more active learning environment regardless of the size of the course.

1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

G. Moulton, The University of Manchester; P. Taylor, University College London

Health Informatics is an inter-disciplinary endeavor that has a strong element of team working, as colleagues from diverse fields collaborate to deliver digital health. This requires educators to be conversant with the key ideas and the academic practices of the different disciplines on which health informatics draws and, typically, to be expert in at least one application area within the field. These requirements can prevent academics who focus on education from achieving goals required for career advancement in academia. Informatics is not as widely recognized as other medical disciplines or other careers such as biomedical research and clinical care, which can also limit recognition.

This workshop will explore frameworks and strategies for career progression as academics with a focus on health informatics education. It will also collect and share evidence to support career advancement and recognition. The workshop will be delivered in three phases:

  1. 1. Exploration and round-table discussion of competency frameworks and skills for health informatics educators;

  2. 2. Collection of relevant evidence to support them;

  3. 3. Development of personal plans or plans for development of colleagues.

At the end of the workshop participants will have gained a better knowledge and understanding of how to develop their own career (or the careers of others), the skills required, and how to develop these skills to progress as a health informatics educator.

Round table discussions focused on competency frameworks and skills for health informatics educators will be collected and reported back to the participants following the workshop. The workshop will be led by two of the UK’s health informatics educators who have focused their career on teaching and scholarship in health informatics. They are responsible for developing their institutions capacity in health informatics and health data science education and also lead the capacity building for the UK’s national institute.

 View the video abstract

S. Feldman, University of Alabama at Birmingham; J. Jones, IUPUI; A. Stefan, L. Tesch, CAHIIM; J. Wojtusiak, George Mason University

This two-part presentation will provide an overview of the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management (CAHIIM). The audience will gain knowledge about the continuum of the accreditation process, as well as the benefits of being CAHIIM accredited. The presentation will outline the structure and history of CAHIIM, the steps towards accreditation, answer frequently asked questions, and describe resources available for program directors to achieve a successful CAHIIM accreditation.

D. Zabloudil, The Learning Studio, Inc.

Whether delivering difficult news to key stakeholders—such as students, colleagues, administrators, or benefactors—or having other high-stakes conversations, understanding how to successfully deliver a difficult message is critical to a positive and productive outcome, as well as a continued relationship. Based on theories from Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability, this course will demonstrate the communication skills and techniques needed to effectively deliver a difficult message with confidence and clarity, thus ensuring the best possible results.

Key Takeaways:

  • • Develop the skills for how to best read and understand your audience prior to a difficult conversation

  • • Defuse and transform difficult situations using the most appropriate style and technique for the situation at hand

  • • Build greater confidence in dealing with difficult situations and messaging

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

F. Reza, S. Papagari Sangareddy, L. Franzke, J. Dcruz, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A well-formulated problem is half-solved. Problem formulation and problem solving are important cognitive as well as practical activities in any given discipline. CDC’s Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program trains informatics professionals in solving public health problems through development and application of shared mental models.

This hands-on workshop will share concepts of mental models, and the practical application of sharing them, using a case-based method. Specifically, this workshop will demonstrate applications of shared mental models for formulating informatics problems by having participants collaboratively engage real-world cases in public health informatics. The workshop will be useful for public health leaders and educators seeking to articulate and solve informatics problems in their organizations.

A. Valenta, University of Illinois at Chicago; E. Berner, University of Alabama; S. Boren, University of Missouri; S. Feldman, University of Alabama; T. Johnson, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; J. Jones, Indiana University

On October 26, 2018, the “AMIA Board White Paper: AMIA 2017 Core Competencies for Applied Health Informatics Education at the Master’s Degree Level”, was published in JAMIA. It describes the foundational domains for the profession of health informatics. The field of health informatics is emerging as a recognized profession, one aspect of which includes initial professional education. Graduate programs are moving from content- to competency-driven curriculum and accreditation. This requires careful review of coursework and current assumptions on prerequisite knowledge. It also requires a common understanding among faculty about what defines competency at the time of graduation based on the program’s focus. Curriculum alignment connects objectives, assessments, instructional activities, and materials throughout the curriculum. To assist graduate programs in evaluating their curricula, CAHIIM has developed the CAHIIM Self Evaluation Tool (CSET) for the purpose of mapping course level competencies to the recently published AMIA foundational domains. CAHIIM has incorporated Miller’s Pyramid and modified it as a framework to assess competencies of graduate students in health informatics programs. This workshop explores how to:

  1. 1. Write competencies based on the AMIA foundational domains;

  2. 2. Transform content- to competency-driven curriculum;

  3. 3. Build assessments of competencies using the concepts of Miller’s Pyramid;

  4. 4. Use the CAHIIM CSET.

J. Johnson, The Teaching Center, Washington University in St. Louis

As instructors, we are constantly trying to find ways to support our students’ learning but also help them find ways to apply content beyond the scope of the class and build connections across disciplines. Creating these authentic learning experiences for students can be challenging, but when done well they can transform student engagement and foster a life-long interest in the material. One way to approach designing course material that facilitates this engagement is to lean on structured collaborative learning methods. Education research suggests that students acquire and retain knowledge most effectively by engaging in collaborative learning groups with peers. Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Case-Based Learning (CBL) is a structured collaborative learning method where students work in teams to solve open-ended, interdisciplinary, and real-world problems. Using PBL and CBL can be an effective way to encourage students to move beyond their disciplinary expertise, build interpersonal skills necessary for productive collaborative work, and recognize how class material can be applicable to a variety of applications and situations. As with all collaborative learning, careful attention must be paid to designing material that encourages positive and productive group dynamics and ensures that the problem cannot be solved by any one group member on their own. Through a facilitator presentation and participant engagement this workshop will introduce participants to the underlying philosophy of PBL/CBL, practical aspects of implementation, and the roles of the instructor and the students in the learning process. Furthermore, participants will experience first-hand how to develop a real-world problem or a case study relevant to a course they are currently teaching or one they may teach in the future.

9:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

S. Boren, University of Missouri; P. Rubinstein, AMIA

Digital health involves the use of information and communication technologies to help address the health problems and challenges faced by patients. Healthcare providers and payers are leveraging technology to connect patients to their care. Patients have high expectations for their consumer experience and providers are challenged as they learn to practice in the new environment. In this workshop, the current environment and opportunities of incorporating digital health tools in health informatics curricula will be discussed. Where to locate digital health tools, as well as ideas on why and how to incorporate digital health tools into the curricula, will be shared. Corresponding instructional design resources on using digital health tools will also be highlighted. Following the didactic overview, there will be a case challenge. Participants will break into groups to discuss a specific case of teaching or mentoring with digital health tools for one of several target audiences (high school, undergraduate, nursing undergraduate and graduate, medicine, public health, and continuing education). Participants will focus their discussion on digital health tools to consider, learning activities to consider, assessing success for the learner, mentoring versus instruction, and challenges or limitations. Each group will share their responses followed by insights from an expert who has worked with digital health tools with the target audiences.