Teaching is often limited by the resources we have. Sometimes, it is the class size. In other cases, it is the teaching space. Teachers who teach in professional settings may face the tension between efficiently carrying out their professional duties and at the same time making time for teaching in the context of a busy professional practice. In medical education, this is often the case. When students are learning through apprenticeship by a teacher, guidance, instructions, discussions and feedback are essential to their learning.
One-minute preceptor provides one option on how meaningful teaching moment can be organized within time constrain, how the interaction could be engineered for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and then the teacher could identify the learning gaps and provide feedback. It is a teaching strategy commonly used in a medical training setting where a learner initially assesses a patient and seek help from a preceptor. But looking at its procedures and rationale behind, you can identify potentials of using it in other teaching context too:
- Get a commitment from student about what s/he thinks about the problem
- Probe for supporting reasoning to explore students’ real understanding of the problem and knowledge
- Teaching general rules pertaining to the case
- Provide feedback to reinforce what was right
- Correct errors, fill in omissions and tell them how to improve for the next time
As I mentioned above, One-minute Preceptor is widely used in medicine. But the framework it provides for structuring teacher-student conversations is very useful in other teaching context too. The steps are easy to follow and have shown to be effective in previous practices.
About the photo: A corner in Yuyan Shanghai, filmed in 2016.