The WrightCurriculum, a lecture free curriculum, began in 2017 at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, with the goal of having students become self-directed learners using evidence-based teaching and learning activities. We have several aims with this curriculum. First, help students develop skills in critical thinking. Second, help students learn how to discover the best evidence to make decisions. Third, give students the skills to keep learning throughout a life of service in the practice of medicine. We are aware that the majority of medical schools still have lectures as a significant part of their instructional hours, and believe if USMLE scores for a medical school are fine, “why take a risk in changing the curriculum?” Faculty may fear that active learning diminishes their teaching role. However, using teaching and learning strategies that are based on the science of learning, especially retrieval-based practice, actually requires faculty to do a great deal more than “cover the content”. Faculty are charged with designing questions and classroom activities that get students to use the course content to answer questions and solve authentic problems. Authentic “teaching moments” for faculty occur frequently in active learning sessions as faculty probe student thinking and connect knowledge to its application. The emphasis is shifted to creating “spaces for productive discomfort” in pushing students to learn in order to “make it stick.” We utilize active learning strategies of team-based learning, peer instruction, case-based learning, and problem-based learning, in which students are only in the classroom about 3 hours/day during the Foundations Phase, allowing ample time for self-study and advanced preparation. Since Peer Instruction is being utilized in over 60% of our curricular time, we will spend more time discussing Peer Instruction, from the faculty perspective in developing session material and how to effectively facilitate sessions, and from the student perspective in how learning gains are made in the sessions.
At the end of the session, participants will be able to:
1. Explain the evidence and rationale for using active learning strategies throughout medical school, and how active learning strategies contribute to student attendance and team-work.
2. Formulate effective approaches to implementing a lecture-free curriculum that is grounded in science, specifically using the teaching modality of Peer Instruction (PI).
3. Introduce best-practice strategies, tips, and lessons learned from going lecture-free.