Sunday, May 7, 2017

Qualitative Research Methods in Medical Education Workshop on 31st May 2017

Message to participants:

"Thank you for signing up for the "Qualitative research methods in medical education" workshop at CenMED, NUS. We strongly encourage you to complete the pre-workshop reading and assignment below before the workshop. This will give you background knowledge, and a foundation to build on during the workshop, and enable you to engage in the workshop discussion and interactive activities to a greater degree. The idea is to start to build a theoretical understanding before the workshop, to enable you to use your time in the workshop to clarify and reinforce basic concepts, and to develop further skill in thinking about, evaluating and starting to perform qualitative research.

Your participation in the workshop activities will embody and illustrate many of the ideas and educational principles underlying the flipped classroom practice. Specifically, you will be undertaking approximately 3 hours of preparation at home before the workshop. This will include reading the few recommended articles, reviewing/skimming/going systematically through the eLearning module courtesy of academic team from the Alice Lee Center for Nursing Studies (see section below after the Padlet wall), summarising the take home points from your pre-workshop preparation, and posting this, together with a teaching / education project where you hope to use qualitative research methods, on the workshop Padlet wall below (this is an interactive digital wall, which is on a private space on, and is not searchable on Google - you have been given permission to write, edit and delete your own posts, resize and move this around, as long as you use the same mobile or desktop device; even though this platform works with all mobile and desktop devices, you will probably find using a laptop/workstation or tablet the easiest way to write and edit your posts on this website). 

Please bring along to the workshop the same WiFi enabled mobile device, tablet or laptop that you have used to post on the Padlet wall. This will enable you to continue to refine, and add to your post on the Padlet wall. I have organised the Padlet posts so that the latest entry is always at the top. This will enable you to find your earlier post by scrolling down. You can interact with the Padlet website directly on the blog, or by going to the Padlet link immediately below the embedded Padlet webpage below.

Please also complete the short email survey (by replying INDIVIDUALLY to our email to you) at least ONE WEEK before the workshop, to give us an idea of your teaching background and what you hope to get out of the workshop. This will enable us to customise the workshop to your educational needs."

Made with Padlet

Pre-reading and pre-workshop assignment:

Qualities of Qualitative Research: Part I (J Grad Med Educ, 2011)

Qualitative Research Part II: Participants, Analysis, and Quality Assurance (J Grad Med Educ, 2012)

Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research: A Synthesis of Recommendations (Academic Medicine, 2014)

(Please read [above] the articles above on qualitative research methods in medical education. Please write a short 250 word maximum personal reaction, and post this on the Padlet wall above, together with a brief description of your teaching experience, current teaching responsibilities, and a short 250 word maximum proposal of how you intend to use qualitative research methods in your teaching setting. You should complete this assignment before you come to the workshop. We will be developing your proposal further during the workshop.

We encourage you to actively engage with the workshop material, including the assignment of posting on the Padlet wall. Working on your assignment is one method to facilitate active learning, with the process of reflecting on the material, and writing down key ideas/your reaction to the material/your own personal take home points/developing a draft proposal or outline of a project giving you a tangible take-away from the workshop. 

Ultimately what one can recall, and implementation ideas one takes away from an educational session is what one has learnt from the session. Individual Padlet posts are one tangible and personal takeaway from the workshop, which can be developed further, be further refined, and accessible for collaboration and feedback.)

Enhancing Research Skills e-Learning Module
(eLearning module courtesy of academic team from the Alice Lee Center for Nursing Studies - To be able to login, participants have to register as a new user first, and then go to the “Qualitative” theme and complete the pre-test.  There are four sessions within this theme and each session takes about 10-15 mins.)

Other online resources:

You might also find the other online resources available using an online search of the following phrase useful "qualitative research methods in medical education".

where you might find the following reference

Review article: medical education research: an overview of methods. (Can J Anaesth, 2012)

Ramani S, Mann K. Introducing medical educators to qualitative study design:
Twelve tips from inception to completion. Med Teach. 2016 May;38(5):456-63. doi: 
10.3109/0142159X.2015.1035244. Epub 2015 Apr 21.

Workshop program:

9.00am   Introduction to Workshop

9.15am   Introduction to the Qualitative Research Method

9.45am   Discussion & Presentation

10.30am Coffee/Tea Break

11.00am  Introduction to Data Collection Methods

11.45am  Presentation & Discussion

12.30pm  Lunch

1.30pm    Group Activity

2.30pm    Data Analysis

3.00pm    Coffee/Tea Break

3.30pm    Group Presentation

5.00pm    End of Workshop

Pre-workshop survey question - "Tell us what you hope to learn from the workshop"

"To be able to apply qualitative methods appropriately and relevantly.
I have an upcoming student project to investigate the readiness towards interprofessional learning of students from 4 healthcare disciplines including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing and social sciences (social work)."

"What is qualitative research and some methods to apply."

"Identify potential use in assessing our department's delivery of education."

"general knowledge in research"

"How to make my mentoring / teaching of Residents / MOs more effective"

"(a) Understand the range of qualitative methods. (b)Develop the ability to select the relevant methods of qualitative research. (c) Develop the skills to analyse and interpret data in qualitative research."

"i) Key steps to conducting a qualitative research
ii) How to do data analysis and reporting for qualitative research data
iii) Doing a mixed methods research – would that be a good way to explore some form of qualitative research?"

"How do choose what study methods is best for what kind of question"

"How to approach and plan qualitative research better next time, better anticipate problems in future with better planning and design.

Good practice Guiding principles, where to find good sources for guidance (the pre reading material was really helpful)

Practical advice  re transcribing e.g. voice to text software for dictating field notes and interviews, 
( I purchased some legally but it stopped working after 72hours after laborious speech recognition training)

types of audio recording equipment for individual and focus groups that might work well
how to facilitate a focus group
how the data management software works.

I would like to learn how to use a focus group to identify learning needs to plan future training

meet others who are interested in the field to network"

"To know more about qualitative research methods, data collection and analyse data."

"Understand the basics of qualitative research, learn how to conceptualise and conduct one properly, explore possible avenues for future research, get some exposure in this area."

"Types of qualitative studies, how to do qualitative analysis"

"How to get started? Am I ready? What are some tools I can use. How do I analyse qualitative results?"

"1. Be familiar with a range of qualitative methods;
2. Acquire skills in qualitative data collection and analysis methods;
3. Develop the ability to select, justify and execute qualitative methods appropriate to the research questions;
4. Be able to identify research questions that are best answered by qualitative method."

"How to conduct qualitative research by myself, but also how to evaluate qualitative research in literature."

"Hope I can get better understanding of qualitative research methods from this workshop.

"How to design, conduct and analyze qualitative research."

Opening comments:

Good morning, and welcome to this workshop on Qualitative Research Methods in Medical Education by CenMED, NUS. My name is Poh Suh, and let me introduce the other faculty for this workshop, Yanika, Foong May and Shuh Shing.

Thank you for undertaking the pre-workshop reading, participating in the pre-workshop survey, and pre-workshop assignment (posting on Padlet). All the points I will be making during the workshop, and resources I will be using are displayed on this workshop blog. For those of you who like reviewing key ideas using presentation slides, you might find the link on the bottom of this blog, also here (Google search for "qualitative research methods in medical education SlideShare") helpful to review.

Let's begin with a show of hands of who managed to complete the pre-workshop reading.

Let's have a Q and A discussion of some of the ideas from the pre-reading, which provide background information on Qualitative Research Methods. The discussion points I will be using are on the 1st post on the Padlet wall below. Which also include my take home points for this workshop.

Why are you here?

To become familiar with topic - e.g. able to have a conversation of this topic

To become familiar with qualitative research design and reporting - e.g. able to read/appreciate the literature

To explore qualitative research design - e.g. start to plan and carry out small qualitative research projects, present reports of these projects in-house (within department), at local/regional/international medical education meetings/conferences, publish in peer-reviewed medical education journals, publish in peer-reviewed clinical specialty journals


Familiar examples (you are familiar with some elements of qualitative research, and have been undertaking some form of qualitative research all along!)

Planning a family outing

Running/organising a meeting - preparation before making a key group decision

Running/organising a department - preparation before making a key group decision

How might one translate and transfer these ideas?


Large group teaching

Small group teaching

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate training

CME, CPD, Lifelong learning and Just in time learning settings


"We can manage better (to iteratively improve, share and build on) what is visible, what we can see – directly, through data, and data dashboards-visual data maps and illustrations. Data and observations, big data and small or rich data, quantitative and qualitative research (mixed methods research) gives us insights as educators into our teaching practice, its effectiveness and impact. Just as we blend the best features of traditional and online/eLearning/Technology enhanced learning in our teaching practice, we can “blend” and take advantage of “big data” or online data analytics, which when added to traditional classroom observations and measures-indicators of learning effectiveness and impact, can give us a more complete, comprehensive, and rounded picture of individual, and group learning." 

above from


"A good teacher is continuously observant of student learning behaviour, and seeks evidence of student engagement with the learning material and experience, as well as evidence of learning, and also proactively solicits feedback from students and peers to continually improve the learning
experience. Good chefs can be seen circulating amongst the diners, observing their eating behaviour, chatting with and seeking feedback directly from diners, as well as inviting fellow chefs to sample their culinary offerings. As teachers we have an opportunity to do this both in traditional classrooms, as well as online settings, through our own direct observations, as well as with online behavioural and data analytics. Chefs often modify their cooking, and refine this in “real time”. Similarly teachers can modify their teaching, and the learning experience dynamically, in response to the observed behaviour and feedback from learners and peers."

"We feel that there are close parallels between the culinary arts and practices with the teaching and learning practices of medical educators. In this article we explore this culinary analogy as a means to help medical educators think about their educational practices and to develop their scholarship in medical education."

above from
Goh, P.S., Sandars, J. Insights from the culinary arts for medical educators. MedEdPublish. 2017 Jan; 6(1), Paper No:10. Epub 2017 Jan 18.




the end product of last year's workshop is outlined on the embedded Padlet wall from last year's workshop (below) ... and we could aim for at least this ...

"what we take away from a learning session ... or workshop is arguably the following ... what we are able to remember ... and succinctly articulate .... in answer to the following question .... what did you do yesterday at the CenMED workshop? .... what is "qualitative research applied to medical education"? .... how does it add value? .... how could one start? .... and finally ... what is one take home message .... and action step you will undertake moving forward ..."
Please post this on this workshop's Padlet wall for all to learn from ... and as a message to yourself ... and record ... memory ... and memeto from you time here ... 

Medical Education Peer Reviewed Publications (selected)

The intention of writing a recent series of reflection pieces (article 5, 6, 7, 9 and 11), as well the other articles below, was to set down in print as many of the useful ideas / and pointers I could think of, and which I have found useful and currently use, on the subject of TeL and implementing this, distilled from my reading, practice, and scholarly inquiry since 2002, as well as from the last 6 years of faculty development presentations, symposia and workshops I have been involved in designing and have participated in at NUS, at APMEC and AMEE; and have presented as invited speaker to conferences in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Jakarta, Indonesia; and as visiting professor in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
(articles in Medical Teacher and MedEdPublish have been viewed over 5,000 times in the 2015 and 2016, and papers 2, 4, 5 and 6 are amongst the top rated papers in Oct, Nov, Dec 2016 and Jan 2017 - see below)

1. Goh, P.S. Learning Analytics in Medical Education. MedEdPublish. 2017 Apr; 6(2), Paper No:5. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

2. Goh, P.S., Sandars, J. Insights from the culinary arts for medical educators. MedEdPublish. 2017 Jan; 6(1), Paper No:10. Epub 2017 Jan 18.

3. Goh, P.S. A proposal for a grading and ranking method as the first step toward developing a scoring system to measure the value and impact of viewership of online material in medical education - going beyond “clicks” and views toward learning. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:62. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

4. Goh, P.S. Presenting the outline of a proposal for a 5 part program of medical education research using eLearning or Technology enhanced learning to support Learning through the continuum of Undergraduate, through Postgraduate to Lifelong learning settings. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:55. Epub 2016 Dec 7. 

5. Goh, P.S. The value and impact of eLearning or Technology enhanced learning from one perspective of a Digital Scholar. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:31. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

6. Goh, P.S. A series of reflections on eLearning, traditional and blended learning. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:19. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

7. Goh, P.S. Technology enhanced learning in Medical Education: What’s new, what’s useful, and some important considerations. MedEdPublish. 2016 Oct; 5(3), Paper No:16. Epub 2016 Oct 12.
8. Sandars, J., Goh, P.S. Is there a need for a specific educational scholarship for using e-learning in medical education? Med Teach. 2016 Oct;38(10):1070-1071. Epub 2016 April 19.

9. Goh, P.S. eLearning or Technology enhanced learning in medical education - Hope, not Hype. Med Teach. 2016 Sep; 38(9): 957-958, Epub 2016 Mar 16

10. Goh, P.S., Sandars, J. An innovative approach to digitally flip the classroom by using an online "graffiti wall" with a blog. Med Teach. 2016 Aug;38(8):858. Epub 2016 Jul 14.

11. Goh, P.S. Using a blog as an integrated eLearning tool and platform. Med Teach. 2016 Jun;38(6):628-9. Epub 2015 Nov 11.

12. Sandars J, Patel RS, Goh PS, Kokatailo PK, Lafferty N. The importance of educational theories for facilitating learning when using technology in medical education. Med Teach. 2015 Mar 17:1-4.

13. Dong C, Goh PS. Twelve tips for the effective use of videos in medical education. Med Teach. 2015 Feb; 37(2):140-5.

14. Liaw SY, Wong LF, Chan SW, Ho JT, Mordiffi SZ, Ang SB, Goh PS, Ang EN. Designing and evaluating an interactive multimedia Web-based simulation for developing nurses' competencies in acute nursing care: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res. 2015 Jan 12;17(1):e5.

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