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Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2007 Dec;40(6):1203-14, vi.

Interactive instruction in otolaryngology resident education.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Today's academic faculty was typically trained under an education system based entirely on didactic lectures. However, if the aim is to teach thinking or change attitudes beyond the simple transmission of factual knowledge, then lectures alone, without active involvement of the students, are not the most effective method of teaching. If the goals of teaching are to arouse and keep students' interest, give facts and details, to make students think critically about the subject, and to prepare for independent studies by demonstration of problem solving and professional reasoning, then only two of these purposes are suited to didactic lectures. The problem then is how to organize lecture material so that individual student's learning needs are better addressed. The education literature suggests that instruction include a variety of activities designed to stimulate individual thought. These activities include small group discussion, working problems during lecture time, questions included in the lecture, and quizzes at the end of lecture, among others. The current study was undertaken to examine the feasibility of using these types of interactive learning techniques in an otolaryngology residency program. Possibilities considered in the current study include standard interactive lecturing, facilitated discussion, brainstorming, small group activities, problem solving, competitive large group exercises, and the use of illustrative cliff hanger and incident cases. The feasibility of these methodologies being effectively incorporated into a residency curriculum is discussed.

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