Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentNave Rachel
SubjectFaculty Development Program and Online Forums:
Self-Learning and Self-Assessment of Medical-
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors PROF. Yehudit Dori
ASSOCIATE PROF. Rakefet Ackerman
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Literature concerning medical education maintains that the development of metacognitive skills is essential for the medical school graduates. However, faculty members in medical schools do not routinely receive professional training to hone their role as teachers. In particular, they are not trained for imparting metacognitive skills, and not in incorporating up-to-date e-learning tools for this purpose. The Faculty Development Program (FDP) at the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion, Haifa, aims to fill in this gap. The FDP included eight monthly face-to-face meetings of eight hours each. Three online forum discussions took place in between these meetings. These forums served for experiencing e-learning as a teaching method that promotes metacognitive skills. Forum topics were inspired by the technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) model. The goal of this study was to investigate the development of medical educators' self-learning and self-assessment of knowledge along the FDP. Forty senior medical educators participated in the study during two academic years (2011-2012). The research methodology combined qualitative and quantitative tools. It included three data sources: a) content of the forum discourse and the participants' reflections on action; b) pre- and post- knowledge test accompanied by self-assessment of knowledge and expert-assessment; c) designing multiple-choice questions with self-assessment and expert-assessment of question quality. Forums’ discourse and reflections provided insight into the participants’ real-time attitudes. Contrasting the two information sources highlighted the added value of having both sources for exposing diverse attitudes towards forum as a teaching tool and regarding e-learning, in a broader perspective. In particular, the participants appreciated the contribution of forums for learning and expressed willingness to use them in their teaching. Importantly, they also learned about the challenges imposed by leading forums and allowing the time required. The reliability of metacognitive monitoring of knowledge was examined by contrasting the self-assessment with expert-assessment of knowledge. The classic overconfidence that was found at the opening of the program was attenuated at its end. A diagnostic tool for forum discourse and reflection (DTFDR) has been developed, applied, and validated. The study contributes to the theory of professional training by fostering metacognitive skills, especially in technology-enhanced teaching and learning. DTFDR adds a layer to the theory of educational assessment, enabling enhancement of medical educators' metacognitive skills and readiness to assimilate instructional technologies in their classes.