Connectivism is a new teaching theory about the importance of connecting students to people, places and ideas in order to improve their learning. In medical school, we traditionally achieve this by rotating students through a variety of clinical rotations. Ideally, students would be exposed to different specialists, different locations, and diverse patients. Most universities have standardized patients who represent a variety of cultural and medical issues in their communities.
Here at the University of Saskatchewan, we, also, have the Making the Links program, whereby selected undergraduate students experience community health and development in the contexts of rural/remote health in a northern Saskatchewan community, an urban underserved community in Saskatoon at SWITCH (the Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health), and in the Global South in Mozambique. Making the Links exposes students to the determinants of health and the importance of community in these various settings. Making the Links is the first step to becoming a socially accountable physician.
Dr. Rajakumar, a Saskatoon cardiologist has developed an electronic conferencing tool where families, patients and specialists located in diferent locations around the world can consult on difficult cases.
Medical Learning Objects stored in electronic repositories will make preparing learning resources easier.
Increasing use of online communication will make experts and research available to larger audiences. The image below represents the locations of the 819 people from all over the world, who read one of my other teaching blogs.
This article is a continuation of the teaching techniques series
Creating Meaningful Artifacts
Active Learning-Making Meaning