Active learning and sequencing have been described as effective techniques for improving educational conferences. However, few departmental continuing medical education/graduate medical education (CME/GME) conferences, such as Grand Rounds (GR), have adopted these techniques. The purpose of this study was to describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of Friday Forum (FF), a weekly CME/GME conference that incorporated active learning and sequencing techniques into a new educational offering, complementary to GR, within a medium-sized academic pediatrics department.
Implemented in 2013, FF was designed to address 5 medically relevant themes in a sequential, rotating, interactive format, and included: (1) clinical reasoning, (2) evidence-based medicine, (3) morbidity & mortality, (4) research in progress, and (5) ethics. In 2018, at the conclusion of its fifth year, a survey and focus groups of faculty, residents, and fellows explored the relative value of FF compared with the departmental GR.
Survey response rates for residents/fellows and faculty were 37/76 (48.7%) and 57/112 (50.9%), respectively. FF was rated highly for helping participants develop rapport with colleagues, exposing participants to interactive strategies for large-group teaching and value for time spent. GR was rated highly for helping participants learn about academic endeavors outside the department and emerging challenges in pediatrics. Qualitatively, two key themes emerged for FF: desire for interaction (community building) and topical variety.
Using active learning and sequencing techniques, we implemented a novel CME/GME conference that enhanced our learning community by integrating the education of faculty and trainees, and achieved complementary objectives to GR.