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Planning for Active Learning in the Didactic Classroom

DeWitt, Rachel D., MS, PA-C

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: March 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 41–46
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000236
Special Article

Driven by the convergence of the exponential growth of medical knowledge and the dated medical education delivery system, educators in physician assistant (PA) programs are striving to create teaching practices that actively engage students, improve knowledge retention, and prepare students for a career that requires lifelong learning and reflection. The emphasis on professor-directed teaching and learning activities is shifting toward a more learner-centered approach. To incorporate appropriate active learning exercises into the PA classroom, instructors must plan, design, and execute pedagogically sound practices. In addition, instructors must find a concrete way in which to reflect on and refine their classroom exercises so that they can expand their teaching skills even while educating their students.

Rachel D. DeWitt, MS, PA-C, is an assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Michigan.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Rachel D. DeWitt, MS, PA-C, Physician Assistant Program, College of Health Professions, University of Detroit Mercy, 4001 West McNichols Road, Detroit, MI 48221. Telephone: (313) 993-1930; Email:

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2019 Physician Assistant Education Association
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