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Learning and Teaching

During the first two periods of study at HWCOM, a variety of methods of assessment are used. To assess knowledge and reasoning, multiple choice question tests (MCQs) are heavily used in the basic science and organ system module courses, with the recent additions of essay and fill-in-the-blank questions. 

Since patients do not present with "options A-E" for diagnostic possibilities or management options, clinical care often requires generation of possibilities rather than choosing between a common set. Therefore, evaluating students' abilities to use

Teacher-centered and student-centered teaching characterize ends of a spectrum. Teacher-centered methods, on the traditional end, focus mainly on memorization of content determined and delivered by the teacher, with learning assessed primarily through recall and/or simple problem-solving.

Learner-centered teaching strives to make students responsible for their own learning by offering opportunities to synthesize prior with new knowledge, and to apply learning in problem solving and creation of new meaning. This approach supports transformational learning –learning which does not simply “fill” the learner with knowledge, but reshapes her or him with new perspectives and abilities.

The educational outcome data now conclusively demonstrate that learner-centered methods are superior in achieving modern educational goals. Indeed, accrediting bodies and major evaluators of educational systems increasingly call for if not require learner centered curricula.

The typical medical school faculty member today experienced the majority of his or her education through “teacher-centered” methods, and if s/he has had instruction in how to teach, it has been recent and limited. So when put in the role of teacher, most faculty naturally use the model of teaching under which they learned. If you learned in a teacher-centered system, it is understandable that adopting new methods may feel at the least uncomfortable and possibly overwhelming. And you may see little need to change if you believe this system served you in excelling as a member of your profession or discipline.

The primary goal of this website is to offer resources to help any interested faculty member incrementally and successfully move on the spectrum from teacher-centered to learner-centered approaches to teaching and course design. We hope you will use it, as well as the resources of the Office of Learning and Teaching and FIU’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching, and provide feedback to improve our resources to meet your needs.

Explore Topics in Learning and Teaching

FIU Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Learning Objectives
Assessment and Feedback
Active Learning
Interactive Lectures
Peer Evaluation of Teaching
Developing Teaching Portfolios
On Writing Multiple-Choice Questions
Assessment of Clinical Skills

Upgrade Your Teaching

The Office of Learning and Teaching provides you with the Continuing Medical Education (CME) Faculty Development Modules and the Faculty Workshop Series to improve your teaching.