Re-imagining Small Group Learning and the Development of Soft Skills

Gary P Hamlin*, Kirsty A T Forrest, Joanna Bishop, Sharon Hall, Amy Jean Bannatyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

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Background: Bond University Medical Program is an undergraduate program structured around 2 years of problem-based learning (PBL), then 1 year of case-based learning followed by 2 years of clinical immersion. Program review identified the need to focus on the development of soft skills, coaching and career development. In response, the program leadership group conceptualised soft skills as essential skills and commenced implementation of a curriculum stream called Small Group Learning (SGL), Essential Skills and Career Development. Summary of Work: A curriculum model defining the three key student experience transition points as; an undergraduate university student (1st year), a medical student (2nd-3rd years), and a clinically placed medical student (4th-5th years) has been developed. Transition will be supported by a shift from PBL to focus on SGL, essential skill development, and a coaching/career development program. The presentation will describe the model, the implementation of the SGL program and outcomes from an action-learning project to support the first transition. The action-learning project guides students to identify interpersonal skill (essential skills) developmental needs and supports a small focused intervention in the continuous development of the students interpersonal skills in a small group environment. Student choice will be an important component of the project and the presentation will discuss student choice of the; i) small group context to explore their skill development, ii) skill/micro-skill or attribute chosen for their intervention, and iii) the method of observation for their intervention. Summary of Results: A model of student transition and an action learning project to support development of soft skills have been implemented. Discussion and Conclusions: There is a central relationship between the essential skills associated with successful transition to and through a medical program and the soft skills increasingly being reported as essential for employability and the future world of work. To better prepare students to meet these challenges medical curricula need to continue to evolve and align learning and continuous development with societal and workforce needs. Take-home Messages: Constructive curriculum planning is needed to embed essential skill development to meet the changing requirements of our healthcare future graduates.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
EventThe Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference - Austria centre, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 24 Aug 201928 Aug 2019


ConferenceThe Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference
Abbreviated titleAMEE 2019
Internet address


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