Engaging the learner: A Strategic initiative to maximize learning
â€œThe fundamental pedagogy of Medical Education aims to have learners develop motivation and skill required to teach themselves, stimulated by clinical experiences...â€
(David Irby , Educating Physicians, 2010)
The science behind comprehensive learning has always emphasized the importance of involvement and contributions of the learners in learning process. Medical educators frequently face difficulties motivating learners to achieve educational goals. Whether the specific concern is internal motivation, attendance or participation; the common issue is how to motivate the learners to achieve the desired outcomes and to become fully engaged with the excitement of learning. On the pedagogic side, modern medicine, like all scientific teaching is characterized by activity. The learner no longer merely watches, listens, memorizes, he actually does. Since education nowadays involves both learning and learning how; the learner cannot effectively know, unless he knows â€œhowâ€.1 The two core principles of active learning, i.e. doing versus observing and dialogue with self or others, are the mainstay of engaging learners in their learning activities. Dialogue with self happens when a learner thinks reflectively about a topic, i.e. they ask themselves what they think or should think and what they feel about the topic. Dialogue with others is a much more dynamic and active form of dialogue. It occurs when a teacher creates an intense small group discussion on a topic or you are required to teach your peers.
Evidence suggests that considering the interrelated elements while designing and implementing learning activities can increase student engagement behaviorally, emotionally, and cognitively thereby positively affecting academic achievement.