Dean Laurence B. Gardner presents ’Cane Academy to AAMC Council of Deans

Laurence B. Gardner, M.D., interim Dean of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, presented the innovative ’Cane Academy program to the national Council of Deans at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Seattle.

“This represents a strategy for actively engaging students in their own learning and holding them accountable for mastery of the material prior to the ‘classroom’ exercises,” Gardner said. “In our example, there is much more team-based learning and clinical problem solving mentored by a faculty member.”

An alternative to the traditional lecture format, ’Cane Academy “flips the classroom” by producing short videos that students review in advance, using classroom time to ask questions, respond to the faculty and apply their knowledge to patient cases.

David Green, M.S., senior instructional designer, works closely with Miller School faculty in adapting technology to their courses. Green has also presented the ’Cane Academy concept at national medical education conferences.

“This blended learning approach is a careful fusion of the best elements of online and face-to-face education,” he said. “There is a national drive toward competency-based education, and ’Cane Academy’s active and student-centered learning environments are closely aligned with that vision.”

Helping Green is medical education fellow Jared Senvisky, a third-year medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University who has taken the year off to work with ’Cane Academy.

Gardner said other members of the Council of Deans told him after his AAMC presentation that they have initiated their own versions of the nonprofit Khan Academy, which offers dozens of free online classes.

“This is not new news anymore,” Gardner said. “It’s now a more accepted strategy to shift from passive learning to active learning.”

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