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MedWise: Online teaching, learning and assessment training for medical educators

MedWise is a on-line course designed for health care professionals, and academics who have responsibility for undergraduate and post-graduate medical and health science education, and for those who are interested in gaining an introduction to the principles of medical education. 

Working in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Health Education England, working in the East Midlands (HEE-EM), MedWise is available free of charge to staff and students of The University of Nottingham, and health care professionals in the East Midlands. 

Other potential users can access the resource via the RCGP website. A fee for enrolment and usage is applicable.



Core topics

The core course consists of the following topics which you can take in any order.

1. Clinical teaching, supervision and feedback skills

How do I help learners get the most from their clinical experiences?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Describe and Use Kolb’s experiential learning framework to optimise learning
  • State the importance of reflection
  • Use Log Books, Study Guides and Portfolios to enhance learning
  • Describe how individual Learning Styles can influence the way individuals engage with experiential learning
  • Describe and explain the key features of supervisory and mentoring relationships
  • Use a systematic approach for giving feedback to a learner
  • Identify and support trainees in difficulty

2. Teaching practical skills

How should I teach a clinical or practical skill?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Describe, explain and justify each of the five steps of the Royal College of Surgeons skill teaching protocol
  • Develop empathy and rapport with a learner as they begin the process of learning a new skill
  • Use modifications to the RSC protocol depending on practical circumstances
  • Describe and explain the Dreyfus hierarchy of skill acquisition

3. Lecturing and presentation skills

How do I give an effective lecture or presentation?

At the end of this module you should be able to:

  • Organise a lecture or presentation using the "Context, Content and Closure" framework
  • Structure and sequence the content into a logical and stimulating narrative based around clear learning objectives aligned with curriculum outcomes
  • Vary spoken, textual and pictorial stimuli
  • Avoid excessive amounts of content and practice good time management
  • If feasible, plan for interactivity and questioning  

4. Small group teaching skills

How do I run an effective small group teaching session?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • List the educational goals of small group teaching
  • Describe and explain the conditions necessary for effective small group teaching
  • List the facilitator skills required for effective small group teaching
  • Describe and explain some common small group teaching activities

5. Questioning techniques

How can I extend my questioning techniques to encourage deep learning?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Describe the purposes and usefulness of questioning
  • Recognise the variety of question types
  • Describe three cognitive levels of questioning
  • Acknowledge that questioning generates anxiety
  • Recognise the variety of questioning techniques

6. Curriculum concepts and learning outcomes

How do I use curriculum concepts and learning outcomes to enhance my teaching?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of objectives and outcomes in medical curriculum planning, teaching and learning
  • Devise appropriate learning activities and assessment questions for different levels within the knowledge, skills and attitudinal domains

7. Assessment principles and methods

How do I apply assessment principles to my teaching?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Acknowledge that assessment is a form of human measurement
  • Differentiate between formative and summative assessment
  • Explain how assessment is a fundamental component of curriculum design and audit
  • State the factors that influence the accuracy of assessments
  • Explain the concepts of validity and reliability in assessment
  • State and outline the main methods of Standard Setting
  • Describe a variety of assessment methods for validly measuring different learning outcomes

8. Evaluating teaching

How can I evaluate my teaching skills?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Use a check list to evaluate a lecture or presentation
  • Use methods to obtain feedback from learners about your teaching skills
  • Engage in reflection to improve your teaching or supervisory skills

9. Educational theory

How can I use educational theory in my teaching?

At the end of this section you should be able to:

  • Differentiate between conventional scientific theories and educational theories
  • Describe in outline the principles of behaviourist educational theory
  • Describe in outline the principles of constructivist educational theory
  • Describe in outline the principles of experiential learning theory
  • Describe in outline the principles of humanistic educational theory
  • Give examples of how various educational theories can be used in teaching and learning situations


Additional resources

  • A hypertext glossary explaining key terminology
  • Overview of the Nottingham Medical Curriculum
  • Survey of the '12 roles' of the Medical Teacher
  • References and documents for further information
  • Discussion forum

How to register

University of Nottingham staff

Staff of the School of Medicine and School of Life Sciences can self-enrol on the MedWise course on Moddle but email us if you need more information.


NHS staff (HEE-EM area) 

NHS doctors and other healthcare professionals associated with The University of Nottingham or the HEEM area can access the resource on the RCGP website free of charge via the following link:


Other NHS healthcare professionals

NHS doctors and other healthcare professionals outside of this area can access the resource via the RGCP website for a fee.



GPs have an increasing responsibility for the education of themselves and others and so it is vital that they have the skills to enable them to act as effective educators both within their own practices and the wider healthcare community. The tried-and-tested MedWise course is invaluable to GP educators. As well as covering the theories underpinning modern medical education, it equips GPs with essential skills and techniques needed for teaching and assessment of other professionals in a variety of different settings, and also for self-evaluation of their own teaching skills 


--Dr Chantal Simon, Medical Director for Continuing Professional Development, RCGP


More testimonials

The MedWise course is a high quality interactive series of modules that will prepare educators, across disciplines for their roles. In the future we are hoping that all of our educational supervisors in Health Education East Midlands will have completed these, and this will in turn benefit training and ultimately patient care.


--Dr Dan Kinnair, Associate Postgraduate Dean, East Midlands Local Education and Training Board


As a Nurse educator I have responsibility for teaching medical students in clinical phase 1, 2 and 3.The MedWise course is easily accessible and interactive. Having the opportunity to complete core topics over time is extremely beneficial. The course covers a wide range of educational topics comprising of planning, delivering, assessing and evaluating. The course recognises that students have a variety of learning styles. MedWise promotes self reflection of teaching and knowledge can be utilised to further develop the provision of education.

--Mandy-Jayne Gray, Clinical Nurse Educator/Specialist Palliative Medicine, Derby Hospital NHS Foundation Trust









School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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