MAASTRICHT. The Faculty development team – responsible for the training of lecturers – from the department of Educational Development and Research (O&O) at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences has won the Aspire for Excellence Award. The prize is awarded every year by AMEE, an international association for medical education.
The participants had to submit an elaborate dossier, so the fact that they were in the race was no surprise. But winning was. “I thought for a minute: we weren’t the only candidates were we,” education expert Herma Roebertsen laughs. But no, the jury – three experts who gave feedback and subsequently a commission that assessed the report – really feels that the FHML team stands out on an international level.
They praised the inclusivity of the programme – there is free training for everyone, from a tutor to a block co-ordinator, and in English as well. They appreciated the fact that many employees from the department of O&O themselves carry out research into education and that they actively participate in curriculum meetings in the study programmes. They also compliment the team for setting up a ‘learning community’: lecturers don’t just learn from the experts during their training, but mainly from each other.
“We have worked on that a lot in the past years, setting it up,” says Roebertsen. “An environment in which you give each other advice and you get together every now and again to learn from each other. Many employees have that in their other task – research or clinical work – but not for education.”
The award, Roebertsen believes, will open doors. “It gives access to the Aspire Academy, the group winners from previous years who discuss the latest developments in the field of medical education. It enables us to get to know people and makes it easier to make contact for possible collaboration.”
They met the others online last Saturday. “We discussed matters such as providing clinical education online, the lessons that we have learned from the present online education, and how we can keep what is good when this crisis is over.”