FMS Educational Research Development and Practice

FMS Educational Research Development and Practice

Director’s update: Summer 2017

Welcome to this our last newsletter of this academic year.

In this edition we are featuring reports about some of the work we have been funding through our project grant scheme as well as listing new projects we are funding. The project grant scheme is helping many of you to carry out small pieces of work supporting curriculum development as well as funding short periods of study leave to enable you to learn about wok going on in other institutions and bring back those ideas to Newcastle. We are also providing small amounts of pump priming funding to support people to bring small educational conferences to Newcastle. Not only does this again bring us new ideas it also helps to raise the profile of the Faculty as a centre of educational excellence. In the autumn we will be devoting our first learning and teaching forum to the dissemination of results from our funded projects and we hope as many of you as possible will come along to hear what your colleagues have been doing.

Also in this newsletter are reports from two conferences attended by staff in the Faculty. It is always interesting to hear what is going on elsewhere and so as we approach the time when many conferences are held please can I invite any of you attending a conference this summer to find some time, when you come back, to write a short piece for the autumn newsletter.

We like to celebrate individual successes in the newsletter so congratulations to all those who have won awards and prizes this year. Of course, the other big success is the achievement of our TEF Gold status. As Jane Calvert says this is very much an award that reflects the work of all of us ensuring that the learning and teaching we support is of the highest quality we can make it. Among the things highlighted in the TEF Panel statement of findings were the outstanding levels of stretch (their words), facilitated in part by the University’s commitment to research-led teaching that we give to students as well as exceptional levels of staff support.

Our last two events of the year are a Journal Club being given by Michael Atkinson and a seminar from Val Wass. Please come along to one or both of those events. I am now starting to think about putting the seminar programme together for next year. I have a number of ideas for possible speakers but I will be consulting with you all in your teaching schools to gather ideas from you. Our first event next year is a workshop delivered by Viv Baumfield and Jane Stewart. This will be a highly stimulating session and I encourage you to attend.

All that remains for me to say is to wish you some time for relaxation over the summer (though our summers become ever busier) so that we can all come back refreshed to start a new academic year.

Prof Steve McHanwell, Director, FMS Unit for ERDP

National Teaching Fellowship Scheme regional workshop

Each year since 2000 the Higher Education Academy (HEA) has organised and managed the National Teaching Fellowship scheme. The purpose of the Scheme is to recognise, reward and celebrate individuals who are judged to make an outstanding impact on the student learning experience, and provide the means to develop a proactive community of National Teaching Fellows (NTFs). Each year universities and other providers are invited to nominate up to three candidates who are then invited to submit a claim for A Fellowship to the HEA.

In recent years the Association of National Teaching Fellows has organised a series of regional workshops designed to help nominees in that year to develop their claims and to introduce the scheme to intending applicants in future years. For the last two years the regional workshop in the north east has been hosted in Newcastle University and run by the President of the ANTF, Sally Brown and myself. The workshop this year was held in March. After a brief discussion of the benefits of the scheme for applicants the workshop went on to cover the criteria, how to address those criteria and how to frame a claim. It also covered how claims can be supported by evidence and what is needed to help a claim succeed. Finally, a range of practical and administrative issues were outlined.

Though the Higher Education Academy (HEA) organises and runs the Scheme its funding comes from elsewhere. Currently the funding comes from the Higher Education Funding Council for England the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for the Economy (DfE) Northern Ireland (now incorporating the responsibilities of DELNI). With the establishment of the Office for Students it is unclear where funding will come from in the future and though the expectation is that the Scheme will continue the Scheme is also undergoing a full review.

If anybody is interested in the Scheme and wishes to learn more, and assuming its continuance, the resources for the workshop will be found on the ERDP website, at the bottom of ‘useful links’.

Prof Steve McHanwell, Director ERDP

Delivery of Teaching through Social Media

ERDP Development Grant: Identification and evaluation of optimal strategies for delivery of learning and teaching through social media in order to maximise impacts on student learning, engagement and experience

Study visits during spring 2016 provided the valuable opportunity for information regarding facilities, resources and teaching approaches involving social media and technology enhanced learning to be obtained and provided insights into how social media can be implemented into teaching practice. Meetings with academic staff at the University of Dundee, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Southampton facilitated productive collaborations which have since led to the delivery of a conference workshop and poster presentation on the topic of social media at national conferences in 2016 and further collaborations are planned.

These activities were conducted in parallel with an Equate 2015/16 project that concerned investigating social media usage among academics. ERDP-funded study visits enhanced the knowledge and understanding of the research team when implementing and analysing data from a survey study in which a questionnaire was distributed to teaching staff at internal and regional learning and conferences. A manuscript describing the findings of this study titled “Social media: Where are we now? Current educator usage and perceptions in higher education” has been prepared for publication and was submitted to a technology and education journal in April 2017.  This work describes both the advantages and barriers of using social media in teaching practice and proposes strategies for overcoming potential obstacles when doing so.

Dr Iain Keenan, School of Medical Education

ERDP Development Grants funded in 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the following projects have been funded by the ERDP in 2017.


Active learning workshop for pharmacy and healthcare educationalists.

Hamde Nazar and Andrew Husband


Evaluation of Context Café, a session which allows Stage 2 Biochemistry/Biomedical Genetics students to contextualize learning in their Degree Programme and beyond.

Luisa Wakeling, Jeremy Brown and Jane Stewart


Developing student resilience and compassion.

Stephen Jones, Dominic Johnson, David Kennedy and Maryanne Freer


Aligning Learner and Patient Feedback Priorities to Enhance Communication Skills and Professionalism in Dental Undergraduates.

Ashleigh Stamp and Sarah Rolland


Study on placements for life science undergraduates.

Vanessa Armstrong, Nigel Page (Kingston University) and Luciane Vieira de Mello (University of Liverpool)


Exploring the experience of undertaking an educational integrated training post in general practice.

Sarah Cope and Hugh Alberti

Engaging distance learners with no economic background in an online health economics course

Heather Brown


Dental Education Research Group Inaugural Joint Symposium

On June 16th the School of Dental Sciences was delighted to host a symposium focusing on dental education research.

Coming together in a ‘Northern/Celtic alliance’ the dental schools of Newcastle, Glasgow and Cardiff met to discuss the challenges of undertaking high quality and meaningful dental educational research, to consider how cross school collaborations may be beneficial in overcoming such challenges and to identify strategic areas of common interest where collaborations would be fruitful.

Whilst it was evident that the three schools faced common dilemmas and challenges, at the end of the day it was gratifying to witness a real willingness to work together with objectives to improve our programmes, enhance student experience and increase the quality of our graduates.

Having developed a network of researchers, with collaborations established, and study visits planned, we look forward to meeting again at the same time next year and will be welcoming other UK dental schools to forge a network of pedagogical research and practice for UK dentistry.

Janice Ellis and Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences

Faculty work being presented at HEA Annual Conference 2017

In July Faculty staff will be presenting their work at the HEA Annual Conference 2017 which is titled Generation TEF: Teaching in the spotlight

Here’s who is on the programme. If your work has been missed off, let us know

  • Designing for excellence via inclusion: challenging preconceptions of heterogeneity in the student population, Joanna Matthan
  • Inclusive research with students and members of the public: how can we best evaluate innovative teaching about ageing? Luisa Wakeling
  • Integrating ‘Flipped Learning’ to engage students with their own career development, Salome Bolton & Gigi Herbert
  • Enterprise Challenges in Psychology and Beyond: Developing graduate skills and employability through entrepreneurial learning, Patrick Rosenkranz, Alecia Dunn, Amy Fielden & Charlotte Warin
  • Once upon a time… retelling the research project story to a new audience. Using peer feedback to develop the language and clarity of the research narrative, Carys Watts & Lindsay Marshall

Higher Education Symposium Series 2017 presentation

bana-abdulmohsenExploring active learning approaches to increasing student engagement through assessment and feedback

I was pleased to have the opportunity to present a case study at the Higher Education Academy event: Transforming Assessment in Higher Education Symposium Series 2017- Enhancing student engagement through assessment, in York last month.

At this event, we presented the results of a case study on the teaching of tooth morphology to BDS and BSC undergraduate students in the Dental School. The aim of the study was to increase student engagement with the learning of this important but difficult topic through the introduction of a novel approach involving the use of tooth carving. An active learning approach was developed employing the principles of transformative assessment using the Framework developed by the Higher Education Academy.

In our pilot study, we were aiming to foster an increase in student interest in the subject content through the more active engagement that is generated by getting student to both carve their own models of a tooth and then assess the accuracy of those models through self-, peer and tutor assessment.

The presentation was well received and followed by a useful discussion about the outcome.

Many thanks for the ERDP grant (to fund my training), Newcastle Dental Staff and Students who helped/ participated in this project.

Bana Abdulmohsen, School of Dental Sciences

Faculty Publications

Congratulations to everyone in the Faculty who has published their research this quarter.

Hugh Alberti, Emmet Carlin and Michael Harrison. What factors influence intention towards a career in general practice? Br J Gen Pract  2017;  67  (659)


Burford B, Medford W, Carter M, Tiffin P, Vance G, Corbett S, Shapiro E, Guilding C, Illing J,  The Health Education Quality Framework and National Education and Training Survey: Evidence, Evaluation and Pilot. Final report for Health Education England

Backhouse M, Fitzpatrick M, Hutchinson J, Thandi CS, Keenan ID,  Improvements in anatomy knowledge when utilizing a novel cyclical “Observe-Reflect-Draw-Edit-Repeat” learning process. Anatomical Sciences Education.

Delgaty L, Fisher J, Thompson R,  The ‘Dark Side’ of Technology in Medical Education. MedEdPublish.

Fisher JM, Tullo E, Chan K, Teodorczuk A,  Twelve tips for teaching about patients with cognitive impairment. Medical Teacher.

Iad Gharib, Sarah Rolland, Heidi Bateman, Janice Ellis. Just One Thing: a novel patient feedback model. British Dental Journal 222, 797 – 802 (2017).

Jennings BA, Keenan ID,  Life Sciences in an Integrated Curriculum: Starting the Conversation. MedEdPublish.

Hamde Nazar, Ilona Obara, Alastair Paterson, Zachariah Nazar, Jane Portlock, Andrew Husband. A Consensus Approach to Investigate Undergraduate Pharmacy Students’ Experience of Interprofessional Education 2017, 81(2).

Sawdon MA, Whitehouse K, Finn GM, McLachlan JC, Murray D,  Relating professionalism and conscientiousness to develop an objective, scalar, proxy measure of professionalism in anaesthetic trainees. BMC Medical Education.

Tiffin P, Paton LW, Mwandigha LM, McLachlan JC, Illing J,  Predicting fitness to practise events in international medical graduates who registered as UK doctors via the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) system: a national cohort study BMC Medicine. BMC Medicine.

Walker S, Gibbins J, Paes P, Adams A, Chandratilake M, Gishen F, Lodge P, Wee B, Barclay S,  Palliative care education for medical students: Differences in course evolution, organisation, evaluation and funding: A survey of all UK medical schools. Palliative Medicine.

Faculty work presented at ASME 2017

asme_logoWe’ve got a wide range of work being presented at ASME’s annual conference this year. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of what we’re showcasing via presentations, workshops and posters.  If your work has been missed off, let us know


Iain Keenan et al: Life Sciences in an integrated medical curriculum 6 Equality and Diversity in healthcare teaching: Supporting LGBT

Richard Thomson et al: Promoting resilience: latest fad or realistic educational target?

Laura Delgaty: If storytelling is central to human meaning, why, in the research world, is there not more storytelling?

Hugh Alberti et al: Facilitators and barriers to teaching undergraduate medical students in primary care: The GPs’ perspective.

Bryan Burford and Gill Vance et al: Evaluation of the educational impact of multiprofessional handover

Bryan Burford, Hugh Alberti, Susan Hrisos (IHS) , David Kennedy, Gill Vance: Active participation of ‘real-time’ patients in undergraduate medical education

Hugh Alberti: “Just a GP”: Active denigration of General Practice as a career choice.

Richard Thomson, Jane Stewart et al: Revolutionising feedback: an exploration of barriers and drivers to change

Laura Delgaty et al: A systematic review of qualitative research addressing learner and educator perceptions of valuable e-learning in
medical education

Hugh Alberti: Top Tips for GP Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Jane Stewart, Steve McHanwell et al: Creating and Evaluating the Impact of a Core Syllabus in Anatomy Education using a Delphi Methodology.

Richard Thomson, Jane Stewart et al: ‘Great idea’, ‘sounds scary’, I’m too busy’? Identifying the barriers in developing a staff peer observation programme

Charlotte Rothwell, Madeline Carter, Wayne Medford, Andrea Myers and Jan Illing: A Multinational Approach to Curriculum Design S Jones

Jan Illing, Charlotte Rothwell et al: A mixed-methods study to explore the system for assuring continuing fitness to practice of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registrants


3D printing facility potential for School of Dental Sciences


Whilst there is still a grey area over whether printed materials should be placed in the mouth, dental schools are realising that 3D printed material can be very useful within a clinical skills environment. Leeds Dental Institute and Queen Mary University London have significant expertise in this respect and are in the process of developing a range of 3D printed objects to use as teaching materials.

In April 2016 I was awarded an ERDP Development Grant to visit Leeds to see what they are doing and scope out the potential for developing a 3D printing facility here at Newcastle School of Dental Sciences.

During my visit, I met clinical teaching staff and discussed the potential use of 3D prints of tailored tooth models for preclinical courses and postgraduate courses.

What they use in Leeds is as follows:

  • A desktop scanner was used for the scans.
  • The desktop printer has a resin tank with voxel size of 50 micrometre, “which is fit for purpose”. These are in the range of £ 3K to 5K. These printers can print objects of 10X10X10 cm.
  • The material is laser set with supporting print material that is laid during the powder deposition and could be cleaned using isopropanol. This allows 3D printing of the internal structures in addition to the outer shape which is important when talking about tooth structure.
  • The length of a print will depend on the size of the aimed print. But roughly between three hours for a small one to an overnight for bigger samples.
  • In terms of the toughness of the material used, it was difficult to produce objects with more than one toughness properties.
  • Regarding the surface smoothness and roughness, the produced objects will not look as shiny as the Frasaco™ teeth, as the latter ones are injection made and are polished. 3D print surface roughness will depend on the resolution (for both the scan and the print out).

The potential for 3D printing as a teaching resource is great. 3D printers can be used to reproduce dentures from a previous scan taken at the fitting time. These printers can also be used to produce Michigan splints. Temporary crowns and restorations can be made but need an intra-oral camera to capture the prepared teeth in a format that the software can deal with. We are not milling prosthetics here, we are 3D printing them.

Following on from my study visit to Leeds, my plan is to apply for funding to buy a printer with similar technical specifications and to have a collaboration with Leeds/QMUL on educational research, internal dissemination on uses of 3D printing, and the scanned data.

I’d like to thank the ERDP for funding this piece of investigative work.

Iad Gharib, School of Dental Sciences