Gearing up for #AMEE2017: Barcamps and Open MedEd practice

This weekend I’m off to the annual AMEE conference in Helsinki.  It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since last year’s meeting, it’s been a busy year, but a quiet one on the blogging front.  Apart from a couple of short posts the last substantial post was my review of my personal highlights from last year’s AMEE.  One of those highlights was the double Barcamp session and I’m delighted that we’ll be running this again in Helsinki.  A key feature of Barcamps  is the participation of all participants with everyone invited to suggest topics, questions, or outline problems that they want to explore and discuss.  One aspect that individuals appreciated about last year’s Barcamps was having time to think and reflect and a number of us having had a positive experience have gone on to use the format in various activities in our own institutions. At Dundee we used the Barcamp format to kick off our Global Health Challenge last autumn and we also adopted it to shape discussion in one of  our e-assessment community of practice meetings. If you’re going to AMEE I’d recommend coming along to one of the Barcamp sessions which are running Monday afternoon and if you’d like to learn a little more about what to expect check out the helpful introduction to the barcamp approach which my colleagues have published in MedEdPublish.

My other key involvement at AMEE this year is with a couple of pre-conference workshops one looking at developing as an open medical education practitioner where I’m teaming up with my colleague Annalisa Manca.  Together we’re also working with Meg Chisholm to run another workshop looking at social media in and as research.  I’m also delighted that another of my colleague’s Amy Arnold, from Robert Gordon University School of Pharmacy, is going to be presenting some of our work on interprofessional learning with medical and pharmacy students.

One of my reflections from last year, prompted by Andrew Coggin’s blog post Pearls from the AMEE 2016 Conference, relates to  the general lack of mention of FOAMed – free open access meducation. Annalisa and I ran a workshop on FOAMed a few years ago but open education practice doesn’t really seem to have taken off in mainstream medical education in the way that it has in other disciplines in higher education.  Within medicine FOAMed has taken off most in emergency medicine, radiology and paediatrics but is perhaps still little known in other specialities.  We’ve got 35 people signed up for our pre-conference workshop on Sunday and we’ll be building on some of the work that we do with our students on our Doctor as Digital Teacher SSC as we introduce participants to the world of open medical education.  I’m in the process of putting some finishing touches to a blog that we’re going to use to support the activities in the workshop and I intend to keep the site going afterwards so that it can be reused as an open educational resource (OER) beyond the workshop.  Before it goes live I’d welcome any top tips other FOAMed advocates might want to share with  those just beginning to think about developing as an open medical education practitioner.  The hashtag for our open meded workshop will be #AMEE2017 #PCW18.

All being well I’ll be posting some reflections on AMEE and hopefully I’l manage a few more blogs posts over the next 12 months.