IUPS Teaching Workshops

The IUPS sponsors national and regional teaching workshops that enhance the knowledge and skills of faculty who teach physiology. The flagship event is an international workshop which is held every 4 years as a satellite to the IUPS Congress. During the years between the IUPS Congress, smaller workshops around the globe address regional teaching needs. These activities range from workshops embedded within a conference program to stand-alone workshops of a 1 to 3-day duration. Meeting Reports are regularly published in Advances in Physiology Education, providing insights into current topics of educational interest.

For example see: Chandran et al., Physiology without borders: report on physiology education workshops in India-IUPS Initiatives (2018-2019). Adv Physiol Educ.44(3):309-313, 2020. doi:10.1152/advan.00050.2020)

Chandran et al. IUPS Physiology Education Workshop series in India: organizational mechanics, outcomes, and lessons. Adv Physiol Educ 44: 709–721, 2020; doi:10.1152/advan.00128.2020.

Teaching Workshops Promote Faculty Professional Development

Teaching workshops emphasize the hands-on development of expertise in learner-centered educational methods. Workshops are most commonly structured as a series of experiential activities and a limited number of plenaries. Facilitators are a mix of local and international experts who provide feedback to participants as they develop and practice facilitation skills.

The IUPS approach is to “Teach the teacher”, providing participants with knowledge and materials to share with their colleagues when they return to their home institution. This way the impact of the workshops is multiplied, and the physiologists become a valuable local resource. In addition, the workshops emphasize networking opportunities with a supportive group of colleagues.

Physiologists Shift to Learner-Centred Educational Approaches

The last 40 years has seen a marked shift in curriculum toward modalities that place the learner at the center of the educational activity. The educational literature has documented the learning gains when active learning approaches are incorporated into classes. Workshops have provided facilitator training in diverse instructional methods as determined by the organizing committee. The Problem Based Learning approach allows students to establish and resolve their own learning objectives. Case Based Learning is a little more structured, with the cases providing a direct link between physiology and medicine. The Flipped Classroom approach has the students learn material before the session, with the class time devoted to practice problems. Each of these approaches requires a marked change in the role of the faculty from being a provider of information to be a facilitator of learning.

Sharing resources globally is accomplished by the IUPS Education listserv. This forum also provides announcements of upcoming educational opportunities and supports the community of physiology educators.

  • IUPS Teaching Workshops support physiology educators
  • Teaching workshops provide ‘hands-on’ experiences
  • Physiologists must adapt to support new curriculum changes
  • Workshop participants are prepared to be educational leaders
  • Workshops develop and refine facilitation skills
  • Workshops and a listserv support the IUPS a physiology education community