IUPS workshop – Evaluation of critical thinking skills in physiology

The Department of Physiology of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guwahati, in conjunction with IUPS has organized a workshop on “Designing Assessment to Evaluate Critical Thinking Skills in Physiology” which took place on September 29th-30th, 2021. It has been organized with an aim to help physiologists from various parts of India especially those from relatively newer institutes to plan and design assessments addressing critical skills in Physiology.

Read more about the workshop

The workshop was inaugurated by Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director, AIIMS-Guwahati and addressed by Julie Chan, President. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize faculty members from the discipline of physiology about the importance of fostering and assessing critical thinking skills among medical students, and had 40 Physiology faculty members enrolled as participants from different medical institutions across India. Look for details regarding faculty here https://www.iups.org/iups-critical-thinking-in-physiology-workshop/

A pre-workshop activity collected the opinions of participants on assessment of critical thinking skills and any hurdles related to it.  Manasi Bhattacharjee, Chair, Physiology, AIIMS-Guwahati and Organizer of the Workshop presented her analyses of collated data indicating that a large number of Workshop Participants had considered positively about its importance. Critical thinking and clinical reasoning considered to be the cornerstones for teaching and training tomorrow’s doctors, while clinical reasoning as the application of critical thinking to a clinical situation was strongly supported by 80% of Participants. On the issue of developing critical thinking skills among medical students only 50% of institutions laid emphasis on such skill development, but only 39% institutions had assessment methods in place. An unmet need therefore exists to develop guidelines for designing assessments to test critical thinking skills.  

Renowned medical educationists, Robert Carroll (USA) and Liisa Peltonen (Finland) addressed participants, and from India, Renuka Sharma and Manpreet Kaur, Dinu Chandran and Suriya Prakash provided insight on assessment methodologies and their challenges. The Workshop group activity enabled virtual break-out rooms for participants to design questions (multiple choice, short and long answer questions) to evaluate critical thinking skills through close interactions with the Faculty Experts.

Positive feedback received from the participants regarding the relevance and conduct of the workshop suggested that a rich exchange of ideas would definitely widen their perspective about physiology education, though more time might be allotted for in-depth discussions.

The workshop sets the stage for a relook into the current status of teaching and assessment, thereby making physiology more relevant to the students of today and the doctors of tomorrow.

In her valedictory address Jayasree Sengupta, Chair, Board of General Assembly of the IUPS congratulated the Organizers, Participants and the Faculty Experts for their time and interest and commented that similar to the current Workshop, networking among physiologists would be necessary to advance teaching and research in physiological sciences to fulfill the mission of the IUPS

Interested in the the ideas behind our teaching workshops? See https://www.iups.org/activities/teaching-workshops/