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Program Details

The 2017 Summer Conference hosted by the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine is packed with exceptional opportunities and experiences. Outlined below are the details and schedule of the conference.

Outline of Events:

Scroll down page for details on each session.


For more program details, SCROLL down the page or select one of the buttons above. The conference will be held at the Colorado State University Diagnostic Medicine Center, 300 W Drake Rd, Room #DMC101  – unless otherwise stated. To download a picture of the schedule, click here.

July 12, Wednesday:

2:00 PM: Working Group Meetings

3:45 PM: BMP Committee pre-conference meeting

6:30 PM: Conference Kick-off Event – Meal is included with registration – Location: Horse & Dragon Brewing Company (124 Racquette Dr)

July 13, Thursday:

7:50 am: Welcome

8:15 am: RTA Initiative Reports –

  1. Faculty Development (VETS)
  2. Local Peer Observation
  3. External Review of Teaching

9:15 am: Break

9:45 am: Keynote Workshop – Critical Thinking/Clinical Reasoning Part 1

11:45 am: Lunch

12:45 pm: Scholarship Session – Peer reviewed (podium presentations of accepted abstracts)

1:45 pm: Workshop: External Peer Review of Teaching Promotion packet

3:15 pm: Wellness- Optimizing Student and Faculty Well Being & Break

3:45 pm: Technology in Teaching (Response systems)

4:30 pm: Teaching Experiments

6:00 PM: Social and Dinner – Meal is included with registration – Location: Rio Grande (143 W Mountain Ave)

July 14, Friday:

7:50 am: Conference Announcements

8:00 am: Teaching Experiments

9:00 am: Keynote Workshop – Critical Thinking/Clinical Reasoning Part 2

10:15 am: Wellness – Optimizing Student and Faculty Well Being & Break

10:45 am: Workshop: Peer Observation of clinical / small group teaching

11:45 am: Lunch

12:45 pm: Scholarship Session – Peer reviewed (podium presentations of accepted abstracts)

1:45 pm: Wellness – Optimizing Student and Faculty Well – Being & Break

2:15 pm: Teaching Experiments

2:45 pm: Workshop: VETS Program – Assessment

4:15 pm: Conference Wrap-up & RTA Town Hall (everyone is encouraged to take part)

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Celeste Royce, MD is a generalist in obstetrics and gynecology, and practices at the Bowdoin Street Health Center, a community health center providing comprehensive medical care to a predominantly immigrant, culturally diverse and socio-economically challenged population in Dorchester, MA. Dr. Royce is the Clerkship Director for the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and the course director for the fourth year elective Boot Camp at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Kathleen Huth, BASc, MD, FRCPC is a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and a Lecturer in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Ottawa. She is completing a Master of Medical Sciences in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Her clinical and research interests are in teaching critical thinking and communication skills, particularly in the care of children with medical complexity. Dr. Huth has a scholarly interest in behavioral economics and judgment under uncertainty; and has developed educational resources for improving critical thinking for post-doctoral students, medical students, residents and faculty.

Keynote Workshops (Thursday & Friday):
“Thinking about our thinking: An exploration of cognitive biases and strategies for teaching critical thinking”

Session Co-Chairs – Steve Hines (WSU) and Rachel Halsey (WSU)

Critical thinking is an essential skill for sound decision-making in the scientific disciplines, yet it is challenging to develop and to teach. In this two-part session, participants will engage in interactive activities that highlight “how we think”, and use their new knowledge to identify examples of cognitive biases in their own clinical and educational context. Participants will have an opportunity to practice strategies for teaching critical thinking and to develop plans for putting them into action in their home institutions. Designed for a broad audience including basic scientists, clinicians, and educators, these workshops will offer a toolkit to help participants—and their learners—develop as critical thinkers. Our workshop leaders are from The Academy at Harvard Medical School (Celeste Royce, MD, and Kathleen Huth, MD, FRCPC).

Pre-Conference Reading Assignment – a story from the New Yorker – “What’s the Trouble? How doctors think”

RTA Initiatives – Reports:

Session Chair – Elena Gorman (OSU)

30 minutes each: Updates and progress reports from the three major working groups within the RTA – 30 minutes each. The working groups are: Faculty Development, External Peer Review of Teaching, and Local Peer Review of Teaching. FYI: there are no plans to initiate a new working group this year. Instead we want to focus on our current, very ambitious RTA initiatives.

RTA Initiative Workshops:

Workshops – RTA Faculty Development Working Groups:

Session Chair – Kristy Dowers (CSU)

    90 minutes: Assessing student understanding is a critical component of any education program. Often, the level at which students need to be able to demonstrate their understanding changes throughout a program. Unfortunately, for many of us, the tools with which we are familiar for assessing students – quizzes, tests, checklists, etc. – may not allow us to assess at different levels of understanding (e.g., recall, application, synthesis, etc.). In this interactive session, we will explore assessment strategies that allow students to demonstrate understanding of topics at many different levels and discuss implications for our programs.

Workshop – RTA Local Peer Review (observation!) of Teaching:

Session Chair – Diana Hassel (CSU)

    60 minutes: In this session we will put Local Peer Observation tools developed by the RTA to work for both large group/didactic settings as well as small group/clinical settings. Learn how to integrate these tools into your own academic setting as a useful and easy mechanism to enhance teaching.

Workshop – RTA External Peer Review of Teaching:

Session Co-Chairs – Steve Hines (WSU) and Peggy Barr (WUHS)

    90 minutes: Come to this workshop to learn about the RTA’s new process for external peer review of promotion packets. More importantly, come learn how to build your own promotion packet AND/OR how to coach other faculty at your college as they build theirs.

Experiments in Teaching:

Session Chair – Barbara Byrne (UCD)

Bored with the same old lecture format? Come to the “Experiments in Teaching” session to see how other teachers are stretching their limits to reinvigorate their students’ learning. Even better, contact Barbara Byrne (bbyrne@ucdavis.edu) to talk about presenting something innovative you are doing in your own teaching (Tentative: 10 min presentations + 5 minutes for questions)

Scholarship Sessions:

Session Chair – Ohad Levi (WUHS)

The RTA Biennial Meeting is a great venue to present your educational research or veterinary medical education research. The planning committee is particularly interested in any research that involves collaboration between member colleges. Peer reviewed – 10 minutes podium presentations + 5 min for questions. Questions? Contact Ohad Levi (olevi@westernu.edu).

Protocol Draft for abstract/poster selection for the scholarship presentation

    • Scholarship presentation – 3 session of two hours in total (dependent on peer reviewed selection)
    • Posters Display –

Abstract and Poster Submission Guidelines

Deadline for abstract submission via email by June 7th, 2017

Optimizing Student and Faculty Well-Being:

Session Chair – Laurie Fonken (CSU)

“Optimizing Well-Being” A series of short informative sessions which will encourage consideration, of and dialogue on, both personal and professional well-being. Sessions will offer strategies and tips on how to actualize well-being as an everyday practice.

Effective Use of Technology in Teaching / Student Response Systems

Session Chair – Leslie Sprunger (WSU)

60 minutes: This session will include specific examples of technology-based teaching and learning activities presented by RTA Fellows. A call for presentations will be forthcoming soon, but if you have something you’re eager to present, contact Leslie (lsprunger@vetmed.wsu.edu) with your idea.

Networking and Communities of Practice

Session Co-Chair – Linda Barter (UCD) and Rachel Halsey (WSU)

Collaboration and networking are one of the foundational concepts of the Regional Teaching Academy. Research has shown that having a network of colleagues that are interested in the same interest areas will increase productivity. During this year’s biennial conference we will explore and expand your opportunity to connect with colleagues in the same subject area and interests.