Summary: In his latest blog Professor Harden discusses a teacher's eye-opening experience gaining a student's perspective, the use of concept maps in a curriculum and the benefits of post-publication review Description: Gaining a student’s perspective
Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns was a feature in the Washington Post. The article described a teacher with 14 years’ experience who shadowed a student for a day. It was, she says, an eye-opener and highlighted the things that she needed to change in her own teaching. Perhaps it is too difficult to arrange but would it be outrageous if we spent a day of our time following one of our students and sharing their experiences? (

Concept maps
I have felt for some time that we have not paid enough attention to concept maps, not only as a learning and assessment tool but also in relation to core curricula and the move to outcome based education, integration and interprofessional education. The paper in MedEdPublish Using Concept Maps to Create Meaningful Learning in Medical Education by Daley, Durning and Torre highlights some of these uses. This has been one of the most viewed papers in MedEdPublish with over 2000 views since it was published (Daley, Durning & Torre. 2016. Using Concept Maps to Create Meaningful Learning in Medical Education. MedEdPublish. 5(1).

Post-publication review
In an article in The Scholarly Kitchen, The Decline and Fall of the Editor, Joseph Esposito talks about the move to open-access publishing.

“Putting Gold OA (open access) into the hands of funding bodies has the practical effect, whatever the intentions of the agencies, of making more robust editorial operations seem terribly overpriced. This is why there are no new plans to create such editorial shops and why we may live in a world without them.”

He goes on to argue, however, that there is a way out of this

“Post-publication peer review, by whatever name, could take the place of the editorial work that in in the traditional model occurs prior to publication. And it makes a certain sense: let’s have the community at large evaluate publications. The problem is that there is to date no strong economic model for this, though organizations such as the Faculty of 1000 and Publons are trying to change that.”

I have no doubt that we will see more of post-publication peer review. We are making good progress with AMEE MedEdPublish as a new, forward-looking AMEE journal for education in the healthcare professions with a post-publication review process in place.

A disruptive innovation
The Wall Street Journal reported on May 15th that “Last month’s announcement that Indiana’s Purdue University would acquire the for-profit Kaplan University shocked the world of higher education.” The article suggests that “the venture is unexpected, unconventional—and smart”. It equates the move to a disruptive innovation, as described in Clayton Christiansen’s book The Innovators Dilemma. It goes on to suggest “the higher education industry, full of brilliant and competent leaders, is ripe for disruption”. Could the launch of MedEdPublish, with its emphasis on rapid publication and post-publication review be a disruptive innovation in medical publishing?

Five great non-education books that might change your thinking on teaching and learning
In his blog of 15th May, George Couros describes five great non-education books that might change your thinking on teaching and learning. The first was Drive by Daniel Pink. Couros argues, “if you don’t think a book on the science of motivation applies to education, you are missing a huge opportunity in education. This book did not reaffirm a lot of my thinking, it changed it.” The importance of intrinsic motivation rather than carrots and sticks to learn is highlighted.

The second is The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Couros suggests that the lessons may seem like common sense but they are not necessarily that common –
  • Be Proactive
  • Begin with the End in Mind
  • Put First Things First
  • Think Win/Win
  • Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  • Synergize
  • Sharpen the Saw
The third book is Humanize by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant. This looks at the internet and social media in a different way.
Mindset by Carol Dweck examines how we look at students and their potential and how they learn as well as how we look at our own learning.

The Paradoxical Choice by Barry Schwartz describes how choice can be a benefit or a detriment, depending on how we see it. Too much choice can be overwhelming.

On a lighter note
I am interested in gardening. This month it is a busy time in the greenhouses potting on the fuchsia and geranium cuttings for a summer show and for the hanging baskets. It is possible to grow tomato varieties not available in supermarkets. I was impressed by the incredible flower timelapse film referred to by Doug Belshaw in his blog of 14/5/17. It took three years and 8TB of photos to create! (