Teaching projects

Project support

tEACH has been involved in several national projects to improve healthcare communication teaching. Based on these experiences tEACH has developed a comprehensive package of trainings and consultancy, that can be adapted to specific needs. tEACH has participated in national projects in Poland, Austria and Ireland.

In collaboration with local organisations, tEACH worked on:

  • further qualification of communication trainers and clinical teachers
  • developing and implementing communication skills training in healthcare according to evidence-based standards
  • development of a network of trainers
  • provide consultation to the nationwide implementation of communication skills training in healthcare organizations.

Participants have evaluated these activities highly.

Who is involved

Experienced and trained facilitators from tEACH.

The courses are organized by the Courses and Support for Trainers Group.

“Great training. Great rapport building with participants.”
“Structured approach to communication excellent.”
“Take us off automatic pilot that we are used to.”

Our aim is to help a wide range of teachers in local settings to improve teaching clinical communication skills. We can do this by training trainers within their specific institutions.

On request tEACH helps to develop and deliver courses in collaboration with educational institutions, tailored to their specific needs. Courses are usually delivered in English. Depending on trainer availability, it is sometimes possible to do it in the local language.

Since 2011 tEACH has run tailored local courses in Norway, South Africa, Poland, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Moldova and Japan. Participants were extremely positive in their evaluations.

Who is involved

Experienced and trained facilitators from tEACH. The courses are organized by the Courses and Support for Trainers Group

Current projects

What is the project about?

This Cross-Cultural group is currently conducting a scoping review on educational programmes in health care professions. It aims to produce:

  • an overview of approaches to teaching cross-cultural communication,
  • a collection of available teaching tools for the `teaching tools database´
  • gather evidence and best-practise in teaching cross-cultural communication, and
  • derive a model for developing cross-cultural communication educational programmes in health care professions.

Rationale for the project

Cross-cultural communication has become increasingly important due to an increase of diversity and multiculturalism in societies.

Impact/results

Preliminary results:

A broad variety of studies exist with regards to teaching topics, level of learners, countries, health care professions and study-designs.

  • Most studies come from medical education and nursing. Few studies exist in pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, dietetics, interpreters and patients.
  • Most studies have been conducted in countries that are culturally diverse.
  • Most educational programmes focus on postgraduate training.
  • A variety of learning objectives and teaching methods could be identified.
  • The teaching tools collection consists of mainly English-speaking material.

A publication is planned.

Who is involved?

5 members of tEACH coming from five countries are involved in this project.

What is the project about?

The Assessment group, assisted by prof. dr. Peter Pype, is currently conducting a scoping review on written assessment of communication skills. The project started in 2018. It aims to provide:

  • a bibliography of studies on written assessment of communication skills published until April 2019
  • a number best-practises for written assessment of communication skills
  • advice on how to study and report about written assessment of communication skills
  • an article describing the things we know from literature on written assessment of communication skills.

Rationale for the project

Many universities and colleges have a large number of students. Therefore, they resort to written tests for communication skills. There is a gap in the literature regarding the pros and cons of written testing of communication skills.

Impact/results

Preliminary results:

We found 70 studies that we could include in the review. A broad variety of studies exist with regards to level of learners, countries, healthcare professions and study-designs.

  • In many studies, written assessment is only a small part of the research.
  • Often information is missing about the actual test.

We hope to publicise on this project in 2020.

Who is involved?

8 members of tEACH coming from eight countries are involved in this project.

The Assessment group has been working on several projects delivering products that can be of interest to communication teachers looking for more knowledge and tools for communication skills assessment.

2-day course: How to assess communication skills?

The Assessment course covers general principles of assessment and several ways of assessing communication skills. In the course there is an experiential session on OSCEs, interactive work forms on written assessment and workplace based assessment of communication skills. Participants will be able to share their experiences and questions, and will also work on their own new assessment ventures or on ideas how to improve or extend existing assessment programmes in their home universities.

Workshops on assessment topics

The Assessment group has delivered several workshops in international conferences and meetings. The workshops covered the following topics:

  • How to select an assessment tool if you need one?
  • General principles of assessment of Communication Skills (CS)
  • Global rating vs checklist rating
  • How to write questions on communication using patient vignettes?
  • “Now, let’s assess communication skills!” – How to integrate communication skills assessment in the curriculum?
  • Assessment of communication skills in the workplace

The workshops are available to be delivered upon request.

Symposia on assessment topics

At previous ICCH conferences, we delivered several symposia on issues related to assessment.

OSCE symposium
The OSCE has become one of the most important assessment methods of health professionals’ communication. Although the format has been used for almost forty years, there are still unsolved questions. This symposium enabled five key challenges to be explored from a variety of perspectives:

  • Should communication skills be assessed separately or together with other clinical skills?
  • Are detailed checklists better than global ratings?
  • What is the role of feedback?
  • What is adequate in examiner training?
  • Is the money spent worth the effort and impact on students’ learning?

All challenges were discussed after a brief introduction on current literature.

Reflective practice in learning CS (symposium)
Reflective practice is one of the most important tools in learning communication skills. It is unclear, if and how reflective practice leads to a different performance in communication. In this symposium, theory was linked to practical examples of reflective practice, learning and performance in various practice settings. Four presentations were given and the results were discussed.

What is the project about?

The Workplace group is currently working on developing brief resources to help guide clinical teachers in effective communication teaching in the clinical setting. These “Workplace based Teaching Tips” address a variety of contexts and strategies for teaching communication such as observation and feedback, bedside teaching, workplace-based assessment, reporting in front of the patient, peer feedback in a clinical setting, challenging feedback, and clinical reasoning.

Rationale for the project

Research in health professions communication learning has demonstrated that learners’ communication skills can deteriorate over the course of their training.  Research shows a lack of reinforcement of classroom based learning in the clinical workplace.

Impact/results

Products are:

  • Template for Workplace Teaching Tips
  • Workplace based Teaching Tips on
  • Brief videos to accompany Teaching Tips
  • Workplace Teaching and Learning course (click to learn more)

Teaching tips can be accessed on the EACH website, accompanied by brief videos demonstrating effective use of these teaching techniques.

Other resources such as experiential trainings, conference workshops, … will be developed.

 Who is involved?

5 members of tEACH coming from four countries are involved in this project.

tEACH offers courses for trainers and teachers of communication skills in health care across all professional groups. The courses use and promote a skills-based and evidence-based approach to teaching communication skills. Hundreds of teachers from different healthcare teaching settings and professions have already profited from these courses.

Courses

We currently offer 6 different courses:

  • What to Teach in Communication Skills Teaching: Skills and Structure (For more information click here)
  • How to teach: Experiential Communication Skills Teaching (For more information click here)
  • Challenges in Experiential Teaching (For more information click here)
  • Curriculum Development in Communication Skills Teaching (For more information click here)
  • Assessment in Communication Teaching (For more information click here)
  • Workplace based Communication Skills Teaching (For more information click here)

Each course can be taken separately. Together they provide a comprehensive programme of training. The courses involve a mix of learning methods with a particular focus on the active involvement of participants.

To date, all of these courses have been evaluated extremely positive by participants.

For more information about courses for the coming year and/or to register, click here.

Who is involved?

6 members of tEACH coming from six different countries are involved in this project.