ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation (CCI) Report

By Dr. Wai Cheung, Dr. Harish Gulati and Jennipher Murphy

The theme of this year’s ADEA CCI Liaisons summer meeting was “Unlocking Innovation Through Technology” and the meeting lasted for two and a half days. During the first two days, through a keynote address, discussion among the ADEA leaders, an interactive panel and team projects, the focus was on the indications, assessment, and implement of the different technologies in dental education. During the last half day, the role for CCI Liaisons was revisited and discussed. In addition, two models of developing research capacity in the dental school were presented.

The two highlights were the “Learning Technology Myth Buster” interactive panel session where we used a cloud-based technology tool called “Poll Everywhere” which is very similar to our Learning Catalytics. We participated in a team-based polling activity which was helpful to experience. The other highlight was the “Team Projects” where we divided into groups in a workshop setting to re-design one course/lecture to promote active learning and critical thinking. Each group presented so we heard a lot of creative strategies. At the end of the conference the focus turned to one of the core principles of ADEA CCI – Scientific Discovery and Integration of Knowledge. Two models of building and expanding research capacity were presented: expanding the research capacity in a school with a reasonable research foundation and establishing a novel system to encourage and help faculty and students be involved in research in a school with relatively little research foundation.

Key Take Away’s:

  • TUSDM should continue to follow one of the “best practices” for technology integration- Just because you can integrate technology doesn’t mean you should. TUSDM practices a thoughtful approach where pedagogy comes first and we strive to link strategies to the learning objectives of the course.
  • Students don’t necessarily have the skills to “learn” with technology even though they are referred to as “digital natives”. It is our (faculty and staff) responsibility to model how to use technology when using it in the learning environment.
  • Faculty need to know the “why” behind using technology. There has to be a reason to use it and it has to improve the learning.
  • When students are asked to find out the information on their own with active learning strategies vs. being recipients of information in lectures, their retention rates increase to 70-90%.