Join in as Dr. Ryan Nelson, @RyanNelsonMD, teaches us how to create effective, engaging whiteboard mini lectures (WMLs). He provides tips and tricks for incorporating cognitive multimedia learning theory into WMLs as well as common pitfalls and how to overcome them.
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WMLs are interactive, small group teaching sessions, typically 30 minutes or less where the instructor uses a whiteboard and markers as the primary teaching tools. A WML is a type of chalk talk. Other types of chalk talks include teaching at the bedside with a notecard or online digital whiteboard modules (Orlander 2007).
Creating a WML takes around 4-5 hours. Utilize the following steps.
|Steps to Create Your Own Whiteboard Mini Lecture
|Start with broad topic (i.e pneumonia) and narrow it down to a focused topic (i.e diagnosis and treatment of CAP)
|Determine the learning objectives, typically 2-3 per WML
|Dive into the literature and map a rough draft of the content onto one piece of paper. Try to use only 1-2 sources to avoid source overload.
|Take a second piece of paper and map the WML into a whiteboard layout (title, headings, visual representations of each segment).
|Design the final draft of the WML to use as a reference.
|After giving each lecture, update using feedback and changes in guidelines.
Cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) says that we encode information through two channels- the visual channel and auditory channel. As we bring in information, there are three types of cognitive load (extraneous, essential, and generative) we must successfully navigate (Multimedia Learning by Richard Mayer) .
|Applying CTML to WMLs
|Unnecessary details that we need to weed out
|Simplify the text (use arrows and symbols)Organize with headingsIntegrate in labels
|Information related to learning objectives
|Divide whiteboard into segments of contentFamiliarize learners with terms used prior to the WML
|Linking new information to previous experiences in order to encode deeper learning
|Create advance organizersEngage the audience (use learners names, linking topics to patients, varying pitch of voice, and using expressive body language)
What is an advance organizer?
Advanced organizers are diagrams, concept maps, or outlines that act as tools for learners to integrate new information with their preexisting knowledge–a concept first introduced by David Ausubel. He believed that meaningful learning occurred when new information was connected to existing knowledge in a logical, coherent way.
Learners have so much existing knowledge, whether that is from preclinical courses, a patient they are following on the wards, or a practice question they did the night prior. The WML is a prime opportunity to create a framework for them to connect all of those moving pieces into a succinct, logical outline.
Some examples of WMLs created by Dr. Ryan Nelson:
Dr. Nelson recommends visually segmenting the content to allow for natural stopping points. This allows you to seamlessly pick up the WML at another time.
Week 4 of Dr. Nelson’s tweetorial discusses this in detail.
Listeners will appreciate the ways to create an effective whiteboard mini lecture also known as a chalk talk using principles of cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the common pitfalls and ways to overcome them when designing and delivering chalk talks.
After listening to this episode listeners will…
Dr Ryan Nelson reports no relevant financial disclosures. The Curbsiders report no relevant financial disclosures.
Chaiklin C, Nelson R, Heublein M, Kryzhanovskaya E. “#29 Elevate your Whiteboard Mini Lecture (aka Chalk Talk) with Dr. Ryan Nelson.” The Curbsiders Teach Podcast. https://thecurbsiders.com/teach May 2, 2023.
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