Welcome to the OME Gamechanger Series. The overarching goal of this series is to highlight an important aspect of medical education and how OME plans to make a difference. Each month, an academic expert and member of the OME team will share how OME is connected to the bigger picture through their eyes. In this installment of the Gamechanger Series, we will focus on Yating Teng, PhD, MS, our Director of Institutional Research, why she believes OME is a gamechanger in best practices in medical education, and what inspires her about OME.
At OnlineMedEd, we believe improving patient care starts by transforming learning in and out of the classroom. We help faculty and institutions by providing medical teaching resources that enable easier teaching, reinforcement and learning of crucial foundations so faculty can build stronger medical professionals, institutions can expand their impact, and students can transform memorization into knowledge. The result is a more empathetic and prepared generation of healthcare professionals, which has the downstream impact of improving millions of lives through great patient care.
About me and my role at OnlineMedEd
I am an instructional designer, health professions education researcher, and adult educator who is passionate about using technology to support effective teaching and learning. As the Director of Institutional Research at OnlineMedEd (OME), I serve as the bridge between medical schools and OME for conducting research around the OME resources. I also translate relevant research findings into practice by working with medical schools to design interventions, and I support OME's product team in improving the resources we offer.
Prior to joining OME, I was an Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University at the Center for Health Professions Education, where I trained health professionals to conduct research and quantitative data analysis to contribute to the health professions education field. I also helped the medical school transition from a traditional face-to-face curriculum to a blended/online learning one, and I provided faculty development training to support this transition. Prior to my time in academia, I was a learning researcher at Adobe Systems, where I worked to improve how the company supports micro- and just-in-time learning for designers and developers.
Why I am excited to be part of OnlineMedEd
The first time I accessed OME, I was impressed by the way concepts were taught and how clinical reasoning was embedded into realistic case scenarios. The platform focuses not only on delivering content, but also on how learners can transition from simply gaining knowledge to applying that knowledge to clinical reasoning and settings. This transition is usually one of the harder pieces for health professionals to grasp during their learning journey. I also thought that the platform’s technology was beautifully implemented to introduce content and teach concepts. OME is a great example of technology that is designed to serve learners instead of something that needs to be learned by learners. It is built and implemented in a way which empowers learners to direct and regulate their own learning. Last but not least, OME has a wide reach and the ability to impact a big audience of health professionals — including those outside the U.S. I am excited to contribute to OME by applying my expertise in research and program evaluation to improve OME’s content.
What motivates me
Finding the best ways to use technology in teaching and learning is what motivates me, and it’s an area that I’m passionate about. I constantly contemplate how I can help people learn better and faster, and how new technology can really be a catalyst — instead of a barrier — for learning. As an adult educator, I’m also interested in thinking about adaptive learning, and about providing on-the-job and just-in-time learning with just the right amount of learning and appropriate difficulty. At these moments, learners are naturally most motivated to learn and connected to the learning content.
The best advice anyone ever gave me
“It’s OK to not figure things out.” I had always been pressuring myself to figure things out. However, one of my mentors helped me realize that not figuring things out also meant keeping myself open to various opportunities and trying out new things and routes. I might not ever figure things out — and that’s completely OK.
What I feel is the biggest challenge in medical education today
I think the biggest challenge in medical education now is limited time. This lack of time impacts not just faculty teaching, but also learners’ learning. Faculty have little time to prepare and deliver teaching material, especially following curricular changes that have required more focus and more time spent on clinical experiences. Learners also have limited time to absorb an enormous amount of content, in addition to their clinical responsibilities. OME works to address these real-life challenges, both for faculty and learners. Our team partners with faculty and learners to make teaching and learning more effective and efficient. This is a big part of why I was so excited to join OME. For faculty, I think OME provides an online learning solution that decreases the time needed to prepare lectures and materials on foundational knowledge —allowing faculty to instead spend more time on higher-level learning activities. For learners, OME’s self-directed platform allows them to use the modalities that best fit their learning needs and to design their learning to fit their environment.
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