The Faculty Development Program designed by AOSpine is a pathway through several training programs to improve teaching and knowledge skills. It is divided into three training levels: Faculty, Chairperson, and Educational Advisor. The programs are based on the AOSpine curriculum. The Curriculum is a learning framework which encompasses content from six areas of spine pathology, delivering knowledge based on competencies and learning outcomes. AO’s educational strategy is defined by the integration and interdependency of four key aspects of education.
These key aspects are:
- clearly defined Educational plan,
- facilitated by Assessment,
- supported by relevant Resources, and
- driven by Faculty development.
The intersection of these aspects creates the competencies that our curricula are based on. Competencies (or abilities) are a combination of the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable surgeons to effectively perform in their practice, setting and meeting the standards of the profession.
The present research do not need approval by the Ethic committee according to national regulations.
Educational Program for faculties
Faculty Educational Program (FEP)
Practical training aimed for spine surgeons who want to improve skills, knowledge and experience in the educational plan. It runs through many teaching techniques. The main goals of the program are:
Methods and Teaching techniques
- Present a class
- Manage a discussion group
- Manage practical exercises
Work with the students
- Motivate the participants
- Stimulate interaction among participants of a course
- Give proper feedback
Proper appliance of evaluations and outcomes information
- Proper use of the participant’s information, its needs, and cultural context in the educational process
- Work the results in teaching techniques
- Set reasonable expectations for a teaching lesson
- Evaluate and improve its own performance as a Faculty
The FEP is a blended learning program separated in three parts: 1. Online activities, 2. Face-to-face course, and 3. Post-course activities. (Fig.01)
The online activities are developed five weeks prior to the face-to-face event. During this period the students must accomplish a self-evaluation, several online activities, and take part in an online forum. The goals of this first part are to set an educational base on how adults learn and how to present a class, carry out practical exercises, and manage group discussions. The students are also stimulated to use the online platform to start to know the other participants and interact with each other.
The face-to-face event is a 1.5-days of immersive activities. It starts with clearly explanation of the AO standards of teaching quality. Following, each participant must:
- Give a 7 minutes presentation
- Manage a discussion group for 10 minutes
- Manage practical exercises
In the end, each student receives a detailed feedback of the Faculty and all the other students. These sessions are recorded on video to improve the student’s teaching skills.
It starts with a self-assessment followed by different interventions through online forums.
Chairperson Educational Program (CEP)
Program focused on teaching methods, logistics, relationship with third party allied, and faculty management. Equips course chairpersons with the skills and tools to adjust the Principles and generic course templates according to the learners’ needs. Because this is progressive training, all the participants to the CEP need to previously attend to the FEP. The program encourages participants to work with their own course material and implement their skills and knowledge in the areas of course development, assessment, and evaluation. The main goals of the program are:
- Describe the role of the course chairperson and the corresponding tasks–before, during and after an educational event.
- Select appropriate content from the templates that addresses the learners’ gaps.
- Select different teaching methods and sequence them appropriately.
- Use the data from assessments to adjust the program templates based on learner needs.
- Appropriately assign faculty based on expertise, experience, and principles of effective teaching.
- Manage faculty including early communication as part of pre-course activities and regular faculty meetings throughout the educational activity.
- Conduct evaluation activities and analyze the results.
The CEP is also based on a blended learning structure separated in three parts: 1. Online activities, 2. Face-to-face course, and 3. Post-course activities.
Online activities developed four weeks prior to the face-to-face event. It includes self-assessment, online self-study, and discussion. Course topics include “Chairperson’s role and tasks”, “Addressing learners’ gaps”, and “Faculty management”. Interaction is encouraged via the online forums.
The face-to-face event is a 1.5-days of immersive activities. It is mainly based on interactive sessions. Beginning with early communication and pre-course activities, all participants receive detailed feedback on their course planning from the group and the faculty/educator.
After the face-to-face event, self-assessment is initiated and participants are being encouraged to contribute to the ongoing online discussion.
Types of faculties
The roles at the events may include National Faculty (people from the country of the event), Regional Faculty (foreigner of the region), and International Faculty (foreigner outside the
Region). Not every National Faculty previously attended a Faculty Educational Program (FEP). However, every Regional Faculty and International Faculty had to be formally trained to hold this position in an educational event. To hold the role of Chairperson, the Faculty must have previously attended a CEP and the FEP.
Retrospective study from a prospective database. The information for Faculty performance (national, regional and international) in all AOSpine educational events from 2008 to 2016 was retrospectively reviewed.
360° of the Course Assessment
Participants: AOSpine develops CME programs in three levels: (1) principium, (2) advanced, and (3) master. In every event, all the participants are invited to fulfill pre and prost-assessments focused on personal needs and expectations—addressing overall information regarding the educational event. The participants evaluate the Faculty performance and the overall event. To assess participant’s degree of satisfaction about the faculty performance, participants respond using a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1-Bad to 5-Excelent, to each Faculty at the event. To do so, they are oriented to use the following guiding questions:
- Did he/she refereed the subject?
- Did he/she reached the goals?
- Did he/she respected the timetable?
- Quality of images
- Quality of presentation
Survey of need assessment and quality of education
As part of our educational strategy, we’ve developed a supplementary survey with the participants in 2016. It covered demographic topics and 4 specific questions regarding (1) quality expectations for CME programs, (2) AOSpine events highlights, (3) what could be improved in AOSpine events, and (4) activities of interest. Participants were asked to put each of the following topics in a priority ranking from 1 to 3 for the first 3 mentioned questions:
- Quality of scientific program
- Faculty quality
- Academic freedom
- Organization and logistic
- Quality of support material
- Active participation of the audience
For the last question (activities of interest) the options to be ranked were:
- Live surgeries
- Seminars/Theoretical courses
- Practice in cadaver
- Virtual courses
- Live surgeries in animals
- Practice in plastic bones
- Clinical cases discussion
Educational Advisors: experienced faculty in education that one of the function is to evaluate the Faculty performance. He scores each Faculty in 4 different topics using the same five-point Likert scale, ending up in an average performance score. The following questions are scored:
- Quality of presentation
- Interaction towards discussions
- Timetable accuracy
- Language fluency (events may involve up to three different languages in Latin America)