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Dr. Gwyn Bebb

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008/02/11 - 2:18pm.
  • Faculty: Medicine
  • Department: Oncology

Teaching Awards

Great teachers involve their students meaningfully in the course. How do you engage your students?

I engage my students with several strategies:

1. It is important to clearly establish that there really are no dumb questions. No one in the class is stupid and so there is always a need to answer even the most basic sounding question in a non- patronizing, constructive way after acknowledging the importance of the question. This I feel helps create a constructive, non-threatening atmosphere for learning and makes everyone better prepared to participate.

2. Use specific anecdotes and clinical cases to illustrate points: I learnt this from a superb teacher in Vancouver and still remember the cases he described to drive home important points. There can be added weight if the clinical cases are particularly pertinent to the audience in terms of demographics or their recent experience on the wards or as in some cases to current affairs.

3. Highlighting paradoxes I feel are a great way of teaching. The fact that the truth can be completely counter-intuitive is always memorable. I try to present a number of key facts leading to a paradox as a means of highlighting important principles.

4. Humour and mild self-deprecation can be very useful teaching tools, but must be used in moderation. I want my audience to enjoy themselves during my teaching but I do not want them to remember jokes or stories about myself at the expense of the main thrust of the lecture.