Education retreat defines campus academic goals

August 14, 2014

Image with caption: Attendees at last week's Education Council Strategic Planning Retreat.

Attendees at last week's Education Council Strategic Planning Retreat.

Campus leaders, faculty and students met at the Education Council Strategic Planning Retreat to discuss innovative ways to enhance UNMC's educational programs to ensure UNMC's role as the most highly learning-centered university in health professions education.

"The Education Council's first educational retreat was a great forum to discuss our process for becoming a national leader in health sciences education."

Howard Liu, M.D.

During a two-hour discussion session, Dele Davies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs, other campus leaders and representatives from Apple discussed the challenges and advantages of such initiatives as iEXCEL (interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning), a UNMC Teaching Academy, the technology assessment process, mobile technology and its uses in health science education, and other issues.

Opening the conference by recorded video, UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D., discussed the changes in higher education and health care, as well as the advancement of technology, underscoring the importance of the council's agenda.

"Millennial learners are different than the past generation and the generations before that," he said. "Not only have the millennial learners' needs changed, but our faculty's needs have changed. ... The way we teach what we teach, and our involvement, is a continually moving target."

After the initial discussion, attendees broke up into smaller groups - each containing campus leaders, faculty and students to provide a range of viewpoints -- to outline key goals and implementation strategies for each initiative.

"A long tradition of excellence"

"UNMC has a long tradition of excellence in the education of our students," Dr. Davies said. "As we look at a changing educational landscape, with new technological avenues for learning and tech-savvy students with changing educational needs, we must and will ensure UNMC remains a leader, both in adapting technology for best uses and providing to our students the knowledge and abilities they will need to succeed as the next generation of health care professionals."

Howard Liu, M.D., led a breakout session of the Teaching Academy with Greg Karst, Ph.D.

"The Education Council's first educational retreat was a great forum to discuss our process for becoming a national leader in health sciences education," Dr. Liu said. "There were presentations on ideas that could provide the tools our faculty need to get to try out new teaching techniques and assess their impact.

"Beyond the topics, I was impressed by the opportunity for our curriculum committee directors and other senior educators to dialogue on where they see training and education going in the years ahead. It was a really dynamic conversation and I was glad to be a part of it."

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