Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Teaching and learning

The Health Professions Education Centre provides opportunities for staff to further develop and refine their teaching approaches and strategies, and provides resources for staff on matters related to pedagogy, curriculum design, and assessment strategies.

RCSI Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professions Education

In delivering our strategic goal for excellence in education, RCSI committed to the development of an ‘educators toolkit' to equip RCSI academic staff with the latest knowledge, technologies and pedagogies in health science education. Since its inception in June 2013, the Health Professions Education Centre (HPEC) has developed a Level 9, 60 credit, Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professions Education for RCSI Faculty (incorporating a 30 credit Postgraduate Certificate exit award). The programme is accredited by the NUI and commenced in September 2014. To date 63 participants have successfully graduated from the programme and there are a total of 50 participants from RCSI Faculty in Ireland and Bahrain. 

Peer Observation of Teaching

What is Peer Observation?

A collaborative and reciprocal process whereby one peer observes another's teaching (actual or virtual) and provides supportive and constructive feedback. Its underlying rationale is to encourage (continued) professional development in teaching and learning through critical reflection, by both observer and ‘observee'.  (Lublin, 2002, p5)

The process involves colleagues giving and receiving guided feedback on one another's teaching practices, and is recognised as a valuable supporting tool for academics in higher-education settings to evaluate and develop their teaching.

How has the RCSI peer observation model been developed?

During the academic year 2012/13, a Peer Enhancement of Teaching Group initiated work on the development of plans for an appropriate model of peer observation for RCSI. The steering group was a working group of Academic Council. The work of the group was also informed by a pilot study for the implementation of a peer observation of teaching programme carried out by Professor Zena Moore and Ms Anne Weadick. The results of both this study and the recommendations of the group were presented at the RCSI International Education Forum in June 2013.

Following recommendations from the group, the Health Professions Education Centre (HPEC) now support and facilitate the roll out of a peer observation of teaching programme across RCSI. Policy guidelines, and support resources in relation to feedback processes, templates, and reflective practice have been developed. Training workshops for Faculty are provided at regular points throughout the year. To date, over 100 members of Faculty have attended training workshops.