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    Medical Education Research Certificate (MERC) Workshop Descriptions

    Data Management and Preparing for Statistical Consultation

    This workshop helps participants prepare their data for analysis and be able to answer questions about their data that a statistician will likely ask when providing consultation. At the end of the workshop the participants will be able to:

    • Collect data;
    • Set up data files;
    • Enter data into data files;
    • Check and clean data prior to analysis;
    • Compare my sample to my population;
    • Address statistical issues discussed during consultation with a statistician (e.g., Type I & II errors, power, effect sizes).

    Formulating Research Questions and Designing Studies

    In this workshop, participants will brainstorm research ideas, write, and refine a measurable research question. They will discuss when IRB approval is required for their study. The basics of research design will be discussed and applied to their selected research question. Participants will be able to:

    • Write a FINER (feasible, interesting, novel, ethical, relevant) educational research question;
    • Specify an educational research area of interest;
    • Evaluate whether they need IRB approval for their study;
    • Select the correct design for their research question.

    Measuring Educational Outcomes with Reliability and Validity

    This workshop introduces participants to the principles of score reliability and validity, using a combination of didactics and review of medical education research projects. The workshop is divided into two parts with group exercises designed to reinforce understanding of the main principles.

    After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

    • Identify three types of reliability (inter-rater, test-retest, and internal consistency);
    • Match types of reliability with appropriate statistical measures;
    • Describe the relationship between reliability and validity;
    • Describe multiple forms of evidence for validity;
    • Select an approach to reliability and validity assessment for a particular study.

    Introduction to Qualitative Data Collection Methods

    This workshop is intended for physicians and generalists in medical education, as well as faculty and staff involved in student affairs, who wish to develop perspectives and skills for collecting qualitative data, such as data from focus group discussions, interviews, observation field notes, and responses to open-ended questions—used in admissions processes, program development, curriculum evaluation, needs assessments, performance evaluation, and various scholarship and research applications.

    After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

    • Demonstrate applied knowledge of the appropriate selection, use, and standards for rigor of some common methods for collection of qualitative data;
    • Generate research questions appropriate for qualitative studies and choose appropriate data collection methods;
    • Demonstrate applied knowledge of approaches to achieve rigor in the design of qualitative studies and collection of qualitative data;
    • Demonstrate essential skills required for conducting focus groups

    Program Evaluation and Evaluation Research

    This workshop introduces participants to fundamental principles of educational program evaluation, and provides participants with a strategy for developing an evaluation plan. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

    • Describe program evaluation and its purposes;
    • Identify barriers to program evaluation;
    • Identify models used in evaluation;
    • Describe the steps of an evaluation;
    • Develop an evaluation plan.

    Questionnaire Design and Survey Research

    This workshop will provide some basic principles in questionnaire/survey design and give workshop participants an opportunity for hands-on experience designing a questionnaire. Following participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

    • Design a blueprint for a survey/questionnaire appropriate to their own application;
    • Construct and edit questions to avoid common problems in wording and framing;
    • Select an appropriate response format from a menu of alternatives;
    • Design the overall format of the survey/questionnaire to facilitate data management and analysis.

    Searching and Evaluating the Medical Education Literature

    This workshop is intended for individuals, medical educators, and clinician educators who want to learn how to effectively search the published medical education literature and to evaluate the value of those searches. After participating in this workshop, learners will be able to:

    • Formulate an effective approach to searching the medical education literature;
    • Conduct a search using relevant MeSH headings;
    • Communicate effectively with a research librarian;
    • Evaluate the search results using specific review criteria.

    Scholarly Writing: Publishing Medical Education Research

    In this session, the skills of scholarly writing will be explored through the lens of analyzing a manuscript that was accepted for publication. The participants will examine review criteria that are used by healthcare education journals and apply them to a sample manuscript. In discussing scholarly writing the participants will make a decision about the type of feedback they would give to the authors of the sample paper. At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

    • Identify the components of a scholarly publication;
    • Discuss how to frame a problem statement;
    • Identify an effective Research Question;
    • Discuss whether the Design/method is appropriate to the question;
    • Discuss whether the authors have applied the best data collection methods to the appropriate sample;
    • Understand the Results section and how to present results in a clear manner.