Ideas that matter

Qstream in Practice at the Carrick Institute

In this guest blog, we are honored to feature a story detailing the use of Qstream to reinforce clinical training within the classroom, written by Dr. Frederick R. Carrick, Professor of Neurology and Senior Research Fellow at the Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research in association with University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, and Dean of Graduate Studies Carrick Institute.

I was first introduced to Qstream at the Harvard Macy Institute where I became an immediate fan. Fortunately, I was able to meet face-to-face with the Qstream team to get a better understanding of the robust nature of this technology. Further, my colleagues at the Harvard Macy Institute became immersed in the process such that I was able to gain considerable experience and understanding how other professionals describe their experiences with Qstream.

I was exposed to the technology at a time when I was completing the Master of Science in Health Professional Education with the MGH Institute. The integrated training I received at Harvard Macy and MGH – IHP allowed me to understand and implement the value of utilizing Kolb’s cycle in our Institution. Qstream simply fell into place as a reasonable and necessary part of our pedagogy. Our Institute offers training in clinical neuroscience to physicians. We have 28 extension facilities and offer our programs throughout the world. Our pedagogical model includes live classroom, live video streaming and on demand learning models. At the center of our learning process is the interactive reality that is obtainable utilizing advanced technology. We have developed a system where our learners might have the same experience as an in house live classroom but be freed from the needs and expenses of travel. We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing the outcomes of distance learning and in-class learning and found that the utilization of our pedagogy resulted in experiences of learning that were similar between the classes. Additionally, we found no statistical or substantial significance in our outcome testing.

We utilized Qstream in a robust fashion to serve as part of our flipped classroom that included embedded videos, multiple-choice questions and linked explanations that made curriculum preparation exciting to our learners. Using Qstream allows our learners to be involved in a flipped classroom environment without having to log on to a page or search information we recommend to them. Qstream’s scenario-based challenges are delivered to smart phones, tablets and computers on a regular basis and in a timely fashion throughout the clinical educational experience without overloading busy participants. It seems that there is always time for answering Qstream challenges, which takes just minutes a day, whereas there does not seem to be time to carve out in a busy day to sit down and study or prepare for a program.

Our utilization of Qstream does not stop with the flipped classroom. We utilize it in both formative and summative outcome studies of our learning. Besides this, our learners stay in touch with us through Qstream as we develop a continuing education model based upon the course of instruction they have taken. This consistent longitudinal exposure to a knowledge base has resulted in superior abilities and retention of materials. Our learners are mastering materials in a fashion that they had not before. There is no memorization or cramming for an examination needed, as the repetitive nature of Qstream’s delivery works marvelously to enforce long term learning and improve the ability to apply the information learned.

We create our own content for each Qstream, writing detailed questions and explanations. The time it takes to prepare quality content is well worth the investment, as it allows an instructor the freedom to address an application based clinical problem-solving model within Qstream rather than having to review those materials within the classroom. We have found that professionals dislike making errors, particularly in a group learning experience. Qstream provides a solution to this by allowing anonymity in all responses. We place our learners into groups named after star constellations. Each learner is then given the name of a star in the constellation within the Qstream, participating without fear of making a public error. Qstream is deemed a very safe place to reinforce knowledge as a team.

I also believe that learning is best associated with incentives, whether it is personal satisfaction or the satisfaction of requirements for higher education. I find that incentives are easily introduced within Qstream. We have very large classes, both in person and at a distance. We award prizes to teams and individuals that score the highest on their Qstreams. This has become an extremely exciting area of our clinical education for all of our learners.

Our utilization of Qstream is constantly evolving. We continue to develop novel applications with Qstream within the Institute, and look forward to reporting an update in the near future!

About Dr. Frederick R. Carrick

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Frederick Carrick is a Professor of Neurology and Senior Research Fellow of BCMHR in association with the University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK. He holds a DC degree from CMCC in Toronto and a Ph.D. from Walden University in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Carrick was a Global Clinical Scholar at Harvard Medical School and is a Faculty Scholar at Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Macy Institute. He has a Master of Science in Health Professions Education degree from the Harvard Macy and Massachusetts General Hospital Institutes and holds board certifications in neurology with fellowship credentials in Neuro-otology, Vestibular Rehabilitation, and EEG. He’s maintained a consultant specialist practice in neurology for 4 decades, and been a Medical Educator for 38 years.