Newswise — WASHINGTON (Aug. 18, 2014) — Methods used to demonstrate the impact of faculty development programs have long been lacking. A research report from the George Washington University (GW) introduces a new model to demonstrate how faculty development programming can affect institutional behaviors, beyond the individual participant.

“Faculty development is essential for helping medical education faculty meet the demands of their roles as teachers, scholars, administrators, and leaders,” said co-author Ellen Goldman, MBA, Ed.D., associate professor of clinical research and leadership at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). “There is a real need for clear assessment procedures in order to design the most effective faculty development programs.”

Traditional assessment methods of faculty development programs are criticized for: 1. focusing only on the learners; and 2. for being limited to satisfaction measures or self-reported behavior. The new model, outlined in Academic Medicine, proposes examination of the impact program graduates have on their colleagues. The way graduates interact with and influence work group processes is an important indicator of a program’s success.

“Our analysis found that faculty development programs go beyond impacting the individual faculty member to ultimately impact the entire workplace community,” said co-author Margaret Plack, DPT, Ed.D., professor of physical therapy and health care sciences at GW SMHS.

A qualitative study of 13 departments across three institutions found that in the presence of environmental facilitators, graduates exhibited enhanced confidence and five new behaviors. Graduates:

- became a resource and shared expertise;- role-modeled good practices;- role-modeled systematic approaches;- fostered collaboration; and- assumed new roles.

As a result, graduates raised peer awareness, leading to changes in individual and group practices and development of shared peer understanding. They also facilitated a culture of continuous learning around teaching, scholarship, and leadership.

The study was originally designed to determine what effect the graduates of the Master Teacher Leadership Development Program, a faculty education fellowship at GW, had on peers and work units and how that change occurred.

Yolanda Haywood, M.D., associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and student affairs and associate professor of emergency medicine at GW SMHS, Marilyn Wesner, EdD, assistant professor of human and organizational learning, and Nisha Manikoth, Ed.D., research assistant in the Department of Human and Organizational Learning, both at the GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development, are also co-authors on the report.

How Learning Transfers: A Study of How Graduates of a Faculty Education Fellowship Influenced the Behaviors and Practices of Their Peers and Organizations” was published in Academic Medicine on Aug. 5.

Media: To interview an author of the study, please contact Lisa Anderson at [email protected] or 202-994-3121.


About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences:Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.