Keep Calm and consult the Academic e-Coach
“A student receives results from an assessment and the results aren’t what were hoped for. There’s a moment of panic… What went wrong? What do I do? Where do I go? We created the Academic e-Coach to help students through this challenging time,” says Nellie Perret, Academic Coach & Educational Consultant with the Office of Health Professions Student Affairs.
The Academic e-Coach is an online diagnostic tool that encourages students to reflect on their assessment results, then offers information about how students might adjust their current learning strategies and make the best use of available resources, within the Faculty of Medicine, and the broader University of Toronto community, to enhance academic performance.
“Learning strategies that may have worked for students in the past may not be optimal in a medical school context,” explains Dr. Perret. “The good news is that there is a wealth of resources available to help students adapt these strategies. The Academic e-Coach makes these resources readily accessible.”
The Foundations Curriculum encourages guided, self-regulated learning with an assessment program that emphasizes assessment for learning. “It’s essential that students be proactive both in trying to identify the source of the issue and in actively taking steps to discover a remedy as soon as possible,” says Dr. Perret. “We want students to know that we’re there to support them throughout this process.”
The Foundations Curriculum takes a holistic approach to assessment that focuses on identifying each student’s proficiency across diverse professional competencies and the identified learning outcomes throughout the curriculum. This approach includes frequent lower-stakes assessments.
“Receiving assessment results provides an opportunity for students to take stock, reflect on where they have done well, and note areas where they may need to adapt their learning strategies to enhance their performance,” she says. “The Academic e-Coach can guide them through the process and direct them to the appropriate support systems and services available to them.”
Students can access the Academic e-Coach resource online at any time at: http://www.md.utoronto.ca/academic-e-coach