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Wednesday, June 18 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
PSD.42 – Transforming Students’ Expectations from Marks Acquisition and Ranking to Individual Learning Plans and Personal Development: The QuARMS Experience

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First-year students arrive at Queen’s (and other universities) well-versed in a culture of marks, letter-grades and GPAs. Given this prevalent academic culture—and the competitive nature of its own admissions process—QuARMS (Queen’s Accelerated Route to Medical School) faculty and educational development team faced an ongoing challenge in transforming students’ expectations of the School of Medicine portion of the QuARMS learning stream.

Students admitted to QuARMS take a traditional Arts or Science honours degree program for their first two years at Queen’s while also participating in seminars and modules sponsored by the School of Medicine designed to focus on developing key skills such as critical thinking and communication as well as exploring roles of physicians in Canadian society. After successful completion of these two years, students enter their first-year of the four-year medical program. The School of Medicine QuARMS modules are developmental and team-based. The focus is on developing foundational skills for the School of Medicine’s competency framework, rather than achieving a particular grade. Students are not assigned marks, nor is their performance ranked in relation to each other.

Using a theoretical framework of self-regulated learning (Zimmerman, 2002; Puustinen  & Pulkkinen, 2001) and transformative learning (Cranton, 1994), lead educational developer, Theresa Suart, and course director, Jennifer MacKenzie, designed learning experiences to create this non-graded environment and to help learners transform their perspectives of what it means to “achieve” and “learn”. Assessment strategies included written feedback, near-peer review and individual interviews.

An additional challenge, for both instructors and students, is that students continue to have a GPA requirement in their Arts & Science courses. The QuARMS students and faculty need to respect and adhere to the realities of the two different programs that students have. In this session, Dr. MacKenzie and Ms. Suart will identify challenges and highlight strategies that worked with the inaugural QuARMS class (2013-2014) and plans for the second year.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
A232 McArthur Hall

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