January 26, 2024

School of Medicine request for applications for small group facilitators deadline is Feb. 23

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine MD degree program curriculum, known as Curriculum 2.0 (or C2.0), is a highly innovative curriculum focused on creating self-directed, life-long learners.  The first year of C2.0, the Foundations of Medical Knowledge Phase, incorporates small-group active learning sessions, in addition to more traditional learning experiences. These groups are facilitated by faculty members, using a methodology that focuses on empowering learners to take responsibility for their own learning in all aspects of the educational program.

The primary role of facilitators is to guide a small group of students (8-9 students per group) through experiential learning of basic science concepts in the context of a clinical case.  Through these exercises, students also develop critical reasoning and problem solving skills, an understanding of how to apply new knowledge from lectures and laboratory sessions to clinical scenarios, and team learning skills.

The academic year consists of a series of science blocks that are 8 or 12-weeks in length. Small-group facilitators elect to work one or more 8 or 12-week blocks as their schedule permits.  Facilitators receive salary compensation for the duration of the semester over which the block occurs: 0.035 for an 8-week block and/or 0.05 FTE for a 12-week block.  Small-group facilitators must commit a total of approximately 10 hours per week during the blocks in which they serve (6 hours for small-group sessions on MWF mornings from 8-10am, a weekly faculty meeting on Fridays from 10-11:00am, plus an additional 2-4 hours per week for ancillary activities including preparation, feedback, assessment, and debriefing).

In addition, a significant and required component of the role is participation in faculty development sessions to learn the small-group facilitation method used and strategies for providing feedback to students. Participation in faculty development sessions is required regardless of the number of blocks facilitators choose to lead. Compensation for being a facilitator will begin on March 1, 2024.

Qualifications: All levels of faculty members are encouraged to apply. No expertise in a specific field of science or medicine is required. The desire to work with students in a collaborative learning environment and the willingness to learn new teaching and assessment skills is critical.

Applications to join the Small-Group Facilitator Program should include the following elements in their electronic packet:

1 – A reflective teaching statement.  This brief (1-2 paragraph) personal narrative should address how this teaching activity will be a good match with the applicant’s career goals, teaching philosophy and experiences.

2 – A letter of support from their chair or division chief. This letter should include an explanation of how the facilitator role aligns with the career pathway of the faculty member. It should also indicate how his/her present duties and responsibilities will be appropriately adjusted downward to account for the time required for the facilitator role.

3 – A current copy of the faculty member’s CV.

Please submit application materials electronically by Friday, Feb. 23 (via email) to Nayyer Ghadirian (nayyer.ghadirian@Vanderbilt.Edu). Questions may be directed to Cathy Pettepher, PhD (cathy.pettepher@vanderbilt.edu) or Emily Bird (emily.c.bird@vumc.org).