Learning Communities
Learning Communities
The Learning Communities Initiative

The Communities initiative was officially launched at the 2012 AERA Division I Business Meeting when the Community leaders were announced. The goal of Communities is to offer Division members opportunities to connect with others who have similar research interests. Each Community will provide mechanisms to network, help promote scholarship and help recruit participation in the Division and in the Division‟s program. Community membership is voluntary and open to all Division I members.

Teaching and Learning Community

Chair: Toni Ungaretti, Johns Hopkins University

Description: The Teaching and Learning Community addresses research around teaching and learning including theoretical and practical applications. Examples include pedagogy, workplace learning, neurobiology, and skills acquisition.

Toni Ungaretti

Winter 2022 Update

Dear Colleagues in the AERA Division I Teaching and Learning Community and/or the HPEAD Research Group:
I hope that this communication finds you and yours well and safe as COVID continues to impact our personal and professional lives. Please be safe both physically and mentally.

Online Network Need: The COVID disruption illustrates our need for a more consistent connection to each other than just the annual conference. Please volunteer your expertise to establish a vibrant virtual community network of researchers.

Opportunities for Community Engagement Outside the Conference: Please share brainstorming ideas around the issue of creating opportunities to engage the members of the T&L and HPEAD community. In what ways can we make a more connected and supportive community? Share your thoughts (use Subject line – Ideas for T&L and HPEAD) and I will send them out to the community.

AERA Anual Meeting 2022 in San Diego will be a hybrid conference. Plan to meet with the Teaching and Learning Community at that meeting. Though the current upswing in COVID is discouraging, hopefully it will dissipate so that many from the T&L community will be able to gather on April 21-26.
Thank you to all who submitted proposals. Congratulations to all who had their proposals accepted! The program for the Division focuses on issues important to education for the professions. Please plan to attend the Division’s session in person or virtually.
Also, it is not too soon to make connections to develop a paper or symposium proposal for the AERA 2023 conference!

Teaching and Learning Activities:
As you are thinking about proposals for the next annual meeting, think of how the experience of COVID and the emphasis on inclusion and equity relate to some of our previously brainstormed ideas:
•What are elements of effective teaching and learning that will be forever changed?
•What difference do trends in teaching and learning – PBL, TBL, the flipped classroom, etc. - make?
•Assessment – what are its strengths and liabilities? How can it be designed to improve programs with less intense procedures?
•What needs to be examined in the explosive growth of online teaching? How can teachers and learners be prepared to maximize online teaching effectiveness?
•How can connectedness and presence be made stronger in online teaching?
•What are common elements in T&L across the professions? What are the differences?

Health Professions Education Advanced Degree Programs (HPEADs) Activities:
Think about submitting proposals that address changes to adapt health professions education to a changing world, address inclusion and equity issues, or evaluate such programs and their impact. Suggest possible symposium ideas to share with potential collaborators in the community.

In closing, the community has the potential to be a vibrant support network. Please share your ideas to advance the work of the Teaching & Learning Community and/or the Research Group on Health Professions Education Advanced Degree Programs and/or to create more opportunities for connectedness.

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year and stay healthy! Hope to see you in San Diego! All the best,
Toni Ungaretti
Chair, Teaching and Learning Community

Assessment Community

Chair: Brad Brossman, American Board of Internal Medicine

Description: The Assessment Community is broadly defined to address the research issues of individual and program performance. Examples include methodology, admission and selection of learners into the professions, evaluation of competencies, and evaluation of programs.


Winter 2022 Update

Truly wishing all of you and your families the best for 2022. Please continue to stay safe and healthy and I’m looking forward to seeing you in the near future.

Since some of our members will be on-site for AERA 2022 and others will be remote, the Assessment Community Meetings will follow a similar structure to how they were conducted last year. That is, we will plan to meet through virtual meetings on one or two dates that may or may not coincide with the actual conference dates. Please let me know if you are interested in attending one (or both) of these virtual sessions with your Division I Assessment Community colleagues. We will plan to collaborate on future research projects together as well as simply have some fun and get to know one another better. If you are interested, please email me at BBrossman@abim.org, and I’ll be sure to include you on a poll to determine availability. We’ll look to hold these meetings in March and April to begin collaboration on AERA 2023 conference symposia.

As a reminder, the Assessment Community provides an opportunity for Division I members with interests in the broad framework of assessment to collaborate on research projects. Often our research focuses on (but is not limited to) licensure and certification assessments, medical education programs and assessments, and general psychometric topics. These studies can be theoretical, empirical, or applied, but they all have one aspect in common – they all concern assessment in the professions!

Please stay safe and I’m looking forward to seeing you all in the near future.
Chair, Assessment Community

Professional Development Community

Chair: Anne McKee, King’s College, London 

Description: The Professional Development Community broadly focuses on research around the development of individuals within the profession. Examples include development of professional competency, development of educational competency, and development as an educational researcher.


Winter 2022 Update

I hope that you all had time to rest and relax over the festive period, and wish you all good health, happiness, and success in this new year.

Thank you to all who submitted proposals, reviewed applications, and agreed to act as chairs and discussants. Your service to the Division is much appreciated. Congratulations to those whose proposals have been accepted. As I write this report the annual meeting program has not been released. If your submissions have been successful, please email me with the session title, date, and time. I will add those sessions in my next report and share them within our community.

Ongoing Projects:
We continue to work in the area of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. In our upcoming annual meeting, we submitted a workshop, "Framing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) research practices across professions." The aim of the workshop is to:
a) engage Division I members to identify research methods across professions that facilitate recognition and exploration of DEIJ perspectives in the research process and
b) discuss and share DEIJ practices and challenges within professions education research.

Working with the talent and expertise of the Division, we plan to create a checklist of best practices.
Please help by emailing research papers in your field that identify good practices. We would like to share these with workshop participants and beyond.

Anne McKee
Chair, Professional Development Community


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