Hot-Mic: ‘Learning outside a comfort zone’ – a positive legacy of adaptations to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic posed unique challenges in delivering effective education on clinical placements. Mindful of the potential for remote working and self-isolation of staff and students alike we developed Zoom ‘Hot-Mic’ sessions to facilitate remote teaching and broad coverage of the curriculum with an approach designed to develop skills that could accelerate learning and promote retention. Prior to each session students received 4–5 topics for 2-minute presentations – with only one selected, and in-session, it mandated preparation of all. One educator facilitated the session with a 5-minute debrief and feedback per topic to consolidate learning. Sessions were generalist (broad mix) and specialist (focused) in content.
Feedback was collated from 22 of 29 students (8 third year, 21 final year) comprising free text and Likert scale assessments: 1 (not useful) to 5 (very useful).
In total, 86% of third years and 88% of final years ranked the sessions ≥4/5 (4.6/5 and 4.1/5 respectively). Free text responses indicated the design met our objectives – ‘Hot mics was useful as it forced focused revision into the given topics in order to meet time given. I felt it was a great way to learn’, ‘An interesting concept. Initially I was rather doubtful of how useful they would be, but I was surprised how much I actually retained.’
Hot-Mic augmented learning in a supportive yet pressurised environment. The design is simple, proofed against COVID-19 restrictions and was easily transferred (successfully) to other centres. When specialty focused it requires minimal preparation by educators, aside from content selection, so should encourage involvement despite heavy clinical workloads.