What Can Movies Teach Educators?

In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, we can learn a valuable lesson about challenging the status quo.

The article Marvel’s Blockbuster Machine reviews how Marvel Studios bucks the trend of poor performing sequels by leveraging a few important components for design thinking and marketing. We’ll get to a brief summary – but first – it’s very interesting to see how this applies to healthcare education.

One part of continuing education that stands out is the inherent formulaic structure. While in many cases, this is a plus – making sure courses are meeting a set of basic standards. However, it also applies constraints, which can limit how well the content is learned by attendees and restricts actionable takeaways. When you identify the formula and navigate where the edges are to test collaborative ways to teach and learn, it becomes a win-win.

Marvel changes the formula by leveraging different emotional tones. Likewise, a conference can have different themes and a diversity of teaching methods (didactic, interactive, peer to peer, etc.).

The part that stands out the most is to continue challenging the formula and how Marvel’s audience looks for something different; they expect it. They know what their audience is looking for. It cannot be understated how important this point is.

What is your audience looking for and what do they expect?

As mentioned above, Marvel has recharged the genre by tackling four key points:

  1. Select for experienced inexperience (diversity of ideas)
  2. Leverage a stable core (team building)
  3. Keep challenging the formula (pick a formula to challenge)
  4. Cultivate customer curiosity

I encourage you to read the full article by Spencer Harrison, Arne Carlsen, and Miha Ć kerlavaj, linked above. It’s well worth 10 minutes of your time today.

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An Artful Gathering

A big part of healthcare education are the live conferences. A place for like-minded people to convene, connect, and learn from each other.

There’s a great book to read on this topic – The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker.

Some of the key concepts from the book are:

  1. Embrace a specific disputable purpose
  2. Cause good controversy
  3. Create a temporary alternative world through the use of pop-up rules

The first item cannot be stressed enough – creating a purpose for the gathering. A few ideas to help you are – drill down why you are meeting – utilize the 5 whys; ask your group – “what problem might it solve?”; and start with the desired outcome (similar to Steven Covey’s Begin With the End in Mind).

Happy Gathering!

Additional Resources (with Priya Parker):

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Metacognition

Thinking about thinking – or metacognition – is a fascinating topic. It is an awareness of one’s own thinking or learning processes.

In a great summary of metacognition, Nancy Chick from Vanderbilt University lists important categories and questions (based on an article from Kimberly Tanner) for assessing and reflecting on one’s learning. These questions are great prompts for education providers to think about when creating educational sessions/programs.

  • Preassessment: What do I already know about this topic that could guide my learning?
  • Identifying Confusions: What was most confusing to me about the material explored today?
  • Restrospective Postassessments: How is my thinking changing (or not changing) over time?
  • Reflective Journals: What did not work so well that I should not do next time or that I should change?

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash