Knowledge to action: Scholarship for faculty and staff

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Introduction:This study was undertaken to evaluate the influence of a continuing education course in facilitating the development and implementation of educational projects of course participants.Methods:This is a case study evaluating a full-year course that consisted of 11 monthly seminars, each 4 hours in length, including practice in a computer laboratory. The class size was limited to 12 participants. Needs-assessment surveys at the beginning of the course, student evaluations, and midterm and final progress reports were analyzed.Results:Seven staff physicians, 3 clinical fellows, a nurse educator, and a research assistant enrolled in the course. Initial needs-assessment surveys indicated that most people had adequate computer skills—11 (90%)—but only 2 (17%) were able to type well, 11 (90%) had no statistical knowledge, and 10 (83%) had limited literature-searching skills. The mean score on speaker evaluations for lectures was 4.5 on a scoring scheme of 1–5 where 1 was poor and 5 was outstanding. Ten participants (83%) had a complete proposal for an educational project written by midterm. Nine participants applied for external grants and 2 of them received external funding for their projects. Five participants (42%) completed a publishable educational project by the end of the 11-month course, and submitted it for presentation at scientific meetings.Discussion:Like many adults, health care professionals experience limited time for involvement in formal education. This study shows that a limited-time-commitment course could facilitate health care professionals to develop and successfully implement educational projects translating ideas into action.

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