Exploring strategies for experiential online communication skills teaching

Sandra Winterburn, Marcy Rosenbaum, Laura Blackburn, Kim Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


It is widely acknowledged that face to face teaching using role-play, feedback & re-rehearsal is the gold standard for communication skills (CS) teaching. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted health professional educators to explore innovative synchronous and asynchronous approaches to CS learning online. For many teachers this is a wholly new approach and they may be unsure how to adapt previous in-person sessions to a virtual context. Others may have started experimenting with different methods and identified useful strategies as well as challenges to experiential online teaching. The purpose of this workshop is to provide an introduction to strategies for effective online communication skills teaching, drawing on the experiences of educators from several institutions. Participants will be supported in reflecting upon and sharing their experiences and attitudes toward online communication education. The workshop will provide the opportunity for interactive demonstration of key components of experiential CS education and how these can be effectively achieved using online video conferencing platforms. Limitations and challenges of online CS teaching will also be explored. Participants will have the chance to consider how available tools can be used to enhance online teaching at their own institutions. We view this workshop as the beginning of an important ongoing conversation between health professional educators as we all share experiences, resources and support in the necessity to embrace virtual methods for communication skills learning. After participating in the workshop attendees should be able to:
Discuss the feasibility of online CS teaching in their own organisation.
Demonstrate specific tips for maximizing the effectiveness of online CS teaching  Describe challenges and limitations of online CS teaching
Access additional resources to support online CS teaching
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020

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