Applying Medical Sciences via a Surgical Hackathon: A Problem-based learning approach

POSTER

Author (s) Dr Lisa Wallace, Dr Mel Healy, Dr Nia Davies, Dr Jessica Fletcher, Dr Jodie Croxall

Abstract

The BSc Applied Medical Sciences, situated within Swansea University School of Medicine, is in its inaugural year. With a particular focus on the human body, the programme takes an integrated approach to curricula by combining subject-specific knowledge with hands-on learning experiences, which span various disciplines within the bio-medical and life sciences. This summer, ten students will have the opportunity to put their learning into practice by participating in a ‘Surgical Hackathon’ at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. The hackathon, which is an novel method of Problem-based learning, will require the students to work in collaboration with peers and experts from medicine, business and engineering on the development of innovative solutions to genuine surgical-related problems. In this poster we outline some of the anticipated benefits of this opportunity for students, and how we will gather in-depth student feedback in order to explore the transferable, employability skills that may be gained from undertaking such Problem-based learning approaches.

Outline

Our BSc Applied Medical Sciences programme has been carefully designed to equip students with a fundamental knowledge of science, and to foster the development of core scientific skills and competencies that will be beneficial for graduates wishing to pursue a range of careers and/or further study in medical and life sciences. We aim to provide students with varied opportunities to put their learning into practice and, within this context have recently been working with our partners at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, on the development of a new six week work placement opportunity for ten of our students. As part of this programme, the students will take part in Baylor’s annual ‘Surgical Hackathon’. They will be placed in small teams, comprising of experts from medicine, business and engineering; each team will each be presented with genuine surgical-related problems and will be required to create, design and develop prototype solutions to these problems. This poster will first draw on academic literature concerning Problem-based learning, and the recent claims that Hackathons are becoming ‘a new pedagogy’. We summarise the purported benefits of the use of Hackathons as a method for encouraging students to use interdisciplinary skills to solve problems with teams of their peers, and with industry professionals, and anticipate the likely benefits of this approach for our BSc Applied Medical Sciences students. We then outline the techniques we will use to gather in-depth feedback from students, and how this will be analysed in order to explore the transferable, employability skills that may be gained from undertaking such Problem-based learning approaches.

Key Words

Surgical Hackathon, Problem-based learning, Transferrable skills, Employability, Knowledge application,

Key Messages

Greater awareness of the use of potential benefits of the use of ‘Hackathons’ as a method of Problem-based learning

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