Becoming an expert: a review of adult learning theory and implications for vocational training in ophthalmology

Authors

  • Timothy V Roberts MMed FRANZCO,

    Corresponding author
    1. Save Sight Institute, Discipline of Ophthalmology, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney
    2. NSW Qualification and Education Committee
      Dr Tim Roberts, Vision Eye Institute, 270 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia. Email tim.roberts@vgaustralia.com
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  • Julie Gustavs PhD,

    1. Education Development and Research
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  • Heather G Mack PhD FRANZCO

    1. Continuing Professional Development Committee, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Competing/conflict of interest: No stated conflict of interest.

  • Funding sources: No stated funding sources.

Dr Tim Roberts, Vision Eye Institute, 270 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia. Email tim.roberts@vgaustralia.com

Abstract

One of the key responsibilities of professional bodies, such as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, is to determine, teach and assess the competencies required for trainees to reach an expert level. Vocational training programs (VTP) need to incorporate advances in educational research and reflect changes in generational thinking and learning styles to provide the most optimal learning environment to meet the desired educational outcomes. This paper seeks to introduce some of the important concepts of adult educational theory and to explain how they connect to four strategic areas in the development and implementation of the VTP:

1 What are the learning needs of trainees?

2 What educational methods best address these needs?

3 What assessment methods best test the acquisition of the desired learning outcomes?

4 What are the needs of supervisors and teachers?

Ancillary