Transitioning to a new era: Future directions for staff development during COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent need for staff development. However, COVID-19 has created many challenges, including the inability to meet in-person, travel restrictions to conferences, overwhelming clinical demands on already overextended faculty members and the increased need to focus on personal health and safety. Although current challenges were immediately met with solutions borne out of an emergency, questions remain on how to identify and sustain best practices and further evolve staff development beyond the immediate crisis. Reviewing the Medical Adaptations series revealed several lessons. Several authors used cognitive apprenticeship to provide scaffolding upon which learners can build skills, knowledge and attitudes. Additionally, moderators were recommended during live educational sessions in order to manage the chat box and engage the audience. Comprehensive IT support was key. A post-session debrief helped deepen understanding and provided a space for peer support and community building. Building a repository for educational materials was recommended. Although we made significant gains in the ability to offer staff development, we must consider potential and unintended consequences and explore how we can use transformative learning theory to capitalize on what we have gained. Utilizing technology can potentially increase access to online learning; however, when not implemented carefully, it can magnify inequities. While providing IT support can serve to mitigate some inequities borne by socioeconomic and generational differences, additional strategies should be implemented to account for English as a second-language learners; those with disabilities who do not have access to adaptive technology; and other marginalized groups who may already feel vulnerable to presenting arguments in oppositions of authority or the majority. Crafting online education experiences to allow for small group, peer-to-peer and social interactions is vital to continued professional and identity development. Now that the urgency has lessened, taking time to ensure what is being offered follows best practices in developing and disseminating quality online education is paramount for broad acceptance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-107
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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