Experiential learning, collaboration and reflection: key ingredients in longitudinal faculty development


  • Laura Farrell University of British Columbia
  • Sarah Buydens University of British Columbia
  • Gisele Bourgeois-Law University of British Columbia
  • Glenn Regehr University of British Columbia




Background: Longitudinal faculty development (LFD) may allow for increased uptake of teaching skills, especially in a forum where teachers can reflect individually and collectively on the new skills. However, the exact processes by which such interventions are effective need further exploration.

Methods: This qualitative study examined an LFD initiative teaching a novel feedback approach attended by five family practice physicians. The initiative began with two 1.5-hour workshops: Goal-Oriented Feedback (as the teaching skill to be developed) and Narrative Reflection (as the tool to support personal reflection on the skill being learned). Over the subsequent six-months, the five participants iteratively applied the feedback approach in their teaching and engaged in narrative reflection at four 1-hour group sessions. Transcripts from the group discussions and exit interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Iteratively trialing, individually reflecting on, and collectively exploring efforts to implement the new feedback approach resulted in the development of a learning community among the group. This sense of community created a safe space for reflection, while motivating ongoing efforts to learn the skill. Individual pre-reflection prepared individuals for group co-reflection; however, written narratives were not essential.

Conclusion: LFD initiatives should include an emphasis on ensuring opportunities for iterative attempts of teaching skills, guided self-reflection, and collaborative group reflection and learning to ensure sustainable change to teaching practices. 




How to Cite

Farrell L, Buydens S, Bourgeois-Law G, Regehr G. Experiential learning, collaboration and reflection: key ingredients in longitudinal faculty development. Can. Med. Ed. J [Internet]. 2021 Jun. 30 [cited 2022 Aug. 11];12(3):82-91. Available from: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cmej/article/view/70224



Original Research