Table 2.

Examples of teaching methods advocated on the American Society of Nephrology Renal Educators Listserv

Educational StrategyComments
Active learning using audience response system in small groupsEach group is given six to eight electrolyte problems about 1 week after hearing a lecture on that topic. The questions are framed in a clinical context and become progressively more difficult. There are multiple-choice answers for each question. During the small group, the students are given clickers, and they can click in their answers. One faculty member in each group helps moderate the discussion and talk through the correct answers (going more quickly through those questions that most of the class gets correct). This strategy has worked great for students who want to ask questions in a smaller-group setting. However, it requires four faculty members who are willing to teach, not to mention the technical resources and an extra 90 minutes to fit into your classroom time (22).
Case simulation in large-group settingI tried a case presentation to try to get the students to see how clinicians actually use the step-by-step process that we teach them when solving real, complex, and interesting cases. I presented a case to one of my colleagues, beginning with just a one liner, and giving little bits of data as the case unfolds. The discussant went through why each piece of data mattered in figuring out the pathophysiology of the problem. I think it was helpful for the students to hear a clinician’s thought process and see how this information is all relevant. It was refreshing to hear, “Ooooh, so that’s why urine osmolality matters!” (22).
Team-based learning in large classroom settingOne hundred fifty students in a large lecture hall are assigned to groups of 5 or 6 students who sit together to facilitate discussion. PowerPoint is used with TurningPoint software to incorporate audience response (23,24).
Integration of clinical experience with traditional preclinical curriculumWe started organizing rotations on the clinical service as part of the preclinical curriculum. Students each rotate the consult service in groups of five or six for 1 day, or we have the fellows take students to one to two interesting patients in the hospital. This rotation provides context for the classroom teaching; suddenly, the students see the electrolyte/acid–base material as information that is directly pertinent to patient care and not as esoteric. The rotations have been very successful and popular. I find that the students have much more respect for the material and try much harder at learning. I hear a lot less complaining about the difficulty of the course. It takes more effort to organize the rotations, but it is well worth it (25).
Evoking emotion by incorporating a newsworthy dramatic caseFatal hyponatremia resulting from an ill-advised radio contest. The news report is shared with the students. There are some stunning aspects of the video, and it really grabs the students' attention with regard to the real-life importance of some water and electrolyte disruptions (26,27).