Medical education builds the foundation for later clinical work, as the years spent studying have a lifelong impact. Optimized teaching and up-to-date teaching materials, as well as educators as pioneering role models, are central pillars for the future quality assurance in clinical work. As such, contributing to quality assurance in medical education lies especially close to our hearts.

In the last few years, two fields of activity have grown in importance and scope for our work: research in the area of medical education, and continued development of infrastructures for teaching and assessment.

The term “research-based teaching” has come to take on a somewhat different meaning in the area of medical education than is customary in other areas of university education. Generally speaking, research-based teaching is implemented by enabling students to participate in ongoing scientific projects and research. “The concern is with making research processes with differing levels of complexity tangible to the students, and offering students the opportunity to tie these in with their own questions and interests in scientific thinking, and not only link them to presented knowledge” (Huber 2009, p. 11, en DE). Indeed, traditional research-based teaching is also practiced at the IML. However, we also conduct research on teaching and learning, with assessment being accorded an important role. Our research themes (en DE)  are diverse, and in the broadest sense serve to develop, and assure the quality of, teaching. Through research-based education, we want to make a contribution to evidence-based guidelines for teaching. In this respect, the top quality criteria are efficient and sustainable learning, as well as optimized clinical performance.

With increasing numbers of students, limited space, and cost optimization targets, it is ever more important to come up with creative solutions for the teaching infrastructure. In this regard, the advancing digitalization also has a great influence on possible solutions. The IML was an early driving force behind the development of digital learning and assessment tools. Today, we are able to offer matured products in both areas, which are in strong demand both in Bern and (inter-) nationally. Examples include the assessment platform Examic and the learning platforms Medsurf (en DE) and DocCom.Deutsch. These products can only fulfill high quality standards if they are constantly refined.

In the area of teaching, we strive to achieve a strong link between independent learning with good learning tools and the integration of learning tools into the curriculum. In this way, the circle between development, research and teaching is repeatedly closed: Research based teaching fosters the understanding of good teaching and assessment; face-to-face teaching, teaching tools and assessment tools ideally reflect the latest didactical and methodological state of research; where possible, learning tools can serve to support and prepare the student for the face-to-face teaching, be it in the lecture theater or the clinic. The learning process is rounded off by an objective, high-quality and fair assessment. 

Sissel Guttormsen