May 24, 2016

Tomorrow is applications deadline for VUSM Small Group Facilitators

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine M.D. degree program curriculum, known as Curriculum 2.0 (or C2.0), is a highly innovative curriculum focused on creating self-directed, lifetime learners.

The first year of C2.0, the Foundations of Medical Knowledge Phase, incorporates small-group learning activities, in addition to more traditional learning experiences. These groups are facilitated by faculty members, using a methodology that focuses on empowering learners to take responsibility for their own learning in all aspects of the educational program.

The School of Medicine currently seeks to recruit and train interested faculty to serve as small group facilitators for the 2016-17 Academic Year.

The primary role of facilitators is to guide a small group of students (seven or eight students per group) through experiential learning of basic science concepts.  Through these exercises students also develop critical reasoning skills (clinical cases, problems, application of new knowledge from lecture and lab) and team learning skills (using Team-Based Learning (TBL) exercises).

The academic year consists of a series of blocks, usually 12 weeks long, and small-group facilitators elect to work one or more of those blocks, as their schedule permits. Facilitators receive salary compensation of 0.05 FTE per 12-week period.  Small-group-facilitators must commit a total of about 10 hours per week during the blocks for which they are facilitators (6 hours for small-group sessions, plus an additional 2-4 hours per week for ancillary activities). 

In addition, a significant and required component of the role is participation in faculty development sessions to learn the small-group facilitation method used.  Participation in faculty development sessions is required regardless of the number of blocks facilitators choose to lead. Faculty development begins in the summer of 2016 (compensation will begin at this time) and will consist of two-to-three 2 hr meetings along with additional meetings dispersed throughout the year. Compensation for being a facilitator will begin in the summer of 2016. 

Qualifications: All levels of faculty are encouraged to apply. No expertise in a specific field of science or medicine is required. However, the desire to work with students in a collaborative learning environment and the willingness to learn new teaching and assessment skills is critical.  

Small Group Facilitator Applications should include the following elements in their electronic packet:

1 - A reflective teaching statement. This brief (1-2 paragraph) personal narrative should address how this teaching activity will be a good match with the applicant’s career goals, teaching philosophy and experiences.

2 – A letter of support from their chair or division chief. This letter should include an explanation of how the facilitator role aligns with the career pathway of the faculty member. It should also indicate how his/her present duties and responsibilities will be appropriately adjusted downward to account for the time required for the facilitator role.

3 – A current copy of the faculty member’s CV.

Please submit application materials electronically (via email) to Gwen Moore ( no later than May 25. Successful applicants will be notified in early June. Questions may be directed to Cathy Pettepher, Ph.D., at