Monday, July 25, 2005

Seventh Edition......
Spent last Thursday and Friday in the triennial exercise of teaching ATLS. There is a new edition out with changes to both the content and presentation. The emphasis is on the "interaction" of the audience. Many slides are framed to start with open-ended questions: "What are some methods for controlling the airway?" The audience is then to provide some answers and the instructor uncovers the answer on the slide.
The leap of technology that has made this possible is the conversion of the program content to a PowerPoint format. This allows the use of fancy transitions and shading during the presentation. This works well....if the students read the book beforehand, not a guaranteed situation. So you will often get some off-the-wall answers, and inevitably some student will want to debate you over them.
The ACS has also taken great steps to protect their PowerPoint presentations. Ideally I would like to copy the disks to allow the instructors to have their own copies. But due to the rather tight protections placed on the disks I must send the original to the instructor from the set that costs $100. Apparently there was massive misappropriation of the slides in the past.
Overall, though, the changes are probably for the better, at least the students who were retaking the course thought so.
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