Cognitive and learning sciences in biomedical and health instructional design: A review with lessons for biomedical informatics education

Vimla Patel, Nicole A. Yoskowitz, Jose F. Arocha, Edward H. Shortliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Theoretical and methodological advances in the cognitive and learning sciences can greatly inform curriculum and instruction in biomedicine and also educational programs in biomedical informatics. It does so by addressing issues such as the processes related to comprehension of medical information, clinical problem-solving and decision-making, and the role of technology. This paper reviews these theories and methods from the cognitive and learning sciences and their role in addressing current and future needs in designing curricula, largely using illustrative examples drawn from medical education. The lessons of this past work are also applicable, however, to biomedical and health professional curricula in general, and to biomedical informatics training, in particular. We summarize empirical studies conducted over two decades on the role of memory, knowledge organization and reasoning as well as studies of problem-solving and decision-making in medical areas that inform curricular design. The results of this research contribute to the design of more informed curricula based on empirical findings about how people learn and think, and more specifically, how expertise is developed. Similarly, the study of practice can also help to shape theories of human performance, technology-based learning, and scientific and professional collaboration that extend beyond the domain of medicine. Just as biomedical science has revolutionized health care practice, research in the cognitive and learning sciences provides a scientific foundation for education in biomedicine, the health professions, and biomedical informatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-197
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Biomedical curricula
  • Cognition
  • Competency evaluation
  • Expertise
  • Health professions
  • Informatics education
  • Instructional design
  • Knowledge organization
  • Learning sciences
  • Reasoning
  • Technology-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

Cite this