Medical Students as Educators

Title of Elective: Medical Students as Educators (MSaE)
Preceptor(s): Anna Lama, Ed.D.
Location: West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
Duration of Elective: 4 weeks
Offered: By arrangement with preceptor
Max Number of Students: 15-20 


Brief Description:

The Medical Students as Educators (MSaE) Elective is a longitudinal teaching practicum for 4th year medical students with a passion for excellence in teaching and learning in medicine. Students in this elective will complete all course work on SOLE, meet monthly on zoom for large group workshops, accumulate required hours of classroom observation of teaching hours, and complete a minimum of 20.5 teaching field placement hours. The MSaE Longitudinal elective educational experience provides structure and guidance to students as they develop the foundation and framework for high-quality teaching and professional expectations.

Overall Learning Objectives. At the conclusion of the elective, students will be able to do the following:

Medical Knowledge 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences from medical school curriculum and apply this knowledge to a specific and detailed lesson plan (MK1-8).
  • Learn how to gather information appropriate and germane to the lesson content, organize, prepare and deliver a final teaching product that aligns with specific teaching field placement requirements (MK1-8)

Problem Based Learning & Instruction 

  • Engage in literature review, teaching observations, reflections and discussion that are necessary for lifelong learning as teachers. PBL&I1-2
  • Planned elective module topics may include approaches to teaching, teaching methods, learning styles, assessment and feedback principles, planning and organizing a lecture or learning activity, developing content, etc. PBL&I4-5


  • Demonstrate appropriate dress, responsibility, timeliness, punctuality for all assignments, communication with course director and observations (PROF 5)

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

  • Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration with course directors, physicians, and other students in the interdisciplinary setting of a classroom, small group, or other educational learning experience. (I&CS4)
  • Organize, prepare, and deliver a large group teaching presentation in multiple iterations.(I&CS4)

Note: MSaE Module Specific Learning Objectives will be provided in the elective syllabus

Methods to achieve objectives

Students will be required to meet objectives in the MSaE elective through seven (7) tasks over the course of an academic year:

  1. Complete monthly learning module readings & mini-reflections posted in SOLE that are germane to the topic of education, teaching and learning, and assessment;
  2. Attend all monthly group zoom sessions and present a 10-minute mini-teaching session;
  3. Observe a set amount of classroom teaching observations (virtual and in-person) and document their experience from the prospective of an educator;
  4. Complete a Telemedicine SIM Teaching Field Placement  (2 hrs);
  5. Complete a Small Group Teaching Field Placement (PBL) (4.5 hrs);
  6. Complete a Bedside Teaching Field Placement (PDCI Preceptorship) (~10 hrs);
  7. Complete a Large Group Lecture, in multiple iterations, and submit a reflection on the experience (3 hrs);

Examination procedures and evaluation criteria

The MSaE Longitudinal elective is a “Pass/Fail” elective. Students must successfully complete all seven objectives within the syllabus to pass the elective. Students will receive monthly module feedback on SOLE module assignments. Classroom observations are tailored to each student and faculty member schedule, and teaching field placement journal logs will be documented through SOLE. The MSaE director (Dr. Lama) must observe final project presentations and submit a teaching rubric as summative assessment. Students will submit all materials in the course and syllabus (i.e., reading reflections, journal observations, teaching field placement reflections, and final lesson plans) to Dr. Lama for review, and a pass/fail grade for successful completion of the rotation.

A note on elective rigor:

The MSaE Longitudinal elective requires fourth-year medical students to actively engage in teaching and learning for 9 months. The MSaE elective is a rigorous course, professionally, which is why the instructor provides abnormal flexibility with the course requirements throughout the academic year. Maintaining your professional commitments throughout the academic year is important and expected.


The Small Group Teaching placement will require all students to travel to the Morgantown campus to complete the co-facilitation hour requirement. The WVU School of Medicine does not cover the cost of gas or other travel expenses for students in any fourth-year electives. Free housing may be provided based on availability. There will not be exceptions made with regards to modifying in-person teaching to virtual teaching. Any conflicts with this point will result in immediate removal from the elective. 

Pre-Rotation Instructions

The MSaE Elective requires pre-approval commitment through Ms. Christina Politte and Dr. Lama. Any student interested in scheduling this rotation will need to contact Dr. Lama ( before May 1 of the academic year for more information. Additions to the rotation after June 1 will be based on rotation availability.