The program is designed around a collaborative action research learning model that integrates conceptual knowledge grounded in the science of adult learning, coupled with real-world experience and practice. Students will apply what they learn throughout the academic year in group-based action-research projects.

Through learning-by-doing, students will discover ways to improve educational practices potentially in the health care systems in which they work (or intend to work) while cultivating best practices for supporting the ongoing learning and development of those with whom they work. They will develop a portfolio of work, including an applied research project, which can form the basis for professional publications at conferences or in peer reviewed journals.

The curriculum is delivered in a hybrid format through a combination of on-campus and online environments. The program focuses on knowledge and skills that have been identified through research as critical for those working in medical education.

During the program, students will apply their learning through research-based project work, conducted in cross-setting communities of practice set up in the cohort. These communities of practice will strengthen the ability to share knowledge and collaborate effectively with colleagues and peers during and after the program.

Students will also learn from one another as they tackle current professional challenges of their choice. They will gain skills in qualitative collaborative research within their own educational and organizational settings, and/or in teams inquiring into a particular problem of practice. In addition, students will experience and learn how to create and nurture communities of practice or professional learning communities with their colleagues and peers both within and across disciplines.

On-campus sessions will be scheduled one Saturday each month, four days during the Fall semester and four days during the Spring semester, or a total of eight in-person sessions over an academic year of two semesters. In between the on-campus, in-person sessions, students will engage with their peers through asynchronous online learning, which will support and supplement the in-person learning experience.

Fall and Spring Modules

Adult Learning and Leadership


  • Facilitating Adult Learning  (3 credits) – A.M.
  • Leadership and Self-Development (2 credits) – P.M.

Dates:  September 12, October 10, November 7, December 5

The Fall semester will focus on building the critical skills related to creating optimal conditions for learning and development including leading self and others. Adult Learning sessions will help students develop their own philosophy of practice for facilitating adult learning, deepening knowledge of selected and applied relevant learning theories, techniques, strategies and models (experiential learning, self-directed learning, transformative learning, etc.). Sessions on leadership will focus on important areas such as coaching, feedback, critical reflection, systems thinking, clarifying vision and values as a leader.

Core skills and activities in the Fall modules include:

  • Understanding the principles of adult learning theory
  • Facilitating experiential and self-directed learning 
  • Understanding key issues in assessing and evaluating adult learning programs
  • Increasing leadership capacity to coach and provide feedback to others 
  • Developing critical reflection and thinking 
  • Leveraging systems thinking to understand organizational change
  • Clarifying one’s vision and values as a medical educational leader
  • Forming collaborative research teams around a viable topic of inquiry

Educational Research and Learning Communities


  • Learning Communities (2 credits) – A.M.
  • Action Learning Design and Coaching (3 credits) – P.M.

Dates: February 6, March 6, April 9, May 7

Spring will provide students with the opportunity to conduct their collaborative research on a relevant and meaningful topic of mutual interest (from selecting methodology to data analysis). The collaborative research groups formed in the Fall will be based on commonality of interest and viability of appropriate methodologies to study the inquiry question. These projects will entail selecting appropriate and relevant literature and resources, developing a timeline for inquiry, collecting data, analyzing data both individually and collectively, and generating findings that can be translated into recommendations. Research groups will be guided by learning coaches. Through reflection and learning in and on action, students will develop learning and insights about leadership and organizational change, in addition to the following:

  • Increasing their capacity to be both a learning leader and innovative research scholar
  • Working on self-selected educational and/or institutional research projects with a collaborative team 
  • Conducting educational based research leading to publications at conferences or in peer reviewed journals
  • Identifying critical learning opportunities for organizational change and influencing the organization’s future
  • Enhancing understanding and capacity to form, lead and nurture multi-disciplinary learning communities and communities of practice
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