It is my belief that there are three essential parts of learning that will help students find the same passion and dedication I see in my collaborators and myself in the field of medical image analysis. In order to achieve this, it is important to ensure that students feel that while learning and discussing even the most basic concepts of the field, we are on equal footing. Specifically this means taking each others input seriously, thereby helping the discovery of knowledge that is essential to empower such translational and interdisciplinary research, and making real contributions to the medical world.
The first necessary element to achieve this goal is simply to have fun at what you do. Things will stick with a learner a lot easier, if it is not forced onto them in a tedious way. As I do not consider one teaching method to be superior to the others, I aim to engage in the classroom by using a mix of teacher-centered (lecture, demonstration, team-teaching) and pupil-centered (discussion and seminars) lecture styles.
The second essential part of learning, which will further enhance the first, is by considering that most of what we learn has been proven useful in some area of life. There are applications to real world challenges in most cases which should and will be highlighted. While it is essential to build a good theoretical foundation, most students are highly interested in how the things they have just learned can be applied. Therefore, I will ensure that there are real world examples as part of the lectures, either already in industrial use or as part of ongoing research.
And the third aspect combines and reinforces goals one and two. Instead of ‘dry’ education, the application of the learned elements to controlled environments will not only reinforce the material, but also allow the learners to dive into issues that may come up while creating their own project using these topics. Subsequently, it is essential that practical advice and interpretations are communicated, forming goal three. This is achieved by combining theory and example sections within each unit of learning, interspersed with hands-on advice and ‘puzzles’ to solve based on real world data, which has been used in recent scientific research.
Teaching, just as learning, is a journey, which I am excited to take together with my students every year.