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

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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. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Patel, V. L., Yoskowitz, N. A., Arocha, J. F., & Shortliffe, E. H. (2009, February). Cognitive and learning sciences in biomedical and health instructional design: A review with lessons for biomedical informatics education. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2008.12.002

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