Evidence-based teaching in contact lenses education: Teaching and learning strategies.Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2023 04; 46(2):101822.CL
Contact lens (CL) practice is an ever-changing field with clinical knowledge, techniques and equipment continuously evolving. These new developments are backed with clinical trials and research to ensure that practitioners feel confident that there is an evidence base to support these advances. Evidence-based practice is now a crucial part of CL practice, and its importance also filters down to CL education. For example, lectures are one of the most popular tools for an educator but, is standing at the front of a lecture theatre full of students a more effective way of teaching than providing the same material for students to read by themselves? What evidence exists specific to CL education?
An expert panel of educators completed a comprehensive literature review of current evidence of teaching methods in CL training, or if not available then what can be learnt from other health care professional training that could be potentially applicable to CL education.
Due to the amount of evidence available in the overall subject area relating to healthcare education, the initial plan of compiling evidence into one narrative review paper was discarded in favour of producing two linked papers. Here, the first paper details definitions of terminology, and also teaching methods. The second paper focuses on assessment and specific clinical training required to attain CL practice competency. In this first paper, no direct evidence of the spreading and benefit of new education strategies evidence such as flipped classrooms, spaced learning, test-enhanced learning, group work, CBL, PBL, TBL, and reflective practice in CL education was found. The only technique that was widely used in the CL field was case reports and the group discussion of them. Nevertheless, the authors found a consensus of opinion from other disciplines that are transferable to CL teaching and could help students meet the intended learning outcomes.
There is a small amount of evidence supporting CL education, but most of this seems to be related to the practical element of the training. However, there is a lot of evidence in the field of healthcare education from related disciplines which provides additional but important learning tools that may be effectively implemented in CL education.