John Sandars

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (98)169.53 Total impact

  • John Sandars · Rakesh Patel ·

    Education for Primary Care 09/2015; 26(5):289-292. DOI:10.1080/14739879.2015.1079008 · 1.07 Impact Factor

  • Archives of Disease in Childhood - Education and Practice 06/2015; 100(5). DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306620 · 1.45 Impact Factor
  • John Sandars · Rakesh Patel ·

    Medical Education 06/2015; 49(6). DOI:10.1111/medu.12695 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ContextStudents who engage in self-regulated learning (SRL) are more likely to achieve academic success compared with students who have deficits in SRL and tend to struggle with academic performance. Understanding how poor SRL affects the response to failure at assessment will inform the development of better remediation.Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 55 students who had failed the final re-sit assessment at two medical schools in the UK to explore their use of SRL processes. A thematic analysis approach was used to identify the factors, from an SRL perspective, that prevented students from appropriately and adaptively overcoming failure, and confined them to a cycle of recurrent failure.ResultsStruggling students did not utilise key SRL processes, which caused them to make inappropriate choices of learning strategies for written and clinical formats of assessment, and to use maladaptive strategies for coping with failure. Their normalisation of the experience and external attribution of failure represented barriers to their taking up of formal support and seeking informal help from peers.Conclusions This study identified that struggling students had problems with SRL, which caused them to enter a cycle of failure as a result of their limited attempts to access formal and informal support. Implications for how medical schools can create a culture that supports the seeking of help and the development of SRL, and improves remediation for struggling students, are discussed.
    Medical Education 04/2015; 49(4). DOI:10.1111/medu.12651 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an increasing use of technology for teaching and learning in medical education but often the use of educational theory to inform the design is not made explicit. The educational theories, both normative and descriptive, used by medical educators determine how the technology is intended to facilitate learning and may explain why some interventions with technology may be less effective compared with others. The aim of this study is to highlight the importance of medical educators making explicit the educational theories that inform their design of interventions using technology. The use of illustrative examples of the main educational theories to demonstrate the importance of theories informing the design of interventions using technology. Highlights the use of educational theories for theory-based and realistic evaluations of the use of technology in medical education. An explicit description of the educational theories used to inform the design of an intervention with technology can provide potentially useful insights into why some interventions with technology are more effective than others. An explicit description is also an important aspect of the scholarship of using technology in medical education.
    Medical Teacher 03/2015; DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2015.1019438 · 1.68 Impact Factor
  • John Sandars · Caroline Sarojini Hart ·
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The capability approach, with its origins in economic and human development work, has a focus on the freedom of persons to make choices about how they wish to lead a valued life. There has been increasing recognition within general education that the capability approach offers a theoretical and practical framework to both implement and evaluate educational interventions that are designed to increase social justice, such as widening participation. There is great potential for the capability approach to also offer medical education a creative way for changing and evaluating curricula, with an emphasis on the teacher facilitating students to achieve their potential by recognising their aspirations and challenging the constraining factors to achieve their aspirations.
    Medical Teacher 02/2015; 37(6):1-11. DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2015.1013927 · 1.68 Impact Factor
  • John Sandars · Ben Jackson ·
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Responding to the healthcare needs of the twenty-first century is a challenge for medical education, requiring a holistic curriculum that stimulates intellectual growth and facilitates personal development of all learners. Self-authorship theory has a focus on the essential development of cognitive maturity, an integrated identity and mature relationships. The educational application of self-authorship situates learning in the experiences of learners and challenges learners' current worldview enabling them to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions. Implications for curriculum development and implementation are discussed, including the need to provide a challenging, yet supportive, learning environment. The use of self-authorship theory to inform educational research is also discussed.
    Medical Teacher 02/2015; 37(6):1-12. DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2015.1013928 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    John Sandars ·

    01/2015; 6:1-3. DOI:10.5116/ijme.5489.eacb
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    ABSTRACT: Ethnic minority (EM) medical students in the United Kingdom underperform academically compared to their Caucasian counterparts, but the reasons are unclear and further understanding is required. To explore self-reported factors that might influence academic underperformance of EM medical students. An online semi-structured questionnaire was used to identify associations between several dimensions that had been identified in previous research and obtain free-text comments. Three-hundred and fifty-one medical students (73.3% Caucasian and 26.5% EM) from the Universities of Sheffield, Keele and London responded. EM medical students were less satisfied with their academic performance and less likely to feel they belonged to the medical school community due to their cultural background, including socio-economic factors. Differences exist between EM and Caucasian medical students in their learning experiences in medical school. There is a need to increase awareness, for both medical students and teaching staff, of the impact of cultural diversity on academic performance at medical school.
    Education for Primary Care 01/2015; 26(1):11-5. DOI:10.1080/14739879.2015.11494301 · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Workplace learning happens in work processes in the context of work, is multi episodic, often informal, problem based and takes place on a just in time basis. While this is a very effective means of delivery, it also does not scale very well beyond the immediate context. We review three types of technologies that have been suggested to scale learning and three connected theoretical discourses around learning and its support. Based on an in-depth analysis of the challenges of two workplace learning domains, Healthcare and Building and Construction, four design-based research projects were conducted that have given rise to designs for scaling informal learning with technology. These projects also contributed to a model that provides an integrative view on three informal learning processes at work and how they can be supported with technology.
    British Journal of Educational Technology 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/bjet.12197 · 1.54 Impact Factor
  • Rakesh Patel · John Sandars · Sue Carr ·
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Making an accurate clinical diagnosis is an essential skill for all medical students and doctors, with important implications for patient safety. Current approaches for teaching how to make a clinical diagnosis tend to lack the complexity that faces clinicians in real-life contexts. In this Guide, we propose a new trans-theoretical model for teaching how to make an appropriate clinical diagnosis that can be used by teachers as an additional technique to their current approach. This educational model integrates situativity theory, dual-information processing theory and socio-cognitive theory. Mapping and microanalysis help the teacher to identify the main processes involved in making an accurate clinical diagnosis, so that feedback can be provided that is focused on improving key aspects of the skill. An essential aspect of using the new educational model is the role of the experienced clinical teacher in making judgments about the appropriateness of the learner's attempts to make a clinical diagnosis.
    Medical Teacher 11/2014; 37(3):1-17. DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2014.975195 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    Manuel Joao Costa · John E SAndars · Palmira Alves · Ana R. Lemos ·
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of the study was to develop and consider the usefulness of a new mixed-methods approach to evaluate the student-centredness of teaching and learning on undergraduate medical courses. An essential paradigm for the evaluation was the coherence between how teachers conceptualise their practice (espoused theories) and their actual practice (theories-in-use). Methods: The context was a module within an integrated basic sciences course in an undergraduate medical degree programme. The programme had an explicit intention of providing a student-centred curriculum. A content analysis framework based on Weimer’s dimensions of student-centred teaching was used to analyze data collected from individual interviews with seven teachers to identify espoused theories and 34h of classroom observations and one student focus group to identify theories-in-use. The interviewees were identified by purposeful sampling. The findings from the three methods were triangulated to evaluate the student-centredness of teaching and learning on the course. Results: Different, but complementary, perspectives of the student-centredness of teaching and learning were identified by each method. The triangulation of the findings revealed coherence between the teachers’ espoused theories and theories-in-use. Conclusions: A mixed-methods approach that combined classroom observations with interviews from a purposeful sample of teachers and students offered a useful evaluation of the extent of student-centredness of teaching and learning of this basic science course. Our case study suggests that this new approach is applicable to other courses in medical education.
    09/2014; 5:157-164. DOI:10.5116/ijme.53ae.8f87
  • John Sandars · Rakesh Patel · Helen Steele · Martin Mcareavey ·
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    ABSTRACT: Developmental student support has a focus on developing the whole person, not only academic and clinical competence. The positive and proactive developmental approach is in marked contrast to the deficit and reactive approach to student support which only targets identified students who are considered to be “at risk”. The medical school is a nexus for personal development, combining the personal identity formation journey of early adulthood with the variety of new experiences in medical school. Important aspects of developmental student support are the development of resilience and ensuring reasonable adjustments for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. Careers guidance is an essential aspect of developmental student support, including students with doubts about a career in medicine and who are leaving because of poor performance. Developmental student support requires an organizational culture in which student support is considered as the responsibility of everyone, with further support from named personal tutors.
    Medical Teacher 07/2014; 36(12). DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2014.917166 · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    John Sandars ·

    Medical Education 12/2013; 47(12):1162-3. DOI:10.1111/medu.12244 · 3.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While several technological advances have been suggested to scale learning at the workplace, none has been successful to scale informal learning. We review three theoretical discourses and suggest an integrated systems model of scaffolding informal workplace learning that has been created to tackle this challenge. We derive research questions that emerge from this model and illus-trate these with an in-depth analysis of two workplace learning domains.
    EC-TEL'13 Proceedings of the 8th European conference on Technology enhanced learning: towards ubiquitous learning, Paphos, Zypern; 09/2013
  • Deborah Murdoch-Eaton · John Sandars ·
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    ABSTRACT: Reflection has become established as a key principle underpinning maintenance of standards within professional education and practice. A requirement to evidence reflection within performance review is intended to develop a transformative approach to practice, identify developmental goals, and ultimately, improve healthcare. However, some applications have taken an excessively instrumental approach to the evidencing of reflection, and while they have provided useful templates or framing devices for recording individualistic reflective practice, they potentially have distorted the original intentions. This article revisits the educational theory underpinning the importance of reflection for enhancing performance and considers how to enhance its value within current paediatric practice.
    Archives of Disease in Childhood 08/2013; 99(3). DOI:10.1136/archdischild-2013-303948 · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Social media may offer a means to engage students, facilitate collaborative learning, and tailor educational delivery for diverse learning styles. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to characterize social media awareness among pharmacy students and determine perceptions toward integrating these tools in education. Methods: A 23-item survey was administered to 1st-year students at a multicampus college of pharmacy. Results: Students (95% response rate; N = 196) most commonly used wikis (97%), social networking (91%), and videosharing (84%). Tools reported as never used or unknown included social bookmarking (89%), collaborative writing (84%), and RSS readers (73%). Respondents indicated that educational integration of social media would impact their ability to learn in a positive/very positive manner (75%) and make them feel connected/very connected (68%). Conclusions: Selectively targeting social media for educational integration and instructing pharmacy students how to employ a subset of these tools may be useful in engaging them and encouraging lifelong learning.
    Teaching and Learning in Medicine 04/2013; 25(2):122-8. DOI:10.1080/10401334.2013.770742 · 0.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Remediation is usually offered to medical students and doctors in training who underperform on written or clinical examinations. However, there is uncertainty and conflicting evidence about the effectiveness of remediation. The aim of this systematic review was to synthesise the available evidence to clarify how and why remediation interventions may have worked in order to progress knowledge on this topic. Methods The MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), ERIC (Educational Resources Information Centre), Web of Science and Scopus databases were searched for papers published from 1984 to April 2012, using the search terms ‘remedial teaching’, ‘education’, ‘medical’, ‘undergraduate’/or ‘clinical clerkship’/or ‘internship and residency’, ‘at risk’ and ‘struggling’. Only studies that included an intervention, then provided retest data, and reported at least one outcome measure of satisfaction, knowledge, skills or effects on patients were eligible for inclusion. Studies of practising doctors were excluded. Data were abstracted independently in duplicate for all items. Coding differences were resolved through discussion. Results Thirty-one of 2113 studies met the review criteria. Most studies were published after 2000 (n = 24, of which 12 were published from 2009 onwards), targeted medical students (n = 22) and were designed to improve performance on an immediately subsequent examination (n = 22). Control or comparison groups, conceptual frameworks, adequate sample sizes and long-term follow-up measures were rare. In studies that included long-term follow-up, improvements were not sustained. Intervention designs tended to be highly complex, but their design or reporting did not enable the identification of the active components of the remedial process. Conclusions Most remediation interventions in medical education focus on improving performance to pass a re-sit of an examination or assessment and provide no insight into what types of extra support work, or how much extra teaching is critical, in terms of developing learning. More recent studies are generally of better quality. Rigorous approaches to developing and evaluating remediation interventions are required.
    Medical Education 03/2013; 47(3):242-51. DOI:10.1111/medu.12052 · 3.20 Impact Factor
  • Mariam Asarbakhsh · John Sandars ·
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Usability is the ease with which something can be used, but this essential concept appears to be rarely considered when using technology for teaching and learning in medical education. Context: There is an increasing use of technology in an attempt to enhance teaching and learning in medical education, from the use of websites and virtual learning environments (VLEs) to interactive online tutorials to blogs and podcasts. However, research suggests that the potential use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in medical education is often not fully realised. One aspect is the perceived usefulness of the technology, but another is the usability as perceived by the learner. Innovation: The purpose of this article is to introduce the concept of usability in relation to the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in medical education, the essential factors that should be considered in the design and implementation of using technology, and to describe how the usability can be tested. Implications: Careful attention needs to be made to the main factors that determine usability: the learner and context; the technology being used; and the content.
    The Clinical Teacher 02/2013; 10(1):47-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1743-498X.2012.00627.x
  • John Sandars · Matthew Homer ·

    Education for Primary Care 12/2012; 23(6):437-9. · 1.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
169.53 Total Impact Points


  • 2014-2015
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Medical School
      Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006-2013
    • University of Leeds
      • • Leeds Institute of Medical Education
      • • School of Medicine
      Leeds, England, United Kingdom
    • The University of Manchester
      • School of Biomedicine
      Manchester, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010
    • University of Limpopo
      • Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care
      Pietersburg, Limpopo, South Africa