David Topps

David Topps
The University of Calgary | HBI · Department of Family Medicine

MBChB, MRCGP, FCFP

About

97
Publications
7,085
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556
Citations
Introduction
David Topps currently works at the Department of Family Medicine, The University of Calgary. David does research in Educational Technology, General Practice and Medicine. Their current project is 'Activity Metrics using xAPI'.
Additional affiliations
December 2010 - present
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Executive
Description
  • Formerly the Medical Education Research Unit
November 2010 - present
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Professor
November 2010 - September 2017
The University of Calgary
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (97)
Preprint
Full-text available
Academic writing is a team sport, requiring close collaboration. We explore the concept of Agile Writing in this context. We look at various approaches, writing tools, team constructs and also provide some real examples of this in action. This document is based on a live, ongoing manuscript that can continue to be edited collaboratively, and commen...
Method
Full-text available
This is a collaborative dicussion document. You can comment directly at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BoQTKOD-7jmb1bmltNfQvEOgUzgsaZ8uJjzWvqThi2c/edit?usp=sharing We need a secure repository to allow people to donate their data to science (instead of their body). There is a long tradition of donating your body to science, but today, with the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The problems of tracking learner behaviours across multiple educational information systems and platforms and the lack of integration between these systems has been a challenge for years. Recent approaches using activity metrics, sent to an intermediary Learning Record Store, are more promising. The use of context-aware scenarios, learning designs...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Citation of reference material is well established for most traditional sources but remains inconsistent in its application for online resources such as web pages, blog posts and materials generated from underlying database queries. We present some tips on how authors can more effectively cite and archive such resources so they are persistent and s...
Article
Open Educational Repositories (OERs) have not seen the wide adoption that was predicted when they were introduced. A number of factors contribute to this but in this article, we explore some new tools and mechanisms that will create additional value from their use, for contributors, learners and organizations.
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The Precision in Health Professions Education Scholarship (PiHPES) project is an exploration of the problems of trying to apply a big data approach to learning analytics to medical schools and health professional education.
Technical Report
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Scheduling, in the context of constrained resources, eg a limited number of sites or teachers, or other learner requirements, can become very complex. Standard computing algorithms deal poorly with such constraints. CORES takes a new approach that is scalable.
Article
Full-text available
Virtual scenarios provide a means for creating rich and complex online cases for health professional students to explore. However, the response options available to the learner are usually predefined, which limits the utility of virtual patients. Using artificial intelligence or natural language processing to accommodate such flexibility is expensi...
Article
The collection and analysis of data are central to medical education and medical education scholarship. While the technical ability to collect more data, and medical education's dependence on data, have never been greater, it is getting harder for medical schools and educational scholars to collect and use data, particularly in terms of the regulat...
Article
Introduction: In this paper, we explored the utility and value of the METRICS model for modeling scholarship in healthcare simulation by: (1) describing the distribution of articles in four healthcare simulation journals across the seven areas of METRICS scholarship; and (2) appraising patterns of scholarship expressed in three programs of simulati...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Simply providing feedback on practice profiles and prescribing data has so far shown to have little impact on clinical practice. From our work with the Alberta Physician Learning Program (PLP), several projects have shown that clinicians need more context and comparators, not just infographics. In a number of projects, we have made use of virtual s...
Chapter
Contemporary medical education is increasingly dependent on the assessment judgments and in-training evaluations of preceptors, especially in competency-based programs. However, preceptors are subject to biases and inconsistencies in undertaking these assessment tasks, and they are often reluctant to provide a negative judgment on their learners. T...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarly activity in health professions education has been growing steadily but despite the broad interest, quite what is considered to be scholarly activity in medical education has remained vague. Boyer’s classes of scholarly activity (Boyer 1990) and Glassick et al.’s criteria required of an artefact to render it scholarly (Glassick et al. 1997...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Cumming School of Medicine (CSM) is strongly engaging with the paradigm of Precision Medicine. There are potentially huge advantages to be gained by incorporating big data analytics into healthcare approaches, affording personally optimized diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that will exceed what has so far been possible with medicine based...
Technical Report
Full-text available
There are many educational support tools and applications available but the vast majority focus on individual performance and assessment. OLab4 is unique in the extent to which the platform supports the integration and assessment of team-based learning designs.
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing interest in Barcamps and Unconferences as an educational approach during traditional medical education conferences. Our group has now accumulated extensive experience in these formats over a number of years in different educational venues. We present a summary of observations and lessons learned about what works and what doesn’t
Technical Report
Full-text available
For our DynIA project (http://dspace.ucalgary.ca/handle/1880/50360), we needed a rapid way of providing feedback to participants so that they could compare choices and answers. In particular, participants wanted to visualize not just the most popular response, but also the relative priority of the responses. For this, we developed ‘Rapid Reporting...
Article
Medical education is primarily about training physicians and maintaining their capabilities over time. Given that physicians are the primary focus of the field, there is a need for a clear idea of what physicians are or could be. This paper seeks to explore this issue by posing the simple question: ?Where do physicians start and end?’ In doing so,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Report of the materials development for, and the activities demonstrated at, the xAPI Workshop at the Medbiq Annual Conference, Baltimore MD.
Article
Mobile technologies (including handheld and wearable devices) have the potential to enhance learning activities from basic medical undergraduate education through residency and beyond. In order to use these technologies successfully, medical educators need to be aware of the underpinning socio-theoretical concepts that influence their usage, the pr...
Conference Paper
Assessment data used to be specific to a particular assessment activity. However, with the ever-growing use of digital technologies that can record learner actions, the potential for using this tracking data for assessment purposes has created many opportunities for medical educators. It also challenges the way we think about assessment and perform...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Remediating, or preferably, predicting which residents will have difficulty before they need remediating, is a challenging task. Most of us perform better when pumped for an exam. But how do we respond when under routine pressures? Do weaker learners adapt differently, despite coaching? Methods: Using an adaptation of virtual patient...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Remediating, or preferably, predicting which residents will have difficulty before they need remediating, is a challenging task. Most of us perform better when pumped for an exam. But how do we respond when under routine pressures? Do weaker learners adapt differently, despite coaching? Methods: Using an adaptation of virtual patient...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Virtual patient authoring tools provide a simple means of creating rich and complex online cases for health professional students to explore. However, the responses available to the learner are usually predefined, which limits the utility of virtual patients, both in terms of replayability and adaptability. Using artificial intelligence...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Virtual patient authoring tools provide a simple means of creating rich and complex online cases for health professional students to explore. However, the responses available to the learner are usually predefined, which limits the utility of virtual patients, both in terms of replayability and adaptability. Using artificial intelligence...
Presentation
Full-text available
CURIOS webinar with video mashup and virtual patient cases about dizzyness, vertigo
Presentation
Full-text available
Video mashups, VP cases and presentation about sinusitis, polyps, laryngoscopy findings
Technical Report
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Challenging learners can present many problems to clinical teachers, especially in a community-based setting. We created a virtual learner, Larry, for preceptors to use as a learning exercise, and to assess their skills in dealing with the problems presented. We used a virtual patient platform, OpenLabyrinth, to create a series of virtual learners....
Article
Full-text available
MedBiquitous: it’s a name that many have heard of but few have directly engaged with. The MedBiquitous Consortium is the only accredited developer of information technology standards for healthcare education and quality improvement in the world. Although it is a US-dominated group, there are a number of Canadians active in MedBiquitous including Cr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Tips on how to use Microsoft Word's Track Changes functionality effectively when writing as a collaborating team.
Presentation
Full-text available
CURIOS webinar with video mashups and virtual patient cases to support the ophthalmological exam
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Learners attempting clinical procedures have few opportunities to practice, many of which are squandered on watching teachers perform. Data from our PocketSnips project showed that learners do more and better if they first study short videos of the procedure. But the cost and effort required in creating such videos is substantial. Howev...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What do learners and teachers actually do? This keynote presentation explores new tools and approaches around activity theory and metrics, including the new Experience API, a promising new method for providing simple metrics for learning analytics. xAPI data can be accessed and shared across a variety of learning analytic tools.
Technical Report
Full-text available
OpenLabyrinth is a free, open-source, open-standard, virtual patient platform. ( http://openlabyrinth.ca/ ) Originally developed in Edinburgh by Dr Rachel Ellaway, it has gone through several versions and is now widely used as an educational research tool. Its scope has broadened beyond virtual patients and it is now used across many areas of educa...
Article
Background Simulation-based health professional education is often limited in accommodating large numbers of students. Most organisations do not have enough simulation suites or staff to support growing demands.ContextWe needed to find ways to make simulation sessions more accommodating for larger groups of learners, so that more than a few individ...
Article
The widespread use of digital media (both computing devices and the services they access) has blurred the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. Contemporary students are the last to remember a time before the widespread use of the Internet and they will be the first to practice in a largely e-health environment. This article explo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
: Learning prescriptions are a useful educational approach, which are made more effective when they are patient specific, but this leads to concerns about compromising patient confidentiality. In today’s environment of increasing data mining in all areas of society, this concern is increasingly difficult to address. By using the intrinsic capabilit...
Article
Background Virtual patients are software tools that present learners with patient case situations and tasks. Some virtual patients take the learner through a guided case scenario, whereas others require learners to make diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. Much attention has been paid to the design of virtual patients and their use as standalone a...
Presentation
Full-text available
CURIOS webinar in debate format with two OpenLabyrinth virtual patient cases for audience participation.
Presentation
Full-text available
Videos and live demonstration of joint injection techniques.
Article
Full-text available
Healthcare learners typically observe clinical procedures before attempting them (the old " see one, do one… " approach) but they may lose out on practice opportunities as they " see one " with a preceptor while cycling through rotations. Our Just-In-Time approach where learners see the first example of a procedure on video can increase their pract...
Presentation
Full-text available
OpenLabyrinth virtual patient case about James Laststand who suffers from cluster headaches. https://connectmeeting.ucalgary.ca/jan-28-headache/
Article
Full-text available
Background: Virtual patients are interactive computer simulations that are increasingly used as learning activities in modern health care education, especially in teaching clinical decision making. A key challenge is how to retrieve and repurpose virtual patients as unique types of educational resources between different platforms because of the la...
Article
Full-text available
Background Physician claims data are one of the largest sources of coded health information unique to Canada. There is skepticism from data users about the quality of this data. This study investigated features of diagnostic codes used in the Alberta physician claims database. Methods Alberta physician claims from January 1 to March 31, 2011 are a...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Technical Report
Full-text available
Presentation to several groups of residents on the issues of professionalism in a digital world - narrated slides from presentation. Full narrated slide deck at http://hdl.handle.net/1880/49848
Article
The means to share educational materials have grown considerably over the years, especially with the multitude of Internet channels available to educators. This article describes an innovative use of YouTube as a publishing platform for clinical educational materials.The authors posted online a series of short videos for teaching clinical procedure...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Proposal: a set of online services to support online continuing professional development for rural practitioners. Statement of Need: rural practitioners are challenged with data overload and need services that provide filtered information, easy access at point of care, with simple searching and tagging. Background: in the past, web portals have...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Using collaborative video capture techniques on iOS devices, this approach presents a novel format for engaging learners in a constructivist approach to the creation of videos on clinical procedures. This is a technical report on the progress so far, describing some initial findings.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Motivation: The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Calgary operates in an extremely complex environment. This research project was designed to gain a better understanding of the environment that the department operates within, and provide recommendations on how to satisfy its informatics needs in a cost effective and sustainable man...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Learning to Collaborate Remotely, in Real Time, Through a Platform of Integrated Simulation Devices. Joy, Aislinn (School of Medicine, University College, Cork, Cork, IRL); Hynes, Helen (Medical Education unit, University College, Cork, Cork, IRL); Ellaway, Rachel (North Ontario School of Medicine, Sudbury, CAN); Topps, David (University of Calgary...
Presentation
Full-text available
The challenges of combining all your information, databases etc in your department or group
Presentation
Full-text available
Overview of the implications of the LACES Project
Research Proposal
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Many organizations face the challenges of too many disparate databases. In response to the leadership call that "we need a single database" to organize these, our team will look at alternate approaches to such information integration. In doing so, it will be important to link academic, clinical and education systems (hence the project name) where...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter argues the need for a paradigm shift to focus health care from a top down fragmented process driven activity to a user-driven journey of the individual whose health is at stake. Currently many person/patients express needs that are often overlooked or not understood in the health system, and the frontline care workers express frustrati...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter articulates key considerations for the translation of the concept of the Patient Journey Record Systems (PaJR) into real world systems. The key concept lies in the ‘discovery’ of the use of patient narratives to locate the phase of illness in a patient journey. We describe our developmental framework of in the context of Ambulatory Car...
Chapter
This chapter articulates key considerations for the translation of the concept of the Patient Journey Record Systems (PaJR) into real world systems. The key concept lies in the ‘discovery’ of the use of patient narratives to locate the phase of illness in a patient journey. We describe our developmental framework of in the context of Ambulatory Car...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) was established with a social accountability mandate to contribute to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario and a mandate to be to be innovative. In this context, NOSM developed Distributed Community Engaged Learning (DCEL) as its distinctive model of medical education...
Technical Report
Full-text available
While there are now many communications modalities available, there is still a tendency to rely on traditional methods, such as telephone and fax. These even though patient data requires more secure approaches to communication. Little work has been done on how clinicians communicate in an interprofessional environment. The primary aims of the Secu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Working notes for later design.
Article
Working collaboratively, in widely distributed settings, poses unique challenges. The Academic Family Health Team, affiliated with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, has had to adopt a wide variety of information sharing practices and collaborative software tools, in order to function effectively in such roles as clinicians, educators and res...
Article
Simulation modalities are generally used independently of one another, largely due to physical and operational limitations to integration. Recent developments are enabling simulators and simulation environments to progress beyond single intervention models towards integrated continua of simulation. Moving to greater integration can improve contextu...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of professional development and behaviour is an important issue in the training of medical students and physicians. Several methods have been developed for doing so. What is still needed is a method that combines assessment of actual behaviour in the workplace with timely feedback to learners. We describe the development, piloting an...
Article
Simulations can transcend the literal representation of practice worlds. This paper considers the use of gaming and narrative to identify key underlying features and the ways in which they can be used in creating simulation activities.
Article
Simulators are typically standalone devices. The HSVO project is developing a network enabled platform control middleware and a number of integrated 'edge device' services to, among other outcomes, enable multi device and platform simulation support.
Article
In September 2008, the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, announced plans to change delivery of primary health care in Australia. Ms Roxon suggested that general practitioners should 'relinquish some of the work that could be safely done by other health professionals'. The New South Wales Australian Medical Association President...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Evaluation of decisions made when learners are navigating an OpenLabyrinth virtual patient case presents some challenges because of possible complex, branching nature of such cases. The complexity presents great richness in describing and tracking realistic decision opportunities but necessitates different approaches in assessing whether the learne...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Learning prescriptions, relating to specific patient challenges, are a useful educational tool but have their limitations, especially for weaker learners and forgetful teachers. Our pilot study made use of available PDAs to test the concept of creating and using an electronic version of the learning prescription, LearnRx. Tasks created by the teach...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about where family physicians learn procedural skills. In this study, we examine where Canadian family medicine graduates learned to do the procedures they perform. In 2001, a cross-sectional postal survey was conducted of the 369 family medicine graduates from the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary between 1996 - 2...
Article
Countless hours and dollars are frittered away during teleconferences. This situation is greatly magnified when spread across international boundaries. Some simple steps can reduce this waste. Careful attention should be paid to such issues as time zones, appropriate telephone etiquette and equipment, sensible meeting management, careful use of add...
Article
To address the increasing need for rural health practitioners, Canada is trying various methods of medical education, including community based residency streams, additional skills training and teamwork models. This paper discusses some of the factors that may affect the effectiveness of these methods.
Article
Full-text available
In our previous projects, students and residents have readily adopted personal digital assistants (PDAs), but faculty have generally been reluctant. The objective of the project reported here was to maximize adoption of PDAs by our faculty, using a combination of strategies. Through cost-shared funding, we provided full-time and community teachers...
Article
To create an electronic procedural logbook with enhanced user interactivity and usefulness as an educational resource. From our own work on electronic student logbooks and other studies, it is clear that compliance with complete and valid data entry remains a challenge. Without direct and visible benefit, students are reluctant to spend time loggin...