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July 31, 2012 / jeffmedic

Guest Lecturers

Guest lecturers can be a great asset in the EMS classroom. My program has been very fortunate over the years in having a string of excellent guest lecturers come through and share their knowledge and experience. There have been a few problems though. Along the way I have made a few mistakes and learned a few things.

The first thing I have learned is that you should not use guest lecturers to teach the material by themselves. Subject matter experts provide real world coverage of a topic but they don’t always cover everything. Also, they often assume a level of background knowledge that your students may not have. By covering the material first and using the guest lecturer to reinforce what has been taught, you get better coverage of the material and the session with the guest lecturer is a better experience for everyone.

Second, guest lecturers tend to be busy people because people with the kind of knowledge and experience that you want are have a lot going on. You want to make coming to your class as easy as possible for them. Before contacting a potential speaker, have a plan for what you would like them to cover and two or three possible dates and times for them to come to your class. It is much easier for them to say yes or no to specific requests than it is to scan their entire schedule and try to figure out what time is best for everyone.

Lastly, stay in the room during the lecture and participate. You need to show your students that the speaker and the information are important. This is not the time to get caught up on other work. You may need to guide the discussion if things get derailed.

Guest lecturers bring real world experience to your classroom. When used properly, they will enhance your program and the experience of your students.

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