My name is Mike Davis and I am a freelance consultant in continuing medical education based in Blackpool but working throughout the UK and Europe. I have been engaged in this work for over 20 years and work mainly through medical education charities, Royal Colleges and and European-wide networks. Prior to this, I was an English teacher in comprehensive schools and then a researcher and lecturer in universities. I am currently an honorary senior lecturer in medical education at Keele University.

Search The Mike Davis CPD Blog

  • 04 May 2020 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since my most recent post to this blog page, I have conducted another webinar that made extensive use of WhatsApp with high levels of participation from those engaged at the time of the live presentation. Analysis of these data is under way and will be combined with previous experiences to provide a more thorough basis for an analysis.

    Watch this space!

  • 28 Mar 2020 9:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    • Challenging (un)interactivity using WhatsApp: a preliminary report on engagement (Part 1)

      In January this year I presented my first webinar of 2020 which was an exploration of the barriers and enablers to effective communication in webinars, something I have been examining for the last few I have offered, if only as a side issue.

      Part of my concern is the unidirectional nature of the webinar, which evidence indicates as being a characteristic of online learning, the subject of this particular edition. Definitions include:

      Seminar: a small group of students, as in a university, engaged in advanced study and original research under a member of the faculty and meeting regularly to exchange information and hold discussions.

      Webinar: a seminar or other presentation that takes place on the Internet, allowing participants in different locations to see and hear the presenter, ask questions, and sometimes answer polls.

      The reality is, in my view, that the webinar has a strong tendency towards one-way communication, from the presenter to the audience, and the consequence of this is that it is much more like an online lecture, with few, in any, opportunities to ask questions, or more importantly, engage in discussions about the complexities of the issues under exploration.

      My webinar aimed to undermine this somewhat by actively encouraging online contributions from participants by:

    • ·      asking a series of questions to which they were invited to respond
    • ·      giving them time to compose and send their thoughts and ideas to the WhatsApp forum that had been set up to allow them to engage with the issues
    • Altogether, 136 people signed up for the webinar and 40 logged in on the day. Of these. 56 people registered as participants in the WhatsApp group. Twenty-four people (including the two facilitators) made at least one contribution, as illustrated in the following table:

      Mike (facilitator)








      Domini (facilitator)








































      (all names anonymised)

      Table 2: Contributions to WhatsApp forum

      Much of the substance of the webinar was based on an analysis of online interaction I had written some years ago[1], which identified some of the obstacles that can get in the way of effective online interaction. These included:

    • ·      antinomy
    • ·      mardi gras
    • ·      atomisation
    • ·      decentralisation
    • ·      disembodiment
    • ·      intensification
    • ·      lurking
    • ·      representation of self
    • If you are interested in exploring these in more depth, have a look at the webinar at

      In order to explore the extent to which these were features of contemporary online communication, using a more modern platform than the one in the paper, I posed a series of issues to explore:

    • ·      What are the norms for our interactions online via WhatsApp or Twitter?
    • ·      Share examples, if any, of challenging behaviour in online communities
    • ·      Do you feel “close” to people in this online environment? What, if any, is the shared experience? How can it be maximised?
    • ·      What steps, if any can be taken to ensure a greater sense of community?
    • ·      How close is your online presence to your sense of “you”? Can you, and do you, make any conscious decisions to be “another” person?
    • ·      How can I find out what is going on in the minds of the lurkers?

    Each prompt was followed by a one minute period of silence to allow participants to write a response and post to the WhatsApp group.

    A screenshot of a cell phone Description automatically generated

    The two highest periods of activity were in response to Opening (Please introduce yourselves”) and Closingand that analysis led into further consideration of what was going on in the interim – in other words, what was the nature of the online interaction from opening remarks to the closing phase of the webinar.

    An aside: Linguistic analysis of online interaction

    As part of another responsibility for evaluating an intervention in non-technical skills, I have explored the possibility of attempting to explain the nature of behaviour by virtue of an analysis of spoken language, using functional criteria to judge the purpose that an utterance is attempting to do. This is based on the work of the linguist M.A.H. Halliday who described the functions as follows:


    To fulfil a need


    To influence the behaviour of others – persuading, commanding, requesting


    To develop social relationships – phatic communication


    To express identity and indicate preferences


    To exchange information


    To ask questions or gain insight through “thinking aloud”


    To speculate or illustrate through “story”

    Table 3: Functions of language (after Halliday, 1972)

    All of these were represented in the WhatsApp component of the webinar, incidences, as follows:















    Table 4: Incidence of language functions in WhatsApp group interaction

    My next blog will explore these results in more detail, and will compare the nature of the experience to the model that was reported in the webinar itself.

    [1] Fragmented by technologies: a community in cyberspace [accessed 27th January 2020]

  • 08 Dec 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What is the Use of Educational Theory?

    What is the use of educational theory? This is an interesting question and one which pops up from time to time when people involved in clinical education settings wonder why they spend any time reading or being encouraged to think about the collection of theories that contribute towards the variety of educational experience.

    I am hoping to explore some of the dominant theories of adult learning over the next few months but the purpose of this blog is to offer support for the argument posited by social psychologist Kurt Lewin, who wrote:

    “There is nothing as practical as good theory”

    “Good for what?” you might ask.

    There are a number of ways[1]of responding to this question, but I want to offer the following:

    • A theory might help explain a puzzling or complex issue and predict its future outcome.

    Think of one of the defining features of the CPDme platform. It is an active and open invitation for you to explore experience through a systematic examination, and to identify possible alternative behaviours in order to improve the nature of the experience if similar circumstances arise again.

    • A theory provides a linguistic tool set with which to communicate the ideas generated in the above to:
    a) self, facing a future, similar experience or;

    b) to others who may be faced with similar challenges

    The generalisations based on an analysis of experience (as per the experiential learning cycle – see below), provide the basis for future interaction within similar, possibly shared, fields of practice.

    • This can lead to change, an essential ingredient for learning.

    Without a willingness to engage in experience and an analysis of that, change is always going to be a random event based on nothing but whatever urge needs to be satisfied at a particular time. Change based on a thoughtful analysis of past experience (own or others’) is more likely to achieve the intended outcome. This is, in fact, the basis of much curriculum design.

    All of these above support the value of a systematic exploration of experience by one of adult learning’s first recognised theorists, John Dewey (1859-1952), and made more concrete by David Kolb, who produced the Experiential Learning Cycle as a possible process to enable the process of learning from experience.

    What this theory offers is not only an explanation, but a challenge: how easy, or otherwise, do we find that journey? What are the obstacles and how can we overcome them? CPDme is part of the answer to that question and we will explore it in more detail over coming months. In the meantime, I would welcome your thoughts on Lewin’s view that that “There is nothing as practical as good theory.”


    [1]This one has its origins at [accessed 2nd December 2019]

  • 01 Sep 2019 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello and Welcome!

    This is going to be the first of a regular series on the CPDme website: some will be me exploring issues of interest to the medical education community, others will include interviews with some key players among that community. The intention is to be informative, stimulating and entertaining and it will, therefore, need your contribution – both in terms of comments on what you read, and in suggestions and contributions to the discussion about medical education generally.

    To start the process off, I would like to introduce myself to you...

    My name is Mike Davis and I am a freelance consultant in continuing medical education based in Blackpool but working throughout the UK and Europe. I have been engaged in this work for over 20 years and work mainly through medical education charities, Royal Colleges and European-wide networks. Prior to this, I was an English teacher in comprehensive schools and then a researcher and lecturer in universities. I am currently an honorary senior lecturer in medical education at Keele University.

    I became involved in CME when I had a conversation that went something like this:

    Other: Are you doing anything next week?

    Me: What do you have in mind?

    Other: I said I would teach on a short course for doctors and other medics but I can’t make it. They give you the slide set and everything.

    Me: I’ll give it a go.

    At the time, I was teaching on a Masters Programme in Training and Development at Manchester University. My students came from all over the world and were very enthusiastic and challenging mid-career professionals who, in their final term were all working on their dissertations. Among my student community was the rare doctor and even rarer nurse or paramedic so the prospect of working with a new group was an interesting challenge and one that I was willing to take on.

    The course in question was a relatively early manifestation of the Advanced Life Support Group’s (ALSG) Generic Instructor Course (GIC), developed to meet the needs of potential instructors on APLS and other life support courses offered by ALSG. Each course would have about 20 candidates, all of whom had been recommended as having Instructor Potential (IP) by instructors on their provider courses. They would be supported by a group of about 12 GIC instructors, all of whom were experienced and competent provider course instructors.

    As will be apparent from the above paragraph, I was going to have to come to terms with a new vocabulary and a disturbing number of acronyms, something which I had not be exposed to as part of my role in teaching on the MEd in T&D.

    The course itself took place in an office in Salford Quays and involved a series of lectures addressing a number of issues of concern ranging from an introduction to adult education theory and its implications for practice, an appreciation of the importance of preparation (in all its manifestations), and the management of a number of teaching modalities: the lecture, small group discussion, skills teaching and (something still in its early days), low fidelity simulation. The course, run over 3 days, was stimulating and exciting and made significant demands on the emotional and intellectual energy of a lot of people, including the course educator.

    It was, however, a very satisfying experience and one which I then extended to include the ATLS instructor programme, engagement in developing virtual learning materials for a wide variety of life support courses and one extended engagement with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for doctors and others involved in child protection issues. I also became involved in the early development of the European Trauma Course which I see as being on the forefront of trauma management training.

    Engagement with these issues have led me to being involved in writing and editing books and papers addressing issues associated with medical education, including most recently “How to teach using simulation in healthcare” with colleagues from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Simulation team.

    It is clear to me that there is some great work going on in medical education at the moment and I see CPDme as being a significant contributor to that. Its encouragement of reflective practice is a major component, as is the provision for collecting CPD evidence and providing a platform for a wide variety of medical educators to address matters of concern to the community through its Webinar programme. I hope to see this blog as contributing to that success and invite you to respond: ask questions, pose problems, raise issues – anything that adds to our shared understanding of the multiple roles we occupy.

Customers and Affiliates




CPDme, Business First, Liverpool Road, Burnley, Lancashire, England, BB12 6HH

CPDme Ⓒ 2009 - 2020. CPDme Ⓡ and CPDcloud Ⓡ are a trading division of HootCloud Ltd. EU Trademarked and Registered Company in England No. 10947245