Continuing Education research

Join the education team to promote discovery in learning

Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary field that works to further scientific, humanistic and critical theoretical understanding of learning as well as to engage in the design and implementation of learning innovations and the improvement of instructional methodologies1. Educational research, a component of learning sciences, is critical to helping educators improve teaching and learning processes2.  Significant research findings in this field have provided insights into how learners behave, how different teaching methods impact learners, and how learners may be effectively engaged. 

One of the key components of teaching practices in the AO is the focus on translation and application of evidence-based best practices in learning. This focus has led us to establishing a process that guarantees we deliver the highest quality education in the highest quality way. 

AO NA surgeon faculty and educationalists work as partners to explore research opportunities that can contribute to educational research evidence and literature, with a goal to further the understanding of surgeon education in the context of AO learning and teaching interactions. Our drive to know more stems from unanswered questions that remain a challenge for all involved in delivering education:

  • How does learning occur?
  • When does learning occur?
  • What factors contribute to learning?
  • How does one design curricula that works, or “sticks”?
  • How does one design effective learning processes?
  • How do we balance interventions, deliberate practice, and feedback within the process of achieving surgical expertise?

The findings from such research validates AO’s teaching philosophy and contributes greatly to the disciplines of medical education and CPD.  The first set of studies designed to support the AO Trauma Competency-based Training and Assessment Program (CTAP) will be launched in North America in 2021, and they are sure to make an impact on how we understand learning. Stay tuned for more!



  1. Sawyer, R. K. (2014). The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (second edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  2. UKEssays. (November 2018). The Role And Importance Of Educational Research Philosophy Essay. Retrieved from
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