Improving your training skills: A workshop for Cochrane Trainers



Improving your training skills: A workshop for Cochrane Trainers
Monday 21st October; Cochrane Colloquium, Santiago, Chile

A good trainer is one who is confident of both content and approach. However, in the same way that our subject matter expertise constantly needs to be expanded simply to keep ahead, so too do we continuously need to think critically about how we go about facilitating a training event. This workshop, which is being held before the Cochrane Colloquium in Santiago, is an excellent opportunity for Cochrane's trainers to participate in such critical engagement, and is a one-day tour through the successful facilitation of such an event.

The workshop is being delivered by Professor Susan van Schalkwyk and Dr Anke Rohwer from the University of Stellenbosch (biographies below), in partnership with Cochrane Training. It has been custom-designed with a view to strengthening the delivery of Cochrane training initiatives for enhancing knowledge and skills related to conducting, editing and reading systematic reviews. The workshop is structured around a blend of interactive presentations on key topics relating to the design, planning and facilitation of a learning event, interspersed with opportunities for interaction, sharing of good practice, and reflection. It is primarily aimed at members of the Cochrane Trainers’ Network, who will be given priority in registration, but is also open to anyone involved in other similar training activities.

By the end of this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe current concepts of how people learn and the theory that underpins these pedagogical positions;
  • Describe and evaluate various approaches to teaching which promote meaningful learning;
  • Design and plan a Cochrane training event/course including developing learning outcomes for the particular event/course;
  • Implement a Cochrane training event;
  • Apply sound facilitation principles appropriate for small and medium sized groups of trainees;
  • Critically reflect on your role as a training facilitator.

The workshop is aimed at those who would regard themselves as less experienced facilitators. However, people with many years’ experience should also enjoy hearing about current trends and approaches, and having the opportunity to share their experience with others.


Please use this form to register your interest in attending the workshop, and tell us more about why you would like to attend and what you expect to learn. The workshop is free of charge and places are strictly limited.

Early bird registration for the workshop closes on Wednesday 31 July and we will inform you of your place shortly afterwards. If you have any questions about registering for the workshop, please contact Chris Watts, Learning Manager on

Trainer Biographies

Susan van Schalkwyk, M Phil, PhD., is Professor in Health Professions Education and Director of the Centre for Health Professions Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Her work encompasses multiple facets of health professions education scholarship including the supervision of Master’s and PhD students, and faculty development. Research interests cover a range of topics related to learning and teaching in the health professions, with a specific focus on transformative learning, as well as strengthening postgraduate studies and academic writing. Susan is active in health professions education, both nationally and internationally, is currently a member of the AMEE Research Committee, chair of the AMEE Doctoral Report Award panel, on the editorial board of MedEdPublish, and an associate editor for The Clinical Teacher. She is a founding member of the Bellagio Global Health Education Initiative, an interdisciplinary, multinational effort to advance global health education worldwide and serves on the AMEE Aspire to Excellence international board. A rated researcher with the South African National Research Foundation, Susan has authored or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Anke Rohwer, is a senior researcher at the Centre for Evidence-based Health Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She has a background in midwifery (BCur) and Clinical Epidemiology (MScClinEip) and graduated with a PhD in Public Health in March 2018.  As part of her PhD, she investigated perceived and actual health research reporting practices in low-and middle-income countries. Her other research activities include conducting systematic reviews on the effects of interventions, systematic reviews of qualitative research, overviews of systematic reviews and scoping reviews. Furthermore, she has conducted research related to teaching evidence-based health care (EBHC). In addition to conducting research, Anke teaches EBHC principles to healthcare professionals at undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education level, supervises Master’s students and mentors novice authors of systematic reviews. She currently coordinates capacity development activities within the Collaboration for Evidence-based Healthcare and Public Health in Africa (CEBHA+), which includes development and implementation of workshops related to evidence-based public health in various African countries. She is a methods editor for Cochrane Public Health, peer-reviews articles for international journals and has presented her work at national and international conferences.