Associate Professor Balasooriya is an inspirational educator whose expertise has been recognised at the highest levels.
Chinthaka has received the Faculty of Medicine Teaching Excellence Award (2008), the Vice-Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence (2012), an Australian Learning & Teaching Council Citation (2011) and a UNSW ARC Postgraduate Council Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision (2015). His contributions to the scholarship of learning and teaching has been recognised through a Fellowship of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Education (ANZAHPE).
Chinthaka has a background in Medicine and a PhD in Medical Education. His experience extends across the UNSW Medicine program to Higher Degrees by Research programs and Postgraduate Coursework programs.
Chinthaka leads a range of research projects in medical education and higher education. He has supervised and led research projects that have led to the design of a range of educational instruments. He currently leads a project funded by a Strategic Learning and Teaching Fund to develop and evaluate a process for Formative Peer Review of Teaching at UNSW.
Chinthaka was the Deputy Director (Educational Scholarship) of the Scientia Education Academy (2017 - June 2019).
Formative Peer Review of Teaching Project
Project team: Chinthaka Balasooriya, Reema Harrison, Patrick Rawstorne, Lois Meyer, Husna Razee
Advisory committee: Gary Velan, Anthony O’Sullivan, Nalini Pather, Richard Vickery, Peter Harris
Formative peer review of teaching (FPRT) is an ongoing process of professional development that aims to continually develop the individual and collective quality of teaching (Bell, 2001; Gosling 2014; Harris, Bell, Farrell, Devlin & James 2008). It is a collaborative and collegial process that aims to support academic development.
A systematic FPRT process is currently being piloted at UNSW Medicine, funded by a grant from the Scientia Education Investment Fund.
There is clear evidence from the higher education literature, that collegial and supportive FPRT processes are critical for the effective implementation of summative peer-review of teaching. FPRT provides an opportunity for academics to self-assess against clear criteria and share ideas related to teaching practice thereby supporting professional development and preparedness for the more formal institutional expectations of summative peer review of teaching
The overall aim of the project is to enhance student learning by enhancing the quality of teaching. The specific aims of the project are to:
- Design a process to conduct formative peer review of teaching (FPRT)
- Evaluate the impact of the FPRT process on reviewees’ perceptions of improvement in teaching skills (self-efficacy).
- Evaluate the feasibility, usefulness and limitations (if any) of the current UNSW peer-review of teaching instrument
- To explore both the reviewers’ and reviewees’ experience of the FPRT process.
- To develop a toolkit of exemplars of ‘best practice’ of teaching in relation to each FPRT dimension
The FPRT process is independent of the summative process being run by UNSW and is intended to help academics become familiar with and prepared for the summative process. In addition, the optional research component of the formative peer review project may help to develop recommendations to refine the summative process. The research findings could also inform the sector more broadly on the perceptions and impact of formative peer review on teaching practices and notions of self-efficacy.
The project commenced in August 2017 and the following has been achieved:
- The FPRT process has been developed and piloted
- A reviewer training package has been developed
- The initial cohort of reviewers (30) have been trained.
- The first formal reviews have been conducted
- A webpage has been developed
- A publication has been submitted
- The project has been expanded to include the faculties of Engineering and Built Environment.
- Build further awareness of the project across the faculty
- Continue to consult with other faculties and introduce more widely across UNSW (with faculty/discipline specific adaptations as required)
- Conduct the research component and develop recommendations to inform improvements to both the formative and summative processes.
- Disseminate findings within and beyond INSW including in the higher education research literature
- Balasooriya, C., Harrison, R., Rawstorne, P., Meyer, L., Razee, H. (2017-2018). Designing, piloting and evaluating a process for formative peer-review of teaching ($45,000). UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund
- Velan, G., Steel, A., Lim, B., Sherry, C., Thomson, C., Balasooriya, C., . . . McIntyre, S. (2017-2018). Development and implementation of an education portfolio to evaluate excellence of teachers at UNSW ($50,000): UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund.
- Torda, A., Damodaran, A., Balasooriya, C., Fenton-Kerr, T., Mobbs, S., & O'Sullivan, P. A. (2018). The CLASSIE project – Clinically applicable student studies in Ethics, for Phase 3 medical students ($ 43,455): UNSW Scientia Education Investment Fund.
- Balasooriya, C., MacIntyre, R., Travaglia, J. (2015-2017). Adapting and trialling an innovative international approach to address burnout in medical students ($20,000). University of New South Wales/SJTU-UNSW Collaborative Research Fund - Seed Grant
- Balasooriya, C., Canalese, R., Shulruf, B., Zwar, N. (2014). Enhancing the use of Hypertension Guidelines in General Practice ($75,000). National Heart Foundation of Australia – Vanguard Grant (Category 1 - ACGR)
- Balasooriya, C., Olupeliyawa, A., O’Sullivan, A., Hughes, C., Rhee, J. Development of a mobile application to facilitate learning and assessment of teamwork skills in clinical settings. ($65,000). UNSW 2014 Allocation of Recurrent HWA Funding
- Balasooriya, C., (2012). Clinical decision making in health care settings ($5000). SPHCM Small Grant to Support the development of Category 1 Grant application
- Rutherford, A., Thompson, R., Balasooriya, C. (2010/2011). Enhancing the content, delivery and assessment of Graduate Capability 2 in the MBBS program ($6000): University of New South Wales Strategic Learning & Teaching Development Fund.
- Balasooriya, C., Taylor, S., & Koritschoner, E. (2010/2011). Assessment and development of Teamwork across all Phases of UNSW Medicine Program ($10,000): University of New South Wales Strategic Learning & Teaching Development Fund.
- Balasooriya, C D., Hughes, C. (2009). Assessing teamwork in undergraduate medical education to better prepare students for teamwork requirements of interns ($4000): UNSW Seed Funding for ALTC Learning & Teaching Grant Applications.
- Harris, P., Bloomfield, L., Hughes, C., Balasooriya, C., Meyer, L. (2007). Evaluation of assessment methods and training related to curricula for postgraduate training in diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists
Peer Reviewed Educational Publications
- Chunming, W. M., Harrison, R., MacIntyre, R., Travaglia, J., & Balasooriya, C. (2017). Burnout in medical students: a systematic review of experiences in Chinese medical schools. BMC Medical Education, 17(1), 217. doi: 10.1186/s12909-017-1064-3
- Iqbal, M., Velan, G. M., O’Sullivan, A. J., & Balasooriya, C. (2016). Differential impact of student behaviours on group interaction and collaborative learning: medical students’ and tutors’ perspectives. BMC Medical Education 16:217. DOI: 10.1186/s12909-016-0730-1
- Dharmaratne, S., Razee, H., Ponnamperuma, G., Marambe, K., Dawson, A., & Balasooriya, C. (2015). Vignette-based Decision Point Analysis (VDPA): A novel method of exploring contextual influences on clinical decision-making. European Journal for Person Centred Healthcare. 3(2): p.151-157
- Jiayu, M., Xianming, K., Wang, C., MacIntyre, R., Travaglia, J., Balasooriya, C. (2015). Comparative study on medical education training models in China and Australia. Chinese Journal of Medical Education Research 14 (1).
- Balasooriya, C., Rhee, J., Shulruf, B., Canalese, R., & Zwar, N. (2014). Evaluating the Guideline Enhancement Tool (GET): an innovative clinical training tool to enhance the use of hypertension guidelines in general practice. BMC Medical Education, 14(1): p.1-5.
- Olupeliyawa, A. M., O’Sullivan, A., Hughes, C., & Balasooriya, C. D. (2014). The Teamwork Mini-Clinical Evaluation Exercise (T-MEX): A Workplace-Based Assessment Focusing on Collaborative Competencies in Health Care. Academic Medicine. 89 (2)
- Olupeliyawa, A. M., Balasooriya, C. D., O’Sullivan, A., & Hughes, C., (2014). Educational impact of an assessment of medical students’ collaboration in healthcare teams. Medical Education. 48(2), 146-156. doi: 10.1111/medu.12318
- Balasooriya, C., Olupeliyawa, A., Iqbal, M., Lawley, C., Cohn, A., Ma, D., et al. (2013). A student-led Process to Enhance the Learning and Teaching of Teamwork Skills in Medicine. Education for Health. 26(2), 78-84. doi: 10.4103/1357-6283.120698
- Olupeliyawa, A. M., O’Sullivan, A., Hughes, C., & Balasooriya, C. D. (2013). Transition to clinical practice as a medical graduate: what collaborative competencies and behaviours are critical? Focus on Health Professional Education. 14(2): 57-70
- O'Sullivan, A J. , Harris, P., Hughes, C., Toohey, S.M., Balasooriya, C., Velan, G., Kumar, R.K. and McNeil, H. P. (2012) Linking assessment to undergraduate student capabilities through portfolio examination, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(3): 379-391.
- Balasooriya, C., Tetik, C., & Harris, P. (2011). Why is my design not working? The role of student factors. Research Papers in Education. 26(2), 191 - 206.
- Almeida, P., Teixeira-Dias, J. J., Martinho, M., & Balasooriya, C. D. (2011). The interplay between students' perceptions of context and approaches to learning. Research Papers in Education, 26(2),149-169.
- Balasooriya, C., Di Corpo, S., and Hawkins, N. (2010). The facilitation of collaborative learning: what works? Higher Education Management and Policy, 22(2), OECD publishing, © OECD available at http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/the-facilitation-of-collaborativ…;
- Albergaria-Almeida, P., Teixeira-Dias, J. J., Martinho, M. & Balasooriya, C. (2010). Kolb’s learning styles and approaches to learning: the case of Chemistry undergraduates with better grades. International Journal of Knowledge Society Research, 1(3), 1-16.
- Balasooriya, C. D., Toohey, S & Hughes, C. (2009). The Cross-Over phenomenon: Unexpected patterns of change of Students’ Approaches to Learning. Studies in Higher Education 34(7),781-794.
- Balasooriya, C., Hughes, C. & Toohey, S. (2009). Impact of a new integrated medicine program on students’ approaches to learning. Higher Education Research & Development 28(3), 289-302.
- Olupeliyawa, A. M., Hughes, C., & Balasooriya, C. D. (2009). A review of the literature on teamwork competencies in healthcare practice and training: Implications for undergraduate medical education. South East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 3 (2), 61-72.
- Balasooriya, C., Toohey, S. & Hughes, C. (2005) What do Deep & Surface Approaches to Learning mean for medical students & medical education? Focus on Health Professional Education,6(3), 29-42
- Senanayake, M. P., Ranasinghe, A., & Balasuriya, C. (1998). Street Children - a preliminary study. Ceylon Medical Journal, 43, 191-193.
Invited commentaries and other journal contributions
- Olupeliyawa, A., & Balasooriya, C. (2015). The impact of programmatic assessment on student learning: what can the students tell us? Medical Education, 49(5), 453-456. doi: 10.1111/medu.12730
- Iqbal, M. P., O’Sullivan, A. J., Velan, G., & Balasooriya, C. (2014). Are we seeing the full picture of peer-assessment in medical education? Medical Teacher, 36(11), 1007-1007. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.940880
- Koritschoner, E., Balasooriya, C., Bloomfield, L. (2009). Clinical Skills centres don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Letter. Medical Teacher. 31: 873-4.
- Balasooriya, C., Asante A., Jayasinha R., Razee H. (2014). Academic mobility and migration: Reflections of International Academics in Australia. In Tight, M. and Maadad, N. (Eds.), International Perspectives on Higher Education Research. Emerald Press.
- Balasooriya, C., Tetik, C., & Harris, P. (2013). Why is my design not working? The role of student Factors. In Evans C, Kozhevnikova M. (eds.), Styles of Practice in Higher Education: Exploring approaches to teaching and learning. Routledge
- Macdougall, C., Ritchie, JE., Rotem, A. & Balasooriya, CD. (2003). Educational Options to Develop Population Health Skills in the Primary Health Care Workforce. Thinking Populations: Population Health and the Primary Health Care Workforce. Public Health Education and Research Program. Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.
- Boyle, F., Donald, M., Rotem, A., Balasooriya, C., & Ritchie, J. (2003). Future Directions for Information Dissemination: Population Health and the Primary Health Care Workforce. Thinking Populations: Population Health and the Primary Health Care Workforce. Public Health Education and Research Program. Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.
Peer reviewed conference papers and posters
- Shamim, S., Balasooriya, C., Torda, A., Baig, L., Zubairi, N. (2018) Evaluation of workbook as an educational strategy for ethics in undergraduate medical education: a qualitative case study approach. Oral presentation at Ottawa-ICME 2018, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- Balasooriya, C., Rhee, J., Olupeliyawa, A., Zwar, N., Shulruf, B., Canalese, R., & Jabbour, V. (2016). The experience of using the Scrip Concordance Test in educational research. Poster presented at the Ottawa 2016 and ANZAHPE 2016 Conference, Perth, Australia.
- Balasooriya, C., J. Rhee, and A. Olupeliyawa. The Decision Enhancement Tool (DET) in ANZAHPE - OTTAWA 2016 Joint Conference 2016. Perth, Western Australia.
- Pervaz Iqbal, M., O'Sullivan, A. J., Velan, G. M. & Balasooriya, C. (2015). The Collaborative Learning Development Exercise (CLeD-EX) tool: A Preliminary Investigation. Paper presented at the AMEE 2015 conference Glasgow, Scotland
- Pervaz Iqbal, M., Balasooriya, C., O'Sullivan, A. J., & Velan, G. M. (2014, 7 - 10 July 2014). Identifying the critical and important collaborative competencies that relate to effective collaborative learning environments in medicine. Paper presented at the ANZAHPE 2014 Conference, Gold Coast, Australia.
- Dharmaratne, S., Balasooriya, C., Razee, H., Marambe, K., & Ponnamperuma, G. (2014). Vignette-based Decision Point Analysis: An innovative method to explore sensitive clinical practice information. Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference, Singapore.
- Balasooriya, C., Hughes, C., O’Sullivan, A., Taylor, S., Koritschoner, E., Olupeliyawa, A., Harris, P., & Tancred, E. (2011). An Exploration of the Benefits and Challenges of using a Student-Led Approach to Enhance Medical Students’ Development of Teamwork Skills. ‘Personally Arranged Learning Session’ presented at the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators ANZAHPE 2011 conference, Alice Springs, Australia.
- Balasooriya, C., Tetik, C., & Harris, P. (2010). New Insights into the context-dependent nature of learning approaches. Paper presented at the ELSIN 2010 "Exploring styles to enhance learning and teaching in diverse contexts" conference, Aveiro, Portugal.
- Almeida, P., Teixeira-Dias, J., Martinho, M., & Balasooriya, C. (2010). Kolb’s learning styles and approaches to learning: the case of Chemistry undergraduates with better grades. Paper presented at the ELSIN 2010 "Exploring styles to enhance learning and teaching in diverse contexts" conference, Aveiro, Portugal.
- Balasooriya, C. D., Di Corpo, S., & Hawlins, N. (2009). Facilitation of small group learning: What works? Paper presented at the OECD Quality of Teaching in Higher Education conference, Istanbul, 09.
- Harris P., Balasooriya C.D., Titek, C. (2008). What were the examiners thinking? Using post-hoc analysis of oral examiner deliberations to clarify standards. Paper presented at the AMEE conference, September 2008.
- Harris P., O’Sullivan A.J., Toohey S.M., Hughes C.S., Velan G., Balasooriya C.D., Kumar R.K., & McNeil H.P. (2008) A Method for Assessment to Drive Learning toward Desired Graduate Capabilities. Paper presented at the 13th Ottawa International Conference on Clinical Competence (Ozzawa08)
- Koritschoner, E., Barclay, A. & Balasooriya, C. (2008) Campus-based teaching of clinical skills in the early years of an integrated undergraduate medical program. Paper presented at the 13th Ottawa International Conference on Clinical Competence (Ozzawa 2008).
- O’Sullivan, A., Toohey, S., Velan, G., Harris, P., Hughes, C., Ham, J., Reid, S., Balasooriya, C. & Kumar, K. (2007) An aligned assessment scheme in a medicine program. Paper presented at the ISSOTL conference, Sydney, Australia. 2-5 July.
- Olupeliyawa, A.M., Balasooriya, C.D. & Hughes C. (2010) Facilitating the transition from medical student to intern: how can the assessment of clinical collaborative competencies help? Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) conference, from 4 to 8 September 2010, Glasgow, UK, book of abstracts, p.431
- Olupeliyawa, A.M., Hughes, C. & Balasooriya, C.D. (2010) Teamwork roles and competencies for a junior medical officer: their context in clinical practice and in outcome-based curricula. ANZAME Conference, from 14 to 16 July 2010, James Cook University, Australia, book of abstracts, p.196
- Olupeliyawa, A.M., Balasooriya, C.D. & Hughes, C. (2010) Teamwork competencies in healthcare for undergraduate medical education: Understanding the context. 7th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference, from 4 to 8 February 2010, National University of Singapore. book of abstracts p.293
- Olupeliyawa, A.M., Balasooriya, C.D. & Hughes, C. (2010) Developing teamwork as an outcome in an outcome-based medical education program. 7th Asia Pacific Medical Education Conference, from 4 to 8 February 2010, National University of Singapore. book of abstracts p.292
- Balasuriya, C., Dharmawardena, D, Rajapakse, L, & Jayasinghe, S. (2000a). Approaches to learning and examination performance. Paper presented at the Sri Lanka Medical Association 113th Academic Sessions, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Jiffry, M. T. M., Fernando, S, Balasooriya, C D & Thenuwara, W. (2000b). A preliminary study on the relationship between performance at GCE(A/L) and MBBS examinations. Paper presented at the Annual Sessions, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science 2000, Sri Lanka.Wijesuriya, M., & Balasooriya, C D. (1998). Summary of work - National Diabetes Centre. Paper presented at the Sri Lanka Medical Association 111th Academic Sessions, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
School level contributions:
- School of Public Health and Community Medicine Academic Quality Committee
Faculty level contributions:
- Medicine, Assessment Development and Evaluation Committee
- Medicine, Program Evaluations and Improvement Group
- Medicine, MedTELT Committee
- Medicine, Inspired Learning Initiative Committee
- Medicine, Phase 1 Committee
UNSW level contributions:
- UNSW Scientia Education Academy
- AAUT Citation Selection Committee
- Program Design & Delivery, Delivery Subject Matter Group
- Australia and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Education, Committee of Management and Fellow
Preparing our graduates for success on a global scale
The world is changing. We know that the needs of the future could be radically different, but we don’t know how different they will be. Higher education faces an enormous challenge. How do we anticipate these needs and prepare our graduates for this uncertain future?
We have options. What could help us to make the best choices? Could collaborative approaches – between institutions, between disciplines and between students and teachers – be a crucial part of the answer? Should we place an increased emphasis on professional skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, communication and teamwork, so that we prepare graduates who can adapt to a range of contexts? How could we best help students develop such skills?
In this lecture, Chinthaka explored examples from a range of disciplines and discuss what would define success.
Click here to view the lecture recording.