2013 Spring: Best Practices for Technology Applications in Health Professions Education

Technology is an increasingly valuable tool in the medical educator toolbox. Educational technology tools now provide educators with means of tracking and exchanging curricular content, tracing learner activities and profiles, and new ways of connecting learners and educators. The 2013 spring series explores mature implementations of technology solutions and focuses on curriculum management, online learning, and assessment. An effective curriculum management tool allows institutions to manage, map, and demonstrate the relationship between educational content, competencies, goals, objectives, and outcomes. It can assist faculty in program improvement and compliance with accreditation standards by identifying learning opportunities and curricular deficiencies. The first two sessions will examine two institutions' solutions for curriculum management. The subsequent three sessions will provide an insight into the creative thinking behind the International Virtual Medical School project (IVIMEDS) and its evolution, and look at other tools for developing effective online learning modules and resources (MedEd Portal, HEAL, and Merlot), the theoretical framework supporting their use, and a review of their impact on students.

Back to Archives

February 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Curriculum Mapping in an Age of Competency-based Education

Presenter: Chandler Mayfield & Sascha Cohen

Chandler MayfieldChandler Mayfield is Director for Technology Enhanced Learning at the UCSF School of Medicine. He has more than ten years experience working on almost every aspect of the medical student curriculum as well as extending educational technology services to graduate medical education, continuing medical education, global health sciences and other health professions schools. He helped launch and develop UCSF’s award winning Ilios curriculum management system in 2002. He is also Co-Director of the UCSF School of Medicine’s Curriculum Ambassador Program which supports and leverages learner involvement in curriculum development, innovation and scholarship. He is past Chair of the Computer Resources in Medical Education (CRIME) professionals group, a group of educational technologists from Western Region US and Canadian medical schools.


Sascha CohenSascha is the Director of Strategic Development for the Ilios Project, the home of UCSF’s 2nd generation competency-based curriculum management tool designed for and used by health professions for excellence in education. Prior to coming to UCSF, Sascha worked for nearly a decade as a strategic consultant in the fields of education, government, theater arts, healthcare and non-profit technology. Previous positions also include time as the Chief Technology Officer of THAP Total Health and Productivity, and Manager of Application Development at Tech Soup. He holds degrees in Religion (BA) and Middle Eastern Studies (MA) from UC Santa Cruz and UT Austin, and has authored a number of works on biblical literature, comparative religion and art, and the cross-cultural dissemination of narrative constructs.

Curriculum mapping is now an established practice in education, and over the last few years the tools available to assist in the process are growing in number and becoming more robust and effective. One of the keys to effective mapping is understanding the educational framework against which you are creating your map. Many schools are now struggling with how to implement new competency-based educational frameworks and how to make sense of our curriculum in light of these new approaches.

This session will help to illustrate some of the ways the Ilios curriculum management tool allows for the capture of both traditional curricular information (e.g. Topics, Learning Modalities, Keywords) and its interrelationship with competencies to provide a deeper understanding of how to:

  1. create a shared vocabulary and understanding of curriculum in the health professions community.
  2. Utilize an evidence-based approach to teaching and quality improvement.
  3. clearly and consistently identify curricular gaps and redundancies.
  4. provide flexibility in connecting emerging curricular models and adapting to the ever shifting landscape facing medical education.
Seminar Archive
March 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Use of Curriculum Mapping Tools to Identify Learning Opportunities and Deficiencies II: Knowledge Map

Presenter: Joshua Charles Denny

Josh DennyJosh Denny, MD, MS is an assistant professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine. Dr. Denny has training in internal medicine and medical informatics, both at Vanderbilt. His research foci are medical education, natural language processing, and information extraction and retrieval. As a medical student, he developed the KnowledgeMap concept identification system and a web application to organize the medical curricula, which has been extended to include electronic Portfolios. He has led adaption of KnowledgeMap to create the Portal of Geriatric Online Education (POGOe.org), a freely-accessible geriatric education site with downloadable educational products, videos, virtual patients, and tests. He graduated AOA, received both local teaching awards and innovation awards in medical education, and the Homer Warner and New Investigator awards from American Medical Informatics Association. He maintains a general medicine practice and is active as a teaching attending and a lecturer in biomedical informatics.

This session will cover use of informatics tools in preclinical and clinical education. KnowledgeMap is a natural language processing (NLP)-based curriculum management system that allows faculty to search uploaded content. We will discuss how curriculum can be tracked and revised based on NLP technology, as well as briefly discuss copyright concerns for the continuously-available curriculum. We will then discuss a clinical portfolio from, among other sources, all the clinical notes written by trainees in the electronic health record. We have used this to facilitate mentor-mentee feedback, to evaluate and track exposures to common clinical problems using NLP, and to send targeted interventions to students. Finally, we will discuss how these systems how allowed us to measure required work-hour changes to residency training.

Seminar Archive
March 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm

International Virtual Medical School (IVIMEDS): An Idea Ahead of Its Time?

Presenter: Natalie Lafferty

Natalie LaffertyNatalie Lafferty is Lecturer in eLearning and eLearning lead for the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing at the University of Dundee. She also leads the Technology and Innovation in Learning Team, which supports clinical teachers to apply technology to enhance and support teaching and learning in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Previously she was the Chief Operations Officer for the International Virtual Medical School collaboration in elearning in medical education and worked at the Centre for Medical Education in Dundee.

In addition to the development of online learning resources to support the undergraduate curriculum, Natalie has a particular interest in the design and usability of online learning environments in undergraduate medical education. She is also interested in the role that Web 2.0 technologies can play in enhancing teaching and learning and helping students to become producers of learning and develop personalised learning environments that support lifelong learning. Natalie co-leads the UK #meded Twitter chat which discusses different medical topics each week and also blogs about technology in medical education.

This webinar will look at the International Virtual Medical School (IVIMEDS), an ambitious collaboration in medical education, which launched in 2002 but that ultimately did not realise its ambition. Ten years on some of those ambitions are now being met by new initiatives made possible by new technologies and perhaps IVIMEDS was an idea ahead of it time.

Medical schools from around the world joined forces to form IVIMEDS, a partnership aimed at sharing online medical education learning resources. IVIMEDS also aspired to potentially deliver elements of the early years of medical curriculum online. However, limited numbers of resources were shared between the members and the IVIMEDS vision wasn’t realised due to barriers around sharing, the level of member participation and the available technologies.

In 2013 massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become the buzzword in higher education as US universities have established Coursera, Udacity and EdX. Medical Schools are beginning to offer MOOCs in different areas of medicine and it’s likely that others will follow suit. Alongside MOOCs medical schools are also sharing open educational resources (OERs) via repositories such as MedEdPortal. The use of social media is also making the creation and sharing of online medical education easier and the free open access medical education (FOAMed) movement is attracting a growing audience. Social media tools such as blogs and Twitter and sites such as YouTube and Vimeo make content creation and sharing ever easier and a new level of online participatory medical education is emerging.

Seminar Archive
March 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Using Multimedia and Education Technology to Enhance Teaching

Presenter: David Roberts

David H. RobertsDavid H. Roberts, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Associate Director of the Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Director of the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, and Director of the BIDMC Academy of Medical Educators. Dr. Roberts is also the Associate Director of the Academy at HMS.

Dr. Roberts teaches medical students across the four years of HMS training and is course director for the 3rd year longitudinal Principal Clinical Experience (PCE) at BIDMC. Dr. Roberts also teaches residents, fellows and other physicians in practice, and he is a graduate of the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education and Harvard-Macy Program for Educators in Health Professions.

Dr. Roberts’ education research interests include studying learner’s curiosity and critical thinking skills. Dr. Roberts serves on the National Education Committees for the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians. He also co-directs the annual Harvard CME course “Principles of Medical Education: Maximizing your Teaching Skills.”

Dr. Roberts has won many teaching awards including “Teacher of the Year” (2005) in the Combined Harvard Program in Pulmonary Medicine, HMS Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2006), the S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Medical School and BIDMC (2007) and the HMS Best Clinical Instructor at BIDMC (2010).

Dr. Roberts is the Director of Faculty Development for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at BIDMC, and his clinical practice is focused on patients with dyspnea and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Roberts co-authored the patient education website, www.knowyourph.org, and free downloadable iBook “Pulmonary Hypertension” which utilizes interactive animations to teach patients about pulmonary hypertension.


  1. Identify theoretical basis for multimedia and e-learning to enhance teaching
  2. Provide framework for development, presentation, dissemination and organization of novel classroom content
  3. Demonstrate practical application of commonly available education technologies
  4. Review impact of technology on current generation of medical trainees


Successful classroom teaching is based on excellent content, not on the latest, fastest, fanciest or shiniest new technology. Multimedia and education technology are simply tools in the toolbox of today’s medical educators which when utilized appropriately can improve both the delivery of content and enhancement of learning. Our current generation of learners is more apt to be familiar with technology, assume its presence and demand its use by faculty.

Medical educators can utilize education technology in many ways, including the development of novel content, creation of new modes of presentation, design of interaction and evaluation strategies, and the dissemination of content far beyond the walls of any given classroom. There are also tools to assist educators with organization and efficiency in the work of these teaching domains.

This session is designed to provide a framework and rationale for harnessing the power of modern education technology and to provide examples of representative technologies.

References and additional reading

Ruiz JG, et al. The impact of e-learning in medical education. Academic Medicine 2006; 81:207-12.
Cook DA, et al. What do we mean by web-based learning? Medical Education 2010:44;765-774.
Issa N, et al. Applying multimedia design principles enhances learning in medical education. Medical Education 2011;45:818-26.

Seminar Archive
March 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Using Technology to Promote and Assess Active Learning

Presenter: Jill Jemison

Jill JemisonJill Jemison directs Technology Services at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, with responsibility for Infrastructure, Programming, Helpdesk, Education Technology, Classroom Support and AV. Prior to assuming the director role, she led the College’s online learning project, which won Campus Technology Magazine’s Innovation in Online Learning Award. She chairs the Association of American Medical College’s Group on Information Resources and was the founding chair of the GIR Education Technology Special Interest Group.

This session will look at how to incorporate technology tools to engage today’s students and support hybrid learning. We will look at tips and tricks to effectively mix online and face-to-face learning, including wikis, blogs, discussion boards, online quizzing and content from asset repositories like MedEd Portal, HEAL, MERLOT and various discipline-specific resources. This session will focus on ways that faculty could use students’ independent study time to efficiently convey factual content while using face to face time to reinforce higher-order skills like interpretation, analysis and synthesize.

Seminar Archive