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Curriculum Reform

September Curriculum Reform Update


Educational Resources in Trek

September, 2020​​

Shanta Zimmer 

Shanta Zimmer, MD, Senior
Associate Dean for Education

In order to adapt to the changes in the Trek Curriculum, and the ways in which Medical Education is taught, the Office of Education Technology in the School of Medicine has been working diligently to provide the most up to date resources for the medical student learners. In order to support the changes to the curriculum and the transition to virtual learning due to COVID, our team has been working in tandem to update systems and plan for the future. The School of Medicine Ed Tech team evaluates resources and identifies opportunities for improvement or development to provide the students with the best possible learning experiences and set everyone up for success.  

What are the resources being utilized and how are they impacting curriculum delivery?

Zoom: Even though Zoom was utilized prior to COVID, the staff and faculty found new ways to utilize this resource to facilitate small group sessions across the curriculum through PBL, Foundations of Doctoring and exam proctoring. In addition to its use for small groups, Zoom is used to deliver and record synchronous lectures. The whiteboard and polling features have proven valuable as well. The utilization of this resource and all of its capabilities has allowed faculty, staff and students to connect in new ways and facilitates group work and face to face communication while we must maintain social distancing.

Elentra: Elentra is a new resource that the School of Medicine is in the process of acquiring to consolidate the resources and systems needed to manage and deliver student activities and scheduling, student assessment and course evaluation, data records and curriculum delivery in the School of Medicine. We currently use a number of systems to create, organize, disseminate and track coursework and student data. This new system will allow everything to be kept in one place and streamline many processes for staff members which will, in turn, create more consistency across the years of the curriculum and continuity for the medical students and faculty.

Online MedEd: When students were transitioned from in person learning to virtual learning during the height of the COVID pandemic in March of 2020, the School of Medicine needed to continue to provide educational experiences and learning opportunities for our third year medical students who were displaced from their clerkships. The Online MedEd system allows course directors to select medical cases and topics that they would like their students to learn and review. The students are then able to explore cases, step by step, and have discussions with their classmates and facilitators. This clinical case-based learning prepares the students for patient encounters and decreases the impact of the COVID disruption.

Aquifer: In addition to Online MedEd, the School of Medicine is utilizing Aquifier, which is a virtual tool for clinical learning for medical students and faculty members. Like Online Med Ed, faculty members are able to identify cases or topics, specifically around radiology content, for their students to review on their own and then come together for case based discussion of the outcomes and skill development.

Panopto: This system for the online delivery of lecture recordings is being used for the recording of live lectures and its use has been expanded to include the capture and posting of asynchronous learning modules. Faculty can record a lecture or short talk in Panopto from their laptop, wherever they are, and share that with the student cohort online. This system is searchable, helping students find terms of interest in the captured PowerPoint slides and in the audio recordings.

While this list is not all encompassing, it provides an insight into the variety of tools that are being used to deliver the curriculum for School of Medicine Students. The School of Medicine continues to use already established tools that are present throughout the University of Colorado system like Canvas that holds modules and allows for assignment submission and grade distribution. This combination of resources supports current student learning while also preparing for the future with research and development. Thank you to our Office of Educational Technology and your dedication to our student population and resource development.