Education Technology

View: Laptops | Network | Web Applications
Using computers and the Web efficiently has become a critical skill for physicians and researchers.  Technology is used in almost every task that a physician-researcher is required to do; such as looking up evidence for treating patients, finding articles for research, managing and analyzing data, presenting and disseminating information, communicating with colleagues and patients, placing orders and documenting in patient medical records.  At the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, we believe that integrating technology appropriately into education, learning, research and patient care throughout the 5 years of training will help prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.  With this in mind we are committed to providing our students all the appropriate tools and creating the right environment for them to develop a high level of comfort and confidence in the use of technology for everyday tasks. This is accomplished through an innovative college web intranet "portal" which allows extensive integration of all curricular activities.
Laptops Top
Ever since our inception in 2004, each class of students has been provided with a laptop computer by the CCLCM.  The computers are maintained by the CCLCM throughout the 5 years that the students are here and the students get to keep them on graduation.  To make the task of support and maintenance easier the entire class gets the same make and model and operating system.  The laptop computers are not locked down i.e. the students have administrative privileges on the computers.

For the Class of 2015, the computers are the HP 6930p (Windows 7 Professional). 

The computers are loaded with Microsoft Office 2007, Adobe Acrobat and anti-virus and anti-spyware software and also have links to useful resources added to the browser favorites.  In addition students get free access to software downloads from the CWRU software center.
Network Top

All rooms used for education in the CCLCM (Lerner Building) have wired and wireless network access.  This provides access to the Local Area Network, the Cleveland Clinic Intranet as well as the World Wide Web.  Since the access to the LAN also enables users to access the electronic health records, employee benefits and other sensitive information, this is protected by a firewall.  Students laptops are set up with a Wi-Fi access that allows access to the LAN while on campus.  In addition students laptops have VPN software that allows them with the help of a Secure ID card to tunnel through the firewall from off campus.  While this policy safeguards sensitive and private information, it does mean that a Secure ID card is required to access the Cleveland Clinic e-mail accounts from off campus.

The LAN also gives access to the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library Resources.  Users with Library Accounts can access most of the resources (UpToDate being the notable exception) from off campus (without a Secure ID card).  Students also have access to the resources at the CWRU Cleveland Health Sciences Library.  Students receive CWRU network IDs and on activation of their accounts, access to CWRU e-mail and CWRU networks.  CWRU network access from off campus does not require Secure ID cards.

In addition to the secured Wi-Fi with access to the LAN, the Lerner Building also provides free unsecured public Wi-Fi access to the WWW.  This Public Wi-Fi does not allow access to the LAN or Intranet without a Secure ID card.

Web Applications Top

A small but dedicated team of web developers and programmers have built a number of custom applications to support the philosophy of the curriculum and assessment of the CCLCM.  The team works closely with the students, college administration and faculty to design, build, maintain and upgrade these applications on a continuous basis. Some of the significant applications are:

  1. Students' Web Portal – Provides a customized view for each student.  The Web Portal is accessible from the World Wide Web and does not need a Secure ID card for log in from off campus.
    1. Schedule/Calendar - Most of the learning occurs in small groups constituted by different students for each learning activity and change several times each year.  The system keeps track of each students' groups, location and learning material and provides an up to date view of this for the students.  Students can download a personalized calendar file from the Portal to import into their Outlook Calendar.
    2. Syllabus - The system provides a customized view of the entire 5 year syllabus for each student.  Thus a student in the third year can look back and see the cardiopulmonary course she took in the first year and it would be different than the same course a second year student would have taken in their first year.
    3. Learning activities - specific applications were developed for certain learning activities like Problem Based Learning (PBL).  Each PBL case is organized in 3 parts that are completed over a course of a week.  Students in each group develop learning objectives and resolve these before proceeding to the next part. The web application allows each group to proceed at its own pace and to upload group specific learning material to the web server.
    4. Resources - A dynamic list of class specific resources is maintained on the Web Portal.  Thus a first year student may see a link to basic science research while a second year student would see a link to clinical science Research.
    5. Contacts - Information about faculty, other students, pager numbers and a web based alpha paging application.
  2. Portfolio and Assessments - One of the unique core principles on which Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine is based is the Competency-based assessment and portfolio system.  This system replaces student grades and class ranks that students matriculating into the profession of medicine have all of the skill knowledge required to become a successful physician and physician investigator. The Web based assessment and ePortfolio system was developed to support these assessment methods.  This includes online assessment forms that collect qualitative competency-based feedback from peers and faculty.  The assessments when submitted are available to students and their physician advisors immediately in the ePortfolio.  The students can review this evidence, add keywords and notes and tag the assessments for future use as evidence for specific competencies.  In addition, they can sort all their assessments by competencies, targeted areas for improvements or areas of strength.  The students share their ePortfolio with their physician advisors and work closely with them to write their formative and summative portfolios.  While writing these, they use bibliography tools to cite their evidence.  The uploaded essays with the cited evidence can be viewed online by the physician advisors and the promotions committee.
  3. The Clinical Assessment System or CAS is a web application that was developed and maintained by the CCLCM education technology team for the needs of the clinical years of both the University and College tracks.  This is a single system that integrates patient logs, procedure logs, formative and summative assessments during clinical rotations at multiple sites in Cleveland and outside.  The system tracks the students clinical experience and helps ensure that this is congruent with the learning objectives of the rotations.  The students are able to record every educational significant clinical encounter and their specific roles and learning points in these encounters, request and receive feedback from faculty and house staff, and search through and review this data using dynamic flexible reporting tools.  The system maintains a database of teaching faculty at 4 major teaching hospitals in Cleveland and allows them one click access to student assessment forms.  Discipline and rotation leaders have extensive up to date reports that allow them to scan for outliers, drill down to specifics and ensure that students are getting the experience that the rotations were designed for.  They provide within and end of rotation feedback to students based on these powerful reporting tools.  The system helps the School of Medicine meet numerous LCME accreditation requirements during the clinical years.
  4. Patient Logs in Years 1 and 2 - A special feature of the CCLCM is that students start interacting with patients during the first year of Medical School.  This is done in a safe controlled environment under the guidance of a longitudinal preceptor.  The students have access to an online Patient-Based Experience (PBE) system that allows them to enter their patient logs, review learning objectives (clinical skills) for each week or block, receive formative feedback based on observed interactions, develop their evidence based medicine skills by developing clinical questions and searching for and reviewing evidence to answer those questions, begin to write "SOAP" notes outside of electronic health records.
  5. Research Compendium - CCLCM is designed to help medical students develop into physician investigators.  Thus research is a key component of the curriculum and experience.  The education technology team has developed an online compendium of basic and clinical research preceptors.  Researchers interested in working with medical students submit their profiles online.  The research committee reviews these profiles and if appropriate, approves them for release to the compendium.  The students can search the compendium for keywords, areas of interest or names of researchers.  This is the first step to matching the students to research mentors in what may become a long and fruitful experience.
  6. Curriculum Vitae Builder - A well formatted, complete, current CV is required when applying for research funding, residency programs etc.  It is difficult and time consuming to keep all this information in one place and also to then format it differently for various requirements.  We have developed a CV builder that allows students to enter their data and then when required produce a appropriately formatted CV with one click.  Thus they can select whether they want to print out a NIH Biosketch or a residency application CV using the same data.
  7. Submitting useful links - Based on student requests we have developed a Useful Links collection.  Students can submit URL's of websites that are useful resources.  Other students can rate these resources and users can search for links to resources on specific topics.