As the University of South Florida prepares to open the doors of its new medical school in downtown Tampa, staff, students and partners alike are implementing new, innovative approaches to how students receive their education.
Recently, the Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) announced a partnership with Microsoft to form the first-ever Medical School of Innovation. This collaboration is a recognition that MCOM is one of the most innovative for the integration of technology into teaching medicine.
The college and Microsoft’s collaboration is mostly focused on the development of hardware/software and physical spaces that will be featured in the new downtown medical school campus. The school will use Microsoft tools such as Teams, an electronic messaging and collaboration platform similar to Slack, and Power BI, Microsoft’s analytics tool.
The collaboration is also focused on developing innovative approaches to curriculum mapping and the collection of real time analytics that can drive student success. Surface Hubs will be located on each floor and in every learning environment, providing students with state of the art tools to enhance the learning experience.
But it isn’t just the actual coursework that is the area of focus. The school’s dedication to analytics is hitting new heights as they aim to track the coursework and effort of medical students to better understand where students struggle so that they can have a more immediate impact.
Student performance provides a large data set which could help identify which courses correlate to good and bad results down the line, “such as the link with struggles in a course to low scores on medical licensing exams,” according to a release from the college.
“We use data analytics in much the same way hospitals and researchers do, except we use it with students,” Deborah DeWaay, MD, FACP, associate professor and associate dean of the Department of Medical Education for MCOM said in the statement. “The main difference is we use standardized exam scores, course scores and other evaluations instead of weight and blood pressure. Our informatics people and medical education people work very closely together to create the curriculum map and use business intelligence to analyze the curriculum, as well as student test scores.”
The effort uses a business process management system called Archivum. Originally developed as an accreditation tool, Archivum’s data is proving to be valuable in improving test preparation and understanding how and when test topics should be taught.
Eventually, MCOM leaders hope that these innovative approaches can help identify areas in which students need improvement with the goal of offering the most comprehensive medical school experience possible.
As part of the College of Medicine, the online informatics and analytics programs offered by USF Health operate under the same philosophy. The faculty is comprised of experienced professionals and subject matter experts housed at the university, rather than a staff made up of adjunct professors. They come from different areas, but collaborate to offer an educational experience unlike any other in the field.
“We teach in the areas of our expertise, and while our research and work areas come from different disciplines, we are housed at the same institution and interact regularly to discuss the educational needs and performance of both programs. This creates a cohesive experience for our students,” Dr. Athanasios Tsalatsanis, Director of Health Informatics graduate programs, said.