When customer service transforms education delivery
This week we are changing the name of our Medical Education Technology Unit (or MEdTech as it is commonly known) to the Health Sciences Education Technology Unit. The new name more accurately reflects the scope of their service, a service I might add that is foundational to our education delivery in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The 2002 “Strategic Plan for Education Technology in the School of Medicine” report recommended the creation of a dedicated unit to ensure that our medical students were able to consistently access learning resources online.
Keep in mind, that twelve years ago technology was commonplace in medical practice, but less robust with regard to medical education. That all changed for Queen’s School of Medicine with the start-up of MEdTech in 2003, with Dr. Benjamin Chen at the helm. Within a year, MEdTech Central was born, and for the first time ensured that learners had easy, reliable, and ubiquitous access to their learning materials over the Internet.
For the next year the team worked with faculty to experiment and tweak MEdTech Central. In 2005 they created a set of online learning modules enabling our faculty to deliver course curriculum online. From there fundamental features were added like curriculum objective mapping, support for Clerkship curriculum, and the beginnings of a multi-faceted evaluation system. The team also unified an up to then, chaotic web presence for over 70 units, including our schools, departments, divisions, offices, and units under a central url hub – meds.queensu.ca.
In 2008, the MEdTech group presented MEdTech Central to the Informatics Resource Group at the Canadian Conference on Medical Education. This led to the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine, and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine adopting our program and partnering with Queen’s.
Soon after MEdTech developed a third party open-source project called Entrada, to take a team approach with other universities to advance education technology. In 2012, Queen’s was approached by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to join the Entrada consortium.
Entrada has evolved significantly and has been adopted here by the School of Nursing (SONIT Central), School of Rehabilitation Therapy (Rehab Central), Postgraduate Medical Education, the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences (Helix Central) and the Faculty of Health Sciences Continuing Professional Development Office. The unit is currently working on redeveloping the Common Physician Credentialing System, used for the appointment and reappoint of physicians in Kingston area hospitals, and at the University.
I’ll end this blog with congratulations to our Health Sciences Education Technology Unit team managed by Matt Simpson and to the many, many, faculty who supported the collaboration. The end result is an improved educational experience for our students, and a reputation for Queen’s as a leader in educational technology in the health sciences.
I should add that it was Matt who originally recommended the DeanOnCampus blog to me. He didn’t tell me, however, that it would involve by my count nearly 500 hours (3 hours per week, 160 blogs as of today)!
If you would like to add to this discussion of technology in learning, comment on this post, or better yet, please drop by my office at the Macklem House… my door is always open.
P.S. for more information on the Faculty of Health Sciences, Education Technology Unit, go to https://healthsci.queensu.ca/technology