Sunday, March 30, 2008

Educational Technology Priorities

In my role as CIO of Harvard Medical School, I oversee administrative, research and educational technologies for the school. Recently Information Technology and the Program in Medical Education agreed to enhance our IT governance by refining our charter for the Educational Technology oversight committee. I've included the complete charter below to give you an insight into the technology priorities of the Harvard Medical School teaching faculty.

Since 2001, Harvard Medical School has used Mycourses, a single portal for all educational content and applications. For a brief overview of Mycourses, you can click on Take a Tour. The website includes dozens of simulations, hundreds of videos, and thousands of PDFs, representing every handout for every course. We have a enterprise wide directory of all students and faculty, a self built student information system called Madris, and numerous applications which support faculty, staff and student needs.

Here's the Educational Technologies Committee charge identifying the priorities to make Mycourses even better.

Committee Charge:
* Oversee educational technology – existing and new - applications at HMS, including areas listed below.
* Identify annual academic and administrative priorities for educational technology, including new features (eg, enhanced user interfaces, curriculum database, on-line grading), improvements to existing applications (eg, surveys, test delivery)
* Develop an annual work plan and establish and monitor quarterly goals
* Meet bimonthly throughout the academic year

Areas of focus:
*Curriculum management
Improving and expanding the capabilities of MyCourses, making it more user friendly
Developing a search tool for curricular content across all four years of the curriculum, including information from MyCourses and the Course Catalogue

*Student information
Continued development of the MADRIS Student Information System

Enhanced Evaluation of students by faculty
Enhanced Evaluation of faculty by students
Enhanced Course evaluation

*Virtual applications and simulation
Enhanced Virtual microscopy for pathology and histology
Enhanced Virtual patients
Enhanced Simulation

* Faculty information
Comprehensive teaching effort reporting
Tracking participation in faculty development
Tracking participation in evaluation

* Innovation
Support applications for external and HU funding for educational technology projects that enhance medical student education
Consider establishing HMS innovation funds to seed new initiatives that enhance the MD curriculum

Educational Technology Executive Committee Membership:
Director of Educational Technology and Software Development
Head Master, Academic Societies and Vice Chair, Curriculum Committee
Executive Assistant, PME Administration
Dean for Medical Education
Chief Information Officer
Associate Dean, Medical Education Planning and Administration
Executive Director of Curriculum Programs
Senior Designer for Educational Technology
Educational Computing Software Support Specialist
Director, Primary Care Experience at BIDMC
Associate Master, Cannon Society
Master, Cannon Society

This governance committee will not only ensure our work is well aligned with the priorities of stakeholders, but it will also ensure enhanced communication about our progress between IT staff and faculty/staff/students.

I'm very interested in the priorities and experiences of other schools. If you'd like to share your priorities, please submit your experiences via our educational technology survey

I'll summarize the responses, keeping all identities confidential, in a future blog entry.

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