(65/825) Tutoring in a problem-based curriculum: expert versus nonexpert.

Many studies have examined whether being an "expert" influences the success of a tutor in a problem-based learning curriculum. There are, however, no established standards by which to determine expertise. The purpose of this study was to examine whether students evaluate expert and nonexpert tutors comparably and to determine whether setting different standards to determine expertise influences the outcome of the above findings. Tutor evaluations, consisting of eight Likert-type questions completed by first-, second-, and third-year dental students, were analyzed. Tutors were ranked by the authorswithin three different categories of expertise based on the highest educational degree they had attained, familiarity with the specific subject matter, and previous problem-based learning (PBL) experience. Linear regression analyses were then performed between each category and student evaluation results. A statistically significant difference was found in the way students evaluated experts, but only when expertise was defined by the tutor's previous tutorial experience. The findings of this study underscore the importance of the retention of dental faculty with PBL experience in a PBL-based curriculum.  (+info)

(66/825) Integration of advanced technologies to enhance problem-based learning over distance: Project TOUCH.

Distance education delivery has increased dramatically in recent years as a result of the rapid advancement of communication technology. The National Computational Science Alliance's Access Grid represents a significant advancement in communication technology with potential for distance medical education. The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the TOUCH project (Telehealth Outreach for Unified Community Health; http://hsc.unm.edu/touch) with special emphasis on the process of problem-based learning case development for distribution over the Access Grid. The objective of the TOUCH project is to use emerging Internet-based technology to overcome geographic barriers for delivery of tutorial sessions to medical students pursuing rotations at remote sites. The TOUCH project also is aimed at developing a patient simulation engine and an immersive virtual reality environment to achieve a realistic health care scenario enhancing the learning experience. A traumatic head injury case is developed and distributed over the Access Grid as a demonstration of the TOUCH system. Project TOUCH serves as an example of a computer-based learning system for developing and implementing problem-based learning cases within the medical curriculum, but this system should be easily applied to other educational environments and disciplines involving functional and clinical anatomy. Future phases will explore PC versions of the TOUCH cases for increased distribution.  (+info)

(67/825) Virtual patient simulator for distributed collaborative medical education.

Project TOUCH (Telehealth Outreach for Unified Community Health; http://hsc.unm.edu/touch) investigates the feasibility of using advanced technologies to enhance education in an innovative problem-based learning format currently being used in medical school curricula, applying specific clinical case models, and deploying to remote sites/workstations. The University of New Mexico's School of Medicine and the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai'i face similar health care challenges in providing and delivering services and training to remote and rural areas. Recognizing that health care needs are local and require local solutions, both states are committed to improving health care delivery to their unique populations by sharing information and experiences through emerging telehealth technologies by using high-performance computing and communications resources. The purpose of this study is to describe the deployment of a problem-based learning case distributed over the National Computational Science Alliance's Access Grid. Emphasis is placed on the underlying technical components of the TOUCH project, including the virtual reality development tool Flatland, the artificial intelligence-based simulation engine, the Access Grid, high-performance computing platforms, and the software that connects them all. In addition, educational and technical challenges for Project TOUCH are identified.  (+info)

(68/825) Anatomy and the access grid: exploiting plastinated brain sections for use in distributed medical education.

Computerized animation is becoming an increasingly popular method to provide dynamic presentation of anatomical concepts. However, most animations use artistic renderings as the base illustrations that are subsequently altered to depict movement. In most cases, the artistic rendering is a schematic that lacks realism. Plastinated sections provide a useful alternative to artistic renderings to serve as a base image for animation. The purpose of this study is to describe a method for developing animations by using plastinated sections. This application is used in Project TOUCH as a supplemental learning tool for a problem-based learning case distributed over the National Computational Science Alliance's Access Grid. The case involves traumatic head injury that results in an epidural hematoma with transtentorial uncal herniation. In addition, a subdural hematoma is animated permitting the student to contrast the two processes for a better understanding of dural hematomas, in general. The method outlined uses P40 plastinated coronal brain sections that are digitized and to which contiguous anatomical structures are rendered. The base illustration is rendered, interpolated, and viewed while audio narration describes the event. This method demonstrates how realistic anatomical animations can be generated quickly and inexpensively for medical education purposes by using plastinated brain sections.  (+info)

(69/825) Longitudinal and horizontal integration of nutrition science into medical school curricula.

The overall goal of our Nutrition Academic Award (NAA) medical nutrition program at Mercer University School of Medicine is to develop, implement and evaluate a medical education curriculum in nutrition and other aspects of cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and patient management with emphasis on the training of primary care physicians for medically underserved populations. The curriculum is 1) vertically integrated throughout all 4 y of undergraduate medical education, including basic science, clinical skills, community science and clinical clerkships as well as residency training; 2) horizontally integrated to include allied healthcare training in dietetics, nursing, exercise physiology and public health; and 3) designed as transportable modules adaptable to the curricula of other medical schools. The specific aims of our program are 1) to enhance our existing basic science problem-based Biomedical Problems Program with respect to CVD prevention through development of additional curriculum in nutrition/diet/exercise and at-risk subpopulations; 2) to integrate into our Clinical Skills Program objectives for medical history taking, conducting patient exams, diet/lifestyle counseling and referrals to appropriate allied healthcare professionals that are specific to CVD prevention; 3) to enhance CVD components in the Community Science population-based medicine curriculum, stressing the health-field concept model, community needs assessment, evidence-based medicine and primary care issues in rural and medically underserved populations; 4) to enhance the CVD prevention and patient management component in existing 3rd- and 4th-y clinical clerkships with respect to nutrition/diet/exercise and socioeconomic issues, behavior modification and networking with allied health professionals; and 5) to integrate a nutrition/behavior change component into Graduate Residency Training in CVD prevention.  (+info)

(70/825) Long-term follow up of factual knowledge after a single, randomised problem-based learning course.

BACKGROUND: The long-term effect of problem-based learning (PBL) on factual knowledge is poorly investigated. We took advantage of a previous randomised comparison between PBL and traditional teaching in a 3rd year course to follow up factual knowledge of the students during their 4th and 5th year of medical school training. METHODS: 3rd year medical students were initially randomized to participate in a problem-based (PBL, n = 55), or a lecture-based (LBL, n = 57) course in basic pharmacology. Summative exam results were monitored 18 months later (after finishing a lecture-based course in clinical pharmacology). Additional results of an unscheduled, formative exam were obtained 27 months after completion of the first course. RESULTS: Of the initial sample of 112 students, 90 participated in the second course and exam (n = 45, 45). 32 (n = 17 PBL, n = 15 LBL) could be exposed to the third, formative exam. Mean scores (+/- SD) were 22.4 +/- 6.0, 27.4 +/- 4.9 and 20.1 +/- 5.0 (PBL), or 22.2 +/- 6.0, 28.4 +/- 5.1 and 19.0 +/- 4.7 (LBL) in the first, second and third test, respectively (maximum score: 40). No significant differences were found between the two groups. CONCLUSION: A small-scale exposure to PBL, applied under randomized conditions but in the context of a traditional curriculum, does not sizeably change long-term presence of factual knowledge within the same discipline.  (+info)

(71/825) Making developmental biology relevant to undergraduates in an era of economic rationalism in Australia.

This report describes the road map we followed at our university to accommodate three main factors: financial pressure within the university system; desire to enhance the learning experience of undergraduates; and motivation to increase the prominence of the discipline of developmental biology in our university. We engineered a novel, multi-year undergraduate developmental biology program which was "student-oriented," ensuring that students were continually exposed to the underlying principles and philosophy of this discipline throughout their undergraduate career. Among its key features are introductory lectures in core courses in the first year, which emphasize the relevance of developmental biology to tissue engineering, reproductive medicine, therapeutic approaches in medicine, agriculture and aquaculture. State-of-the-art animated computer graphics and images of high visual impact are also used. In addition, students are streamed into the developmental biology track in the second year, using courses like human embryology and courses shared with cell biology, which include practicals based on modern experimental approaches. Finally, fully dedicated third-year courses in developmental biology are undertaken in conjunction with stand-alone practical courses where students experiencefirst-hand work in a research laboratory. Our philosophy is a "cradle-to-grave" approach to the education of undergraduates so as to prepare highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-educated developmental biologists for entry into graduate programs and ultimately post-doctoral research.  (+info)

(72/825) Student-oriented learning: an inquiry-based developmental biology lecture course.

In this junior-level undergraduate course, developmental life cycles exhibited by various organisms are reviewed, with special attention--where relevant--to the human embryo. Morphological features and processes are described and recent insights into the molecular biology of gene expression are discussed. Ways are studied in which model systems, including marine invertebrates, amphibia, fruit flies and other laboratory species are employed to elucidate general principles which apply to fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation and organogenesis. Special attention is given to insights into those topics which will soon be researched with data from the Human Genome Project. The learning experience is divided into three parts: Part I is a <> in which the Socratic (inquiry) method is employed by the instructor (GMM) to organize a review of classical developmental phenomena; Part II represents an <> in which students study the details related to the surveys included in Part I as they have been reported in research journals; Part III focuses on a class project--the preparation of a spiral bound <> on a topic of relevance to human developmental biology (e.g.,Textbook of Embryonal Stem Cells). Student response to the use of the Socratic method increases as the course progresses and represents the most successful aspect of the course.  (+info)