In light of a critical shortage of clinical and basic science faculty available to teach and train medical students in several countries, a team of faculty, staff and students at The George Washington University initiated a project to examine methods to supplement faculty teaching time and deliver required curricula in innovative and cost-effective ways.
The objective of this project was to collect, catalog and evaluate available e-learning curricular resources for medical schools. Specifically, to evaluate how available educational resources would function in, and their usefulness to, medical schools with limited resources. Online resources readily available by search engines were compiled.
An evaluation rubric was developed to evaluate each e-learning resource according to its cost, appropriateness for environment and patient population, required technological infrastructure, website loading speed, time demands on faculty, learning value, and comprehensiveness of content. Depending on the stated data collected, each resource was given a recommendation from 1 to 4 (where 4 means highly recommended). A total of 268 online resources were evaluated covering 19 traditional medical school courses (e.g. anatomy, pediatrics). For each subject area an average of 15 online resources were found, with an average of 2 resources receiving a recommendation of “4.” A database was created with the team findings listed.
We were able to provide recommendations for 268 existing educational resources that can substitute or supplement for faculty-lead classroom experiences. This is an ongoing project, and the course evaluations are being compiled on the MEPI web site to be made available to medical educators. What is most important is that we have established a comprehensive rubric to guide medical school deans and faculty so they can rate and compare the usefulness of these new resources for their students.View The Evaluation Rubric