Learning Object Repositories and Self-Study For Medical School Education

May 19, 2014 10:55am - 12:25pm

Michael LOUGEE, PhD,  Brian Dunnette , Mark Hilliard, MA  
University of Minnesota

We developed, with a combination of open-/near-open-source tools (Alfresco, Anki, and Omeka) a system that allows anyone in medical education (student/staff,/faculty) to create a repository of learning objects. Those can be text/images/any other multi- media. Creators/consumers/manipulators of the data, can be authenticated, given varying levels of access, and use of the system can be tracked (if useful). Once in the system, learning objects can be tagged, categorized, searched, and manipulated for multiple purposes for multiple audiences. The objects can be manipulated easily to be used as study materials in the Anki e-flashcard system (with automatic production of Anki materials from Omeka), which can offer materials for review on mobile devices, other computing environments, and paper. Our system has thus far been used for materials in Medical School Pathology Laboratory sections, creating flashcards which students have used (both instructor-created “standard” sets and student’s custom sets). The versatility and flexibility of this system make it excellent to consider for any curricula that require a high ration of visual learning content. Student self-reports demonstrate satisfaction with the Anki materials, although we do not yet have any data for student outcomes after using those materials. Finally, Drupal is also being evaluated as a part of this system, since throughout the project we have emphasized data independence, data migration, and data standards.