Minutes 03.22.07

Minutes 03.22.07

University of Virginia School of  Medicine
Curriculum Committee

Surgery Conference Room, 4:00 p.m.                       

Present (underlined) were: Reid Adams, Gretchen Arnold, Eve BargmannDaniel Becker, Robert BloodgoodGene Corbett,  Wendy Golden, Donald Innes (Chair),  Howard Kutchai, Marcus Martin, Chris Peterson, Jerry Short, Bill Wilson,  Devin Mackay, Kavita  Sharma,  Brad Bradenham, Debra Reed (secretary)  Guest:  John Jackson

  1. USMLE Topical Index and other Curriculum Tracking Methods.  John Jackson demonstrated how the OASIS scheduling, database and search features could be used to help students, faculty and administration find topics throughout the curriculum.  The schedule feature will be piloted in May and will display each second year student's individual schedule.  The system will initially display all lecture activities but it is possible to modify the schedule so that small group activities would also be included.    As part of this package, there are fields for each lecture where USMLE keywords might be entered.  This would create a searchable topical index.  The major advantage is the use of a controlled vocabulary for the keyword feature.  Links may also be included to the handout/powerpoint for each lecture.  The site is downloadable to a student's PDA.  At this point, the events on the calendar including the keywords and links would have to be entered anew each year although it may be possible to copy to the following year.  Students could also be hired to add keywords to the lectures after reviewing each lecture.

    The School of Medicine already has a website for searching through the first and second year course material. 


    This system was reviewed.  The Committee thought the system would perhaps be more useful if "keywords" were selected by each professor contributing lecture material.  This would limit the search feature to a more manageable content. In the existing handouts, the keywords could be listed as a major heading just below the title of the document, actually using a "style" within Word that defines it as "heading level 2" or such.  The search engine (Verity) could then be adjusted to weight those headings much more than other words within a document. The result is that the search results will be ranked with the documents listing the search term as a keyword at the top. Beneath them would be the documents that have the search term somewhere within the body of the document.   The keywords would need to be selected from a
    controlled vocabulary for this to be useful.

    At issue for both systems is that course material is rarely on the web all at one time.  Courses begin and end at different points during the year and upload and remove course material as needed for each year.  Any search feature using the web based material will be "shooting at a moving target."

    Jerry Short noted that the combined course schedule will no longer be provided to the students in hard copy but only electronically through OASIS.

  2. Basic Science for Careers and the Anesthesia/Surgery experience will be discussed at the next meeting of the Curriculum Committee on April 5, 2007.

Donald Innes