Minutes 09/09/09

Minutes 09/09/09

University of Virginia School of Medicine
Principles of Medicine Committee

  1. Oasis Gradebook Tool:

    John Jackson, Allison Innes and Mac Dent demonstrated the gradebook tool in Oasis and discussed its usage.  The Oasis gradebook differs greatly from the current Grade Book tool in the SoM Faculty Toy Box and it will take considerable faculty development  in order for course directors to become facile in its use.  In Oasis, one can create a Gradebook, export it as an Excel spreadsheet, populate it and then import it back into Oasis.  One cannot import a "naive" Excel file into Oasis and cannot cut and paste Excel columns into Oasis, as can currently be done with the Faculty Toy Box tool. 

    Starting this year, courses must use Oasis for final course grade delivery (both percentage score and P/F grade for the course).  Allison can obtain a histogram from oasis so that does not have to be delivered separately.  However, Allison still needs a signed hard copy of the end-of-course grades.  Course directors can continue to use the Faculty Toy Box tool for delivery of quiz scores and interim exam grades to the medical students.  The current SoM Faculty Toy Box Gradebook tool will disappear at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year.

    There was an extended discussion as to how to tie the grades to evaluations in Oasis (in order to incentivize the completion of course and faculty evaluations by the medical students.  Currently, using the SoM Toy Box tools, the delivery of any set of grades can be coupled to completion of course and/or faculty evaluations.  For this year only, three options were discussed:

    Option 1.  Submit final course grades to both systems and do the coupled evaluations in the Faculty Toy Box tool. However, since students can get the grades from Oasis, there would be the loss of incentive for students to complete the evaluations and there could be low rates of return.

    Option 2.  Only the delivery of final course grades and the completion of final course evaluations will be performed in Oasis and John Jackson's staff will take care of doing this for the course directors (this year).  In Oasis, the receipt of final course grades will be coupled to completion of the course evaluation.  All other sets of grades (exams, quizzes) will be delivered and all other evaluations (including all faculty evaluations) completed using the Faculty Toy Box tools.

    Option 3. All evaluations and grades would be completed in Oasis this year.  Oasis can couple the completion of evaluations to receipt of grades. This will involve a lot of faculty training.  One complication is that evaluations must be tied to an event.  This is easy when the event is the end of a course, but a little bit trickier when the timing is not the end of a course.

    The course directors present voted on these three options.  The results were: Option 1:  0 votes, Option 2:  9 votes, Option 3: 2 votes.  So Option 2 will be utilized this year.

    The Biochemistry course has volunteered to participate in a Pilot test using Option 3, in which they will receive specialized training right away and will use Oasis for all test score and grade delivery and for all evaluations.

  2. New Lecture Recording System:

    John Jackson discussed some unexpected problems that have arisen with the new lecture recording system introduced this academic year.  It is the system that records both sound and all visual feed from the lecture hall computers to the video projectors.  It turns out that the system is dropping frames, in a cumulative manner.  After considerable problem-solving, it appears that the problem is associated with defective hardware units, which are being replaced by the supplier.

  3. Furniture for the Large Learning Studio in the new Medical Education Building:

    As was announced at the recent curriculum retreat, a decision has been made concerning the furniture to be ordered for the Large Learning Studio in the new Claude Moore Medical Education Building.  Dr. Canterbury has made the decision to use large, round (pedestal style) tables.  There will be 18 nine person tables in the room.  This was not the furniture configuration recommended by the Principles of Medicine Committee.  Considerable discussion ensued and concern was expressed by course directors about the process used to make this decision as well as the possible consequences for instruction of this choice.  The use of large round tables limits the educational configurations for the Large Learning Studio.  In particular, this choice of furniture will make it difficult to utilize one of the new teaching approaches that has been widely discussed: i.e. the ability to switch between whole class instructional mode and small group activity mode within any particular instructional period.  The ability to use the Large Learning Studio in whole class instructional mode is virtually eliminated, because it is will be very difficult for all medical students to be able to face towards a single instructor while having a work surface in front of them.

  4. Pass/Fail Grading Study:

    The results of the long term evaluation of the outcomes of the switch in the grading system (from A,B,C,D,F  to pass/fail)  in the 1st two years of the medical curriculum have now been published (Academic Medicine 84:655-662, May, 2009).  The conclusions of the study were briefly summarized:

    Academic Performance (Courses and Clerkships): No Change
    Performance on USMLE Step I and Step2CK: No Change
    Attendance at Lectures: No Change
    Residency Placement "Success": No Change
    Student Satisfaction with Their Medical Education: Significant increase for Semesters 1-4
    Student Satisfaction with Their Personal Life: Significant increase for Semesters 1-3
    Student Well-being: Significant increase for Semesters 1-3

  5. End of Foundations of Medicine Self Assessment:

    A brief report was presented on the end of Year 1 (Foundations of Medicine) self-assessment that was purchased from the NBME and taken by the Class of 2012 in April 2009.  This was designed to provide first year medical students with feedback on their grasp of first year course material.  Each medical student received a customized report with the following format:

    Due, at least in part, to the impending change in the medical curriculum, it has been decided not to continue this end of Foundations of Medicine self-assessment.
    NBME Sample
  6. Timing of On-lined graded quizzes:

    It has been requested by Tina Ho, 2nd Year Class President, that course directors coordinate, as much as possible, the scheduling of on-line graded courses so as to minimize overlap in time of the quizzes.  It was also pointed out that course directors should be aware of the possible impact of an on-line graded quiz in one course affecting attendance in other courses.  For this reason, it was suggested that quizzes that are open on weekdays be started at Noon and end in an evening (preferably before or coincident with the Health Sciences Library closing time.

  7. Course SACs (Student Advisory Committees):

    In addition to assisting the course director in various ways, each course SAC is expected to provide feedback on the particular course to the Student Medical Education Committee (SMEC). Brad Bradenham is the current Chair of SMEC.

  8. Julie Turner

    Julie Turner, course director for the Medical Microbiology Course and Content Thread Coordinator for Microbiology for the Next Generation Curriculum, has left the University to accept a new academic leadership position elsewhere.  Her many contributions to medical education at UVa are very much appreciated; she represents a major loss to our medical education efforts. 

  9. Next meeting:

    The next meeting of the Principles  of Medicine Committee will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at 2:00 PM.  The major agenda item will be a guest speaker.  Dr. Neill Osheroff, from the Department of Biochemistry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, will speak on: "Molecular Foundations of Medicine, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace an Interdisciplinary Preclinical Curriculum".