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Comprehensive Standard 3.4.12

The institution’s use of technology enhances student learning and is appropriate for meeting the objectives of its programs. Students have access to and training in the use of technology. (Technology use)

√ CompliantNon-Compliant


The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) uses technology to support faculty teaching and enhance student learning in all four schools. Technology plays a vital role at UTMB and is fully integrated into every aspect of teaching and learning, including educational technology training for students and faculty (see Principle 3.7.3, Faculty Development). Although most of the UTMB student body is very skilled in the use of technology, institutional resources are in place to address individual access and training needs. UTMB provides state-of-the art educational technology that exposes students, both in Galveston and at a distance, to innovative, effective teaching methods and activities that will prepare them for the workforce post-graduation.

Support and Training
Academic Computing provides information and support to students on the Microsoft Exchange email system, Web Course Tools (WebCT/Blackboard), Breeze, Breeze Live, Wimba, and other information technologies and resources. WebCT/Blackboard is regularly upgraded and is designated as a Tier 1 mission-critical institutional system with a target recover time objective of no longer than three days (1). This designation provides a higher level than normal of security, monitoring, and redundancy. The system substantially enhances student learning by expanding and augmenting traditional courses, as well as providing the infrastructure for hybrid courses and fully electronic, Web-based courses used in distance education (2). Other Academic Computing services include maintenance of UTMB’s course management system, instruction and technical assistance in developing online courses, course evaluation systems, online testing software, administration of listservs, assisting students with remote access and Web databases, and computer support via the Web.

New student orientation programs provide incoming students with training and information about technologies and services used at UTMB. All UTMB students, faculty and staff must complete online compliance training. Compliance training provides instruction on information protection, computer virus protection, password protection, email etiquette, and computer ethics and acceptable use.

All lecture halls are equipped with state-of-the-art computers, video, document cameras, and projection systems (3). Several lecture halls are equipped with an audience response system, which provides the opportunity for a large-group team-learning exercise. This response system is used to review quizzes and practice examinations, giving the faculty immediate feedback on specific topic areas that might be problematic for the students.

All schools collaborate to provide enhanced student clinical training and experiences by coordinating the use of the geographically distributed clinical simulation resources. Faculty collaborative efforts are leading to more sophisticated learning experiences using simulations and technology to help students apply their clinical skills and clinical reasoning.

Clinical technologies introduced to students during their clinical training include the multiple features of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Students receive orientation and training in these important systems to enhance their clinical training and to prepare them for future clinical practice (4). Selected telehealth experiences are also available to medical, nursing, and health professions students, again preparing them for future clinical practice.

Testing Services, a department of the Moody Medical Library has a total of 432 computer workstations for student online testing located in three locations on the UTMB campus. The newest facility opened in January 2013 and is centrally located on the first floor of the newly remodeled Research Building 6, formally Children’s Hospital. The 1600 square foot center has two large rooms each equipped with 150 computers, four proctor stations and overhead monitoring camera systems. These rooms can be subdivided by electronically controlled partition walls that allows for four separate testing rooms for 75 students each. An electronic sound system can be activated that allows instructions to all 300 students from one room. Additionally, the center has twelve special accommodation rooms equipped with computers, a proctor station and overhead camera monitoring (5). The Moody Medical Library building has an additional testing room located on the second floor, equipped with 68 computers and an overhead projector (6). Also on the same floor, a smaller testing space is available with 12 computers and an overhead projector. Testing space is also located in the Learning Resource Center on the first floor of the School of Nursing/School of Health Professions building (7). There are two rooms equipped with computers and overhead projectors that accommodate 24 students and 14 students. Online testing uses a Perception Secure Browser software, LXR and PAR software. Students are able to test on campus or online at a distance (with distance proctors) using these resources. Access to computer based and online testing prepares students for their national certification and licensure examinations, building their comfort level with the technology and developing familiarity with the testing method.

The Jamail Student Center (JSC) (8) has 20 workstations in its second floor computer room and additionally computers on each floor for students to access their email, providing students with access to technology for independent and group learning and socialization.

Reference librarians are available 40 hours a week at the Moody Medical Library reference desk to answer questions and provide assistance. Reference librarians provide personalized instruction on a walk-in basis. In 2011-2012 reference librarians conducted 33,038 reference transactions. An electronic reference service is also available from the library’s website; "Ask a Librarian" (9). During 2011-2012, 2,574 reference questions were answered from this service, up from the 1,917 questions received in 2010-2011. The electronic reference service allows clients to reach librarians through interactive chat sessions, text message, Web forms or email. The service includes a frequently asked questions (FAQ) component to allow instantaneous access to previously answered questions. Librarians also receive questions via their personal email and telephone extensions. The reference department has comprehensive collection of print and electronic reference materials (10), 24 computers for public access, printing and copy services. The Library’s public access computer area has an additionally 64 computers.

Academic Technology Center (ATC) is a division of the UTMB Library and supports the development of multimedia instructional materials for a Web-based educational environment. All ATC services and products enhance and support effective student learning (11) (12).

Technology Use in Education
School of Medicine
Courses in the School of Medicine (SOM) utilize the audience response system, which provides the opportunity for a large-group team-learning exercise. This response system is used to review quizzes and practice examinations, giving the faculty immediate feedback on specific topic areas that might be problematic for the students. Courses also use technology to provide opportunities for students to check their learning. Courses use online quizzes, delivered on the course website, to provide immediate feedback for students to check their learning, identify gaps in their knowledge, as well as reinforce course material. These opportunities for feedback on learning assist students validate their acquisition and mastery of knowledge. Most SOM lectures are captured (audio and slides) in a digital format for students to review the material. In addition, online, interactive tutorials are provided to supplement and reinforce critical concepts.

SOM students also have access to a variety of mechanical and computer-based simulators to learn and develop clinical skills (13). There is an EKG laboratory for students to measure their EKG at rest and after exercise with a computer program analyzing the data following student input. In addition to the EKG resources, the laboratory contains computers with programs that allow students to step through the contraction cycle for cardiac muscle, observe pressure volume loops in real time, or go through the steps of the cardiac cycle. This program allows the students to change values of certain variables and observe the result on other variables, i.e., how does increasing the heart rate affect mean arterial pressure or venous return? Another program models the cardiac action potential and is also subject to data manipulation by the students. Students are also tested on their clinical decision-making skills with the use of use the Laerdal SimMan simulator and data monitor system. Simulation allows students to practice clinical skills and be assessed on them, utilizing sophisticated simulators without risk to live patients to develop and build their skill base, clinical reasoning abilities, and confidence.

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Most courses in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) have course websites that post resources for students. In addition, many programs have rooms with computers for student use, and virtually all laboratories are equipped with computers and other relevant technologies. Laboratory rotations are a significant source of instructing students in the use and availability of computational and analytical instrumentation.

The UTMB Institute for Translational Science also has a keyword-driven laboratory and core resource search engine on their website that is available to all UTMB members. UTMB provides easy access to a very large library of analytical and computational software for a wide variety of research purposes, including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, next generation sequencing, pathway analysis, systems biology, biomedical informatics, biostatistics and computational biology through the Bioinformatics Program (14).

The Bioinformatics Program also provides training in the use of software and access to high performance computing (HPC) hardware both locally and via the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), a world-class supercomputing facility at the University of Texas at Austin. The Bioinformatics Program is a charter member of the Gulf Coast Consortium for Bioinformatics, which includes Rice University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Houston, the UT Houston Health Science Center, and Baylor College of Medicine (15), giving UTMB access to state-of-the-art collaborations across health, mathematics, and computer sciences departments of these institutions. Exposure to these cutting-edge technologies enhances the learning and development of the next generation of scientists who will become the future leaders across a broad range of scientific discovery.

The Institute for the Medical Humanities and School of Nursing Ph.D. students in the GSBS benefit from access to the statistical software and information-access technologies as well as the modeling of evidence-based practice in research, ethics, health policy, and philosophical issues made possible by the technologies used in instruction in their programs and the Internet.

School of Nursing
Students in the School of Nursing (SON) are oriented to online communications, course syllabi, testing, PowerPoint projects, and the use of personal digitals assistants (PDAs) in clinical settings. The SON has developed a simulated Emergency Medical Record (EMR) Physician Order Entry and Retrieval System to orient students to the EMR prior to use in the hospital and the Nursing Simulation Center has high-fidelity manikins, utilizing state-of-the-art multimedia (16). The Cath-sim and Virtual IV are equipped with simulated intravenous systems and wall mounted, networked laptop computers at each bedside, video cameras, TVs with VCR and CD players, and projection screens for instruction and post-instruction debriefing (17).

The SON provides a list of standard computer requirements for students (18) and hosts a Technology eCamp designed to familiarize students with current technological trends, Internet security, and other skills that will assist them in their pursuit of education (19). Simulation and other educational technologies support student learning and allow them to develop and build their clinical skills, clinical reasoning abilities, and confidence.

School of Health Professions
The faculty of the School of Health Professions uses technology (e.g., computer, videoconferencing, telemedicine) to provide instruction, learning opportunities, and continuing education. The Worldwide Health Information System Simulation Linkage (WHISSL) project, for example, focuses on teaching health professions students an interdisciplinary, community-based approach to patient care planning (20). WHISSL provides simulations that allow the student in a telemedicine setting to access a complete Web-based electronic patient record. An international team is designing simulated patient cases and the software to create this life-like environment on the Web. The WHISSL project and other educational technologies in the SHP allow students to develop essential clinical skills, practice clinical reasoning processes, and develop professional poise.

Student Satisfaction Survey
Educational Technology was one of the categories included in both the 2012 and 2013 Student Satisfaction Survey (21). The student body was surveyed as two populations: on-campus students and distance education students. The results for the distance education survey are presented alongside the equivalent on-campus responses for comparison.

For Galveston-based students, the percentage of respondents who were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the various components of educational technology used at UTMB increased or stayed essentially the same for every technology from 2012 to 2013, with the highest levels of satisfaction in 2013 going to those technologies that are frequently used: Tegrity, Blackboard, UTMB login, and UTMB email. The increase can probably be attributed to greater familiarity with the technologies by both students and faculty. This assumption is supported by the percentage of distance education students who reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the same technologies. These students, who generally utilize technologies more frequently than Galveston-based students, rated most technologies similar or higher in 2013 than did the Galveston-based students. This included three of the four most frequently used, with Blackboard, UTMB login, and UTMB email showing satisfaction levels of greater than 90%.

Student Government Association Satisfaction Survey
Item* Campus Distance Campus Distance
Lync Conferencing 25%58%52%76%
Tegrity 81%65%84%73%
Blackboard 87%88%86%91%
Blackboard Mobile 55%61%62%69%
Adobe Connect Meeting 32%54%51%63%
Adobe Connect Presenter 37%56%60%60%
Second Life 23%28%45%45%
Perception Testing 30%66%49%78%
Connect Yard 26%27%47%41%
Zipport 40%37%47%44%
UTMB Login 87%92%87%94%
UTMB Email 84%93%85%94%
Testing with PAR 42%46%51%46%
Testing with Perception 32%71%48%77%
Testing with Blackboard 57%78%62%83%
Respondus Lockdown Browser 38%40%54%53%
Turning Point Response System (clickers) 43%27%48%48%
iSpace 46%42%57%53%
*Level of Satisfaction (Very Satisfied or Satisfied)

1. Executive Summary-IS Tiered systems Applications 2012, Tier 1 Applications or Systems
[hard copy]

2. Web Course Tools (Blackboard)
http://eclass.utmb.edu or http://www.utmb.edu/blackboard/

3. Detailed List of Rooms and Their Features
[Note: this link requires a password if you’re coming in from the outside— http://arweb5.utmb.edu/ar/RoomsEquipment/tabid/200/Default.aspx--but it’s easy to get one. PJ]

4. Clinical Information Systems, Training Information

5. Student Testing Center, Press Release

6. Moody Medical Library, Computers and Online Testing

7. Learning Resource Center
[I can’t find a good link for this in the Library, the SHP, or the SON websites.]

8. Lee Hage Jamail Student Center

9. Ask a Librarian

10. Other Library Resources

11. Academic Technology Center
http://ar.utmb.edu/ar/Library/AcademicTechnologyCenter/tabid/457/Default.aspx and

12. Academic Technology Center: How to Access the ATC and Its Services

13. Simulation Programs, School of Medicine
Can’t find any good link that mentions students rather than fellows and faculty except perhaps http://www.som.utmb.edu/faculty/EntirePlan.pdf, Education Strategic Plan, Executive Summary, Goal #6, Objective 6.a., page 5.

14. Bioinformatics Program

15. Gulf Coast Consortium for Bioinformatics

16. UTMB School of Nursing Simulation Center
Page in development for SON website.

17. UTMB School of Nursing Cath-sim and Virtual IV Labs
Page in development for SON website.

18. School of Nursing Standard Computer Requirements

19. UTMB School of Nursing Technology Ecamp

20. Worldwide Health Information System Simulation Linkage Project

21. Student Satisfaction Survey, 2012-2013

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