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Osmosis Best Practices and Guidelines


Osmosis is a web- and mobile application that makes medical education more efficient. Curricular content from our courses is uploaded to the Osmosis system by UICOM coordinators or other staff/students, depending on campus. The system scans the text on these documents and provides relevant educational content like videos, USMLE-style practice questions, references to First Aid, etc. for students to use while studying. Here is their YouTube channel to get an idea of what they offer: Students use it to help them prepare for NBME exams, Step 1, and Step 2.

So, what do coordinators need to do with it? I'm glad you asked!

  • Import the Block Calendar to Osmosis
  • Upload curricular content to the correct block and activity. Note - you can only upload .docx & .pdf- it must be content that is text-based.

The Director of Instructional Design and Learning Innovation is the administrator for Osmosis. The director (or one of the project manager coordinators) sets up the structure in Osmosis for the academic year. This is done for when coordinators add curricular content, they can be sure to add it to the proper course.

Accessing and Interpreting Analytics Heading link

Osmosis is widely used among our students, faculty, and staff. Only specific faculty and staff can access the analytics portion of the resource. Please consult with the Director of Instructional Design and Learning Innovation if you would like access to it.

Screenshot of Osmosis Analytics

The number of students in the workspaces will not align with the actual number of students at each campus. Students are able to select more than one workspace to access. A reason they might do this is to access curricular content presented at another campus that might be slightly different than the content presented at their home campus.

In the screenshot:

  1. Select the workspace to view analytics for it. You must already have access to the workspace to select it.
  2. Choose from Overview DataStudent Reports, or Members.
    1. Overview Data presents you with ‘in general’ information about student usage in the workspace, including how many videos watched, questions, and flashcards.
    2. Student Reports presents you with more specific data that comes from the overall Library (drill down to specific topics) or the Playlists created for each week in each block course.
    3. Members presents you with specific data about each student.
  3. Set date parameters for the data. Note the data range changes depending on which tab you are looking at (Overview Data, Student Reports, or Members).

Determining When Video Content Has Been Updated Heading link

Osmosis videos are occasionally updated. Unfortunately, we don’t have an easy way to determine en masse when they have been updated. See the image below to see how you can see more information about a video, including who created it, who did the voiceover, and when it was last updated.

Information Directly from Osmosis

The Osmosis content team updated 60 videos in 2022; their pace is 1-2 videos per week.  They first prioritize what they consider to be “major” errors.  An error is considered major if:
  • It affects patient management
  • It is a scientific inaccuracy
  • It is reported by a faculty member/expert
Then the team provide a major error ranking and address level 4 items first:
4 – Impacts patient care or a partnership, diversity/equity/inclusion-related, guideline changes.
3 – Negatively impacts student knowledge acquisition/exam prep.
2 – Clarifications (not an error, but phrasing that could cause confusion).
1 – Does not negatively impact student knowledge acquisition/exam prep (e.g., mispronunciations or minor words, minor typos, minor video errors like blurring in certain frames).
Screenshot of Osmosis showing how to access when content is updated.

Click the ‘i’ icon to see this information.