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Using Educational Technology Effectively

We use various educational technologies at UICOM including: Blackboard, Poll Everywhere, Osmosis, Aquifer, & Echo360. This will hopefully give you some insight into how to use these tools.

When students fill out evaluations, we ask them to tell us what 3rd party resources they are using to supplement their learning. Some of these tools are listed below and include:

It is worth faculty time to investigate these tools to see how they might include it in their facilitation of sessions. Note – we do not pay for these resources for students to use though some students pay for their own subscriptions. Faculty can get a free account for Picmonic for example and it can be used in class for instruction.

At the same time, it is also extremely important to ensure that whatever technologies you want to use are also ADA compliant. The UIC Department of Disability and Human Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) has the Great Lakes ADA Center and is a great place to consult with to make sure you are using appropriate technologies.

Below you can see some educational technology tools we use in our curriculum and how they might be deployed. You can use this rubric tool for assessing the best fit for technology you are thinking of using.

In addition, here is a list put together by ACCC to help you choose the best cloud-based storage options: .

Educational Technology and Their Uses

TechnologyDescriptionCategoryHow Might I Use This Tool?
AnatomageAnatomage is 3D human anatomy that is digitally enhanced on a large life-size table. Each campus has at least one of these tables for students and faculty to use. Check with your local administration to get more information on how to use these tables.
AquiferAquifer is a repository of courses that are evidence-based and peer reviewed. At UICOM, we are currently using them in multiple parts of the curriculum, including for clerkships in the M3 year.Case-based learningFor each clerkship, students must complete 2 pre-assigned cases in Aquifer prior to starting the clerkship. The list of required cases is in Box and in Blackboard.
ArticulateArticulate is high-end software & a browser-based tool that ups your game with the design and development of interactive modules. Screencase software
Learning Module development
Because Articulate is fairly expensive, we have a limited license. Contact your coordinators or block / clerkship leads for more information.
Benware / MedEd DatabaseBenWare, also known as the Medical Education Database, is a powerful set of applications that run UICOM exams, course evaluations, On the Fly, and more.Evaluations
On the Fly
BlackboardBlackboard is the learning management system (LMS) used by the entire University of Illinois system. There are some functions we use in Blackboard that are quite standard and existing documentation from Blackboard and UIC can supply adequate information. Learning Management System
BoxBox is a cloud-storage system that houses all of the UICOM curricular files as well as thousands of other related artifacts.Cloud-based StorageFormat for structure:

Illinois Medicine Curriculum Team Folder > Illinois Medicine Curriculum Phase 1 – By Year > Illinois Medicine Phase 1 Class of Year – Access to all Block Folders >

00 Block 0 – year – Prematriculation – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

01 Block 1 – year – Body Systems and Homeostasis I – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

02 Block 2 – year – Pathogenesis – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

03 Block 3 – year – Skin, Muscle, and Movement – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

04 Block 4 – year – Circulation and Respiration – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

05 Block 5 – year – Digestion and Homeostasis 2 – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

06 Block 6 – year – Brain and Behavior – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

07 Block 7 – year – Regulation and Reproduction – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

08 Block 8 – year – Synthesis – Illinois Medicine Curriculum
DoCS – year – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

Medical Colloquia – year – Illinois Medicine Curriculum

Within each block folder, there are additional folders and the structure is generally the same for each block:

Block 1 year Materials Presented to Students
Block 1 year Working Documents
Meeting Notes

Within the Materials Presented to Students (MPTS) and Working Documents (WD) folders, the structure is generally the same for each block:

  • Folders for weeks include the dates of that week

  • Within each weekly folder is a sub-folder for each session during that week

  • Inside the sub-folder is sometimes another sub-folder for each campus (if content is different by campus)

Here is a general workflow.
CamtasiaAt UICOM, some of our faculty and staff use Tech Smith’s Camtasia to create microlectures. This software can be purchased from the University of Illinois through the iBUY system or direction from teh company (ask for an education discount). It is a more robust program and may take a bit to learn how to use it. Contact your block leaders, coordinators, or other staff to get more information on using this software to create a micro-lecture.Screencast software
Learning Module development
Explain EverythingExplain Everything is a tablet-based app that can be used to create short micro-lectures.Screencast softwareHere is how you can turn your slide deck into a presentation using EE: Turn your static presentation into a video.
JeopardyJeopardy probably does need an introduction - but it is a competition-based game.GamificationAt UICOM, we have an account (check with your coordinators or block leads). Jeopardy Labs.
Kahoot!Kahoot! is a game-based option to help create an active learning experience for both instructors and students.GamificationContact your block leaders or coordinators for access.

Once you log in, go here: and start creating your Kahoot!

There are three ways you can create a Kahoot game:

  • Quiz (multiple choice / multiple answer)

  • Jumble (Drag answers in correct order)

  • Survey (Gather student feedback)

OsmosisOsmosis is a web- and mobile application that makes medical education more efficient. Content from our courses is uploaded to the Osmosis system by UICOM coordinators or students, depending on the campus.Self-paced study tool
Supplementary videos for instruction
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 for studying. Here is a brief overview. Students can use it to help them prepare for class exams, Step 1, and further down the road, other board exams such as Step 2.
PicmonicPicmonic is a tool that is used by many students at UICOM. Faculty can create / request a free account that gives you access to the full breadth of the program and you can use this during facilitation of sessions. UICOM does not pay for student accounts, but many students use it anyway (and pay for it themselves). Give it a test drive and work with your instructional designer to determine best practices for utilizing it for teaching and learning.Gamification
Poll EverywhereIt is a simple application that works well for live audiences using a web browser or mobile devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.). People participate by visiting a mobile-friendly web page for your course or via text message. PollingHere is a way to use Poll Everywhere in video conferencing, video instruction, etc.

PowerPoint (or other slide software)PowerPoint is probably the most commonly used software program for presentations. Slide Presentation SoftwareTake a look at this page for some helpful guidelines and best practices.
ZoomZoom is cloud-based meeting software used the world over.Web-based Meeting Software

Sign into, host, or join Zoom meetings: Log in screen. An app will be downloaded to your desktop or mobile device.

Get Answers: Zoom provides direct support 24/7

Go here for answers to general questions about Zoom.

Here is some UICOM specific Zoom help.

Check back often as more resources are added.