Director's Message
Director photo
"What does OMERAD do?"
 Probably one of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, "What does OMERAD do?"  
In the broadest sense the mission of OMERAD as a service unit is to improve CHM educational programs. We do this in a variety of ways, including advising on learner assessment, implementing programs for faculty development, conducting on-going curricular evaluation, supporting educational scholarship, as well as consulting with faculty and administrators to address special issues and concerns. 
As an academic unit, OMERAD faculty collaborate on a wide variety of externally funded projects; in many cases these projects dovetail with the needs of the College and address important issues in professional education. However, some of the research interests of our faculty reach beyond CHM. Here are some of our current externally-funded collaborations: 

  • Office of Student Affairs and Services: evaluation consultation on recruitment and retention activities funded through the Health Careers Opportunity Program  
  • Department of Epidemiology: organization of focus groups with patients and providers in an effort to develop a rational clinical approach to the disposition of TIA cases in the ED 
  • School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan: evaluation measures the effectiveness of a centralized billing system in increasing health care billings and payments for school-based health centers 
  • Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: evaluation of a pipeline program for Increasing the recruitment of Hispanic students into neuroscience
  • OMERAD: coordination and implementation of a national academic fellowship program for primary care physicians
  • Department of Family Medicine: development and implementation of curriculum for teaching introductory medical error to students
  • Graduate Medical Education, Inc (GMEI): evaluation support for graduate and continuing medical education programs
  • Department of Medicine: support of activities funded through their predoctoral primary care training grant
  • Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: evaluation of a summer short-course in integrative pharmacology
  • Department of Family Medicine: support of activities of the Geriatrics Education Center of Michigan
  • Office of College-Wide Assessment: support of activities funded under the Lansing Patient Safety InitiativeNational Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners: consultation on a clinical skills competency assessment for internationally trained veterinarians
  • Department of Radiology: creation of a blended introductory radiology course for geographically dispersed campuses
  • Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences:  support for the development and use of decision aids related to coronary artery disease treatment in primary care settings
  • Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies: evaluation of a training program for institutional research integrity officers
Brian Mavis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine

Upcoming OMERAD Faculty Development Workshops
  • Adapting Live Slide Lectures for Online Delivery. A 2-session workshop on March 9 & March 16, 2010 in Room A-211 East Fee. Do you have a live lecture that you would like to record? In this two-session workshop you will learn how to adapt your live lecture for recording and online delivery according to sound principles of instruction.

  • Screencasting and Podcasting with Camtasia on April 13, 2010 in A-211 East Fee. Learn how to use Camtasia Studio to quickly and easily create videos that meets the needs of today┬╣s medical students. This hands-on seminar will be an introduction to creating lectures or other course content to be made available to students online (as a screencast) or on-the-go (Podcast).
 To register for these workshops, email us at [email protected]. Enrollment is limited to 18.
Workshop at the Desktop: Intersession Day in the Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program 

The federally-funded national Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program prepares primary care physicians for careers in academic medicine through participation in a part-time training program. As the time available for fellow participation in on-campus workshops has decreased, we have created the "Intersession Day," during which fellows learn at a distance.
For the Fellowship, fellows must complete a major project in one of three areas: research, curriculum development or educational leadership. By using a variety of technologies and well-designed, principle-based instruction, we have replicated at a distance what has traditionally taken place face-to-face, developing a "workshop at the desktop."
For the group meeting we used Breeze (now Acrobat Connect), a web-based videoconferencing environment that allows discussion and document sharing. To recreate on-campus workshops we used Camtasia Studio that allows the instructor to create an instructional video combining Powerpoint presentations, picture-in-picture video, and a sound track, which can then be delivered at a distance on a website or CD. On the CD we included files containing workbooks, worksheets, detailed agendas and handouts of examples. We used SurveyMonkey, an online survey tool, to capture Intersession Day evaluation data.
Intersession Day Activities
During Intersession Day the curriculum track held group mentor meetings where fellows showed their PowerPoint slides to the rest of the group, who then gave feedback.
After the mentor group meeting was done fellows logged off of Breeze and, using the movies and materials on the CD, started doing individually-paced work on instructional design and development, and on writing a manuscript. As the fellows completed each assignment, they emailed them to their mentors for immediate feedback.
Results and Lessons Learned
Most fellows were able to complete most of the required tasks during Intersession Day, and all reported that the feedback on their work was helpful. Two fellows reported technical difficulties related to downloading needed worksheets, or sending or receiving feedback emails. Fellows felt the instructional video was useful in helping focus their writing.
Applying sound instructional principles becomes even more important when workshops are delivered at a distance. The principles (Yelon, 1996) followed during Intersession Day were: 
  • Clear instruction - make up for the lack of face-to-face contact and the ability to ask for clarification
  • Novelty - so fellows do not become bored when facing a computer screen
  • Maintaining engagement - by chunking or dividing the explanatory and application activities into two- to five-minute segments
  • Meaningfulness - is of central importance in distance learning to also maintain engagement. Our instruction prepared fellows for products related to their major projects.
The need for effective instruction at a distance can be expected to grow in the future as time for on-campus, face-to-face instruction decreases. Those contemplating using similar distance technology methods are well-advised to ensure that their instruction is based on well-founded pedagogical principles. 
Yelon, S. (1996). Powerful Principles of Instruction. White Plains, NY, Longman Publishers.
Google Apps for Education Edition at MSU

In summer of 2009 MSU secured an agreement with Google to offer Google Apps "Education Edition" to faculty, staff and students at Michigan State University. Google Apps offers a set of free customizable tools where users can collaborate using web-based programs that run on multiple web browsers and operating systems without requiring users to buy or install software on their computers. MSU Google Apps free tools include: 
  • Google Calendar - to organize schedules and share events and calendars with others,
  • Google Docs - to share and collaborate on real time documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and
  • Google Sites - to build shared websites with videos, images, gadgets and documents.
Gmail is not part of the MSU Google Apps agreement.
Google Apps forms part of a set of applications now commonly called "Cloud computing."  Cloud computing is a model that suggests the sharing of resources over the Internet, where "cloud" is used as a metaphor for Internet-based development and "computing" for the use of computer technology. All of the applications in MSU Google Apps are accessible at and users are given two ways to access the applications:

1. Using your MSU netID and password or,
2. Signing in with a different account (e.g., your Gmail account).
Google Apps has great implications for teaching and learning where faculty, staff and students can build an environment to communicate and collaborate more effectively. These benefits can potentially include the creation and peer review of academic work and the opportunity to work together in the creation of scholarly material. Google Apps does have some limited functionality such as only basic formatting of text documents and no access to macros or creation of figures and tables. This limited functionality is sufficient for the needs of most users, who now can access all their files and related software anywhere they have a computer and a connection to the "Cloud" (i.e., the Internet).

The Vice Provost of Libraries, Computing and Technology at MSU has created a set of guidelines for the use of MSU Google Apps Education Edition that all MSU users are advised to follow, as they contain information about appropriate use and considerations about sensitive data, privacy and intellectual property.
For more information about MSU Google Apps-related documents, see:

For more information about uses of Google Apps in the educational setting, see: 7 things you need to know about Google Apps, by the Educause Learning Initiative (ELI).
For more information about uses of MSU Google Apps in Medical Education, please contact the B-CLR Manager Geraud Plantegenest at: [email protected]

To find out more about B-CLR (free) consultation services to CHM faculty, please visit:
CHM Program Evaluation
Block III Clinical Skills Gateway Examination

In June 2009 the Office of College-Wide Assessment and OMERAD conducted the first summative offering of the Year 3 Care of Patients Gateway examination. The lynchpin of the College's innovative Gateway Assessment System enables a new level of accountability to our students, our faculty and the public. The Block III Gateway is a competency-based exam of third-year students at the end of the required core clerkships. It serves as the capstone of the CHM assessment program for medical students and requires demonstration of communication (written and oral) skills, performance of focused history-taking and appropriate physical examination, as well as selected procedural and team skills. Students must achieve minimal competency in three Care of Patient skill domains: Interpersonal and Communication Skills, History-Taking, and Physical Examination. Patient cases represent common clinical problems seen during the third-year clerkships and require tasks expected of end-of-third-year students. Students are evaluated by trained standardized patients using checklists developed by CHM case-writers.
To establish a passing score, College Wide Assessment convened a Competence Committee, an expert group of faculty representing Clinical Skill and Clerkship and Block III leadership. This group established minimal passing scores for competencies within each case as well as the minimal number of cases for the entire exam. CHM's Block III Committee approved the policy that students much pass 4 of the 6 cases to pass the exam. Application of the minimal standards to this year's student performance yielded a total of 33 failures (33/115 or 28%). As a remediation, all students who failed completed two one-day skill building sessions involving direct faculty coaching, feedback, and self-assessment resulting in a personal learning plan. The average scores for the three competencies across the entire class are included.  

Faculty Development
Adapting Live Slide Lectures for Online Delivery

Do you deliver a lecture that you would like to record for later delivery to students? If so, OMERAD's Faculty Development Seminar Series has a two-part session that you will want to attend. It is titled Adapting Live Slide Lectures for Online Delivery and will be held on March 9th and 16th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in room A-211 E. Fee on the East Lansing campus. This workshop is free to CHM faculty.
In this two-session workshop you will learn how to adapt your live lecture for online delivery by adding learner application activities and enhancing your PowerPoint slides to make them interesting and readable. You will learn how to record your lecture in Camtasia Studio and will have the opportunity to record your lecture individually with one of the FDSS instructors.
As described in the Spotlight article in this newsletter, it is important to apply sound instructional principles when instruction is delivered at a distance in order to ameliorate the lack of face-to-face contact and the inability of students to ask for clarification. The principles we will teach you to apply during this workshop are:
  • Clear instruction - because the instructor is immediately available to the student,
  • Novelty - so learners do not become bored when facing a computer screen
  • Maintaining engagement - by chunking or dividing the explanatory and application activities into short segments, and
  • Meaningfulness - to maintain engagement.
The prerequisites for registering for this workshop are: a knowledge of PowerPoint, an already-prepared lecture using PowerPoint slides, and time after each part of the workshop to apply what you have learned. If you want to record your lecture with the help of one of the instructors, you must attend both workshop sessions.
To register for this two-part workshop, email us at
[email protected]. Enrollment is limited to 18.
In This Issue
CHM Program Evaluation
Faculty Development
Hot Off the Press
New articles published by OMERAD faculty:
A New Tool :The
Program Evaluation

Authors:Reznich CB, Noel M, Wagner D.    
Medical Education. (in press) 

Medicine Clerkships and Portable Computing.
A National Survey of Internal Medicine Clerkship Directors.
Authors: Ferencick G, Solomon DK, Durning SJ.
Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2010. 

A Family Medicine Clerkship Curriculum in Medication Errors.
Authors: Barry H, Reznich CB, Noel M, Winklerprins V. 
Medical Education (in press) 
Relationship between COMPLEX and USMLE scores among osteopathic medical students who take both examinations.
Authors: Chick DA, Friedman HP, Youn VB, and Solomon DJ.
Teaching and Learning in Medicine 2010. 
A Medical Education listserv maintained by OMERAD.

MEO is a peer-reviewed international
Open Access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of  physicians and other health care professionals.
Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter
Medical Education Scholarship Group
Meets 1st Wednesday of each month in room A216 East Fee Hall from 1:30pm-3:00pm
For questions about this group contact Dr.  Mavis: [email protected]
OMERAD Technology Center (OTC) 
Units within the College of Human Medicine interested in sponsoring faculty and/or staff development programs in support of education and scholarship may request use of the room.
The OTC is located in A211 East Fee Hall.
For questions about the OTC contact John Williamson: [email protected]
Contact  Us
For questions about this newsletter, please contact us at:
Visit our website for more information:

The Office of Medical Education Research and Development is a unit within the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Its mission is to improve medical education and related service programs through evaluation and research consultation, relevant instruction, and programs of faculty development.
Established in 1966, OMERAD is the oldest continuously operating office of medical education in the United States.

A-202 East Fee Hall
East Lansing, Michigan 48824