Director's Message 

Director photo


On the first Wednesday afternoon of each month, OMERAD hosts a medical education scholarship group.  The group has a very flexible and informal agenda designed to meet the most immediate needs of the participants.  Over the past year, we have helped faculty interested in educational scholarship explore new research ideas, provided feedback about on-going projects to enhance their scholarly potential, offered suggestions about resources for supporting scholarship, identified colleagues for potential collaboration, and just generally helped trouble shoot common concerns related to design, implementation, human subjects approvals and the like. The group also serves as a new set of eyes and ears for anyone wanting to practice a conference presentation, or in need of feedback for an abstract, manuscript submission or the design of a poster presentation.  And sometimes, we just provide a sense of accountability to help organize monthly deadlines and prompt progress on projects that seem to be stuck.


Part of what makes this group so interesting is the variety of projects that we discuss each time we meet.  Participants and their projects come from across our educational program.  It has also been helpful for participants to hear some of the commonality of concerns and questions that underlie the scholarship.  It is a forum for sharing common and not-so-common experiences to reach a goal.


The group is informal and meets from 1:30 to 3:00 pm in A216 East Fee Hall on the first Wednesday of each month.  Everyone is welcome, from established scholars to first-timers interested in learning more about educational scholarship.  Please contact me if you would like more information or to be added to our meeting reminder e-mail list.

Brian Mavis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director
Office of Medical Education Research and Development
College of Human Medicine

  • Check out the new B-CLR Showcase. The showcase offers year-round online access to a wealth of examples featuring faculty blended and online learning projects designed and developed by B-CLR.
  • The new Web 2.0 Tools tutorial is available on the OMERAD site. The tutorial offers an overview of second generation web tools, advantages and downsides and use of web tools in education. 
  • A web-based desktop videoconferencing workshop will be offered by OMERAD on Adapting Live Slide Lectures for Recording. This will be a two session workshop on October 25 and 27, 2010. Click here for more information about the workshop and how to register. 
  • The AAMC Annual Meeting, the nation's largest forum for academic medicine, will be held November 5-10, 2010 in Washington D.C.
  • The Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) is accepting proposals for the 2011 CGEA meeting. The meeting will be held March 17-19, 2011 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
2010 Maatsch Lecture
Beyond Clinical Performance Assessment: Feedback, Learning Goals and Remediation

This year's Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education is Karen E. Hauer, MD. She was awarded the lectureship on the basis of her outstanding work in the assessment of medical students' clinical skills and the mini-CEX. The title of her lecture is "Beyond Clinical Performance Assessment: Feedback, Learning Goals and Remediation."

Dr Hauer is both a clinician and an educator at the University of California, San Francisco, in the Department of Medicine. She is a Professor of Medicine with a special interest in medical education. Her research in medical education focuses on clinical skills training, remediation, integrated clerkships, and career choice.  Dr Hauer is Director of Internal Medicine Clerkships and Director of Student Assessment and has served as President of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) and Director of the California Consortium for the Assessment of Clinical Competence. Dr Hauer will deliver her lecture at the annual meeting of the American Association of Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. If you are attending the meeting, please join us on Tuesday, November 9th at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel:


Lecture 2:45 - 4:15 in the Washington 3 Room
Reception 4:15 - 6:00 in the Washington 6 Room


The Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education award honors the legacy of Jack L. Maatsch, PhD, former OMERAD Director, and his contributions to medical education. His primary focus was on the development and assessment of clinical competence in the training of physicians. Through the Maatsch Visiting Scholar in Medical Education award we seek to disseminate the insight and experience of recognized leaders and scholars in medical education.


Recent awardees include Brian Hodges, William McGaghie and Jon Veloski. For a complete list of past awardees and links to recent Maatsch lectures, please go to the Maatsch website at .

Strategies for Designing Blended Learning

If you are embarking in learning and exploring different strategies for blended learning for your course, you know that it is a challenge to know and understand how to effectively integrate face-to-face and online informational and communication technologies.


Technology is wonderful, but without a careful consideration of how it can serve as a catalyst to help you and your students discover and adopt new learning approaches, it can become an obstacle. It is important to put the educational design ahead of the technology to guide you in the search and selection of appropriate tools that will ultimately support real goals.


The educational design takes into consideration particular goals, the intended audience and the context, and allows enough flexibility to scale (adjust) your course up and down based on course needs. Some key guidelines should be considered when engaging in the development of the educational design for a course using blended learning:

  • Take a fresh look! Blended learning requires a critical rethinking of what you do in your course and why. Redesign the entire course and discard obsolete, ineffective and inefficient practices that don't enhance the teaching-learning experience.
  •  Content management. Make decisions about what content is required for students to learn. Is too much content a barrier to meaningful and deep learning? Do students have enough time to reflect and process the content given to them in class or online?
  • Community. Incorporate learning experiences where the strength of online communication and Internet technology can be used to support your interaction with learners and among learners. An online community for your course (e.g., discussion board, Blog, Wiki, social network, etc.) provides a platform for engaging learners, providing feedback and assessing understanding and critical thinking of the course materials. The interactive and reflective nature of an online community can go beyond the possibilities of a traditional lecture where time and physical space constraints abound.

 Some important questions to reflect upon when redesigning a course:

  • What do you want your students to know when they have completed the blended learning course?
  • What types of learning activities will you design that integrate face-to-face and online components?
  • What means will you use to assess these integrated learning activities?
  • How will information and communication technologies be used to support blended learning in your course?

You probably don't have all the answers to these questions. It is therefore important to seek the guidance of an instructional design specialist who can help you discuss your responses and can facilitate the direction and implementation of the educational design. Answers to these questions would also likely include other faculty, course assistants and staff involved with the course.


Creating an educational plan before making decisions about  technology and communication use in a course pays off and provides the best foundation for creating the "blueprint" that will guide the design process of creating a blended learning course.


Free help is available to faculty in need of redesigning their CHM courses for blended and online delivery. To find out more about B-CLR  consultation services, please contact  Geraud Plantegenest at [email protected]. You can also visit the B-CLR webpage at


Adapted from Blended Learning Strategies and Tools. Garrison R. , Vaughan N. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

CHM Program Evaluation
"Care of Patients" Gateway Examination Update

In June, 142 Year III students completed CHM's performance assessment of essential clinical skills. Known as the Clinical Skills Gateway Exam, it is a summative competency-based exam that tests the Care of Patients Competency, one of CHM's six SCRIPT competencies.


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 OMERAD and the Office of College Wide Assessment (CWA) direct the design, implementation and evaluation of this annual exam. The Learning and Assessment Center is the site of the Gateway Exam where each student is assessed in nine clinical encounters using standardized patients or clinical simulations. After each encounter, they are assessed on four required skills: communication, history, physical examination and post-encounter note (SOAP type note).  Students must pass the Gateway Exam before taking clinical electives and it is a graduation requirement.


In 2010, students performed better than in any other year of the Gateway Exam.  Only seven students did not demonstrate minimal competency on the exam. A comparison of results over the past four years reveals a steady improvement.


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 After talking with Block III Clerkship Directors and Community Assistant Deans, we believe this is largely due to improved communication about exam preparation and the involvement of clerkship faculty in providing opportunities for students to practice and obtain feedback on core clinical skills that are the focus of the exam. Also students are becoming more comfortable with the demands and format of performance assessments using standardized patients.  All seven students who did not demonstrate initial competency completed a remediation exam consisting of six equivalent clinical encounters with identical standards set by the Block III Committee. 


We are delighted the students performed well on the Gateway "Care of Patients" Competency Exam and use the data for curricular improvement and to monitor the progress of our students across the College's core competencies.

Faculty Development
Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program Begins 33rd Class


On September 26, eighteen new junior faculty from across the United States began the Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program. Over the next year, these fellows will spend four weeks on campus and one day a week at home completing fellowship-related tasks and a major project. Since 1976, over 575 physicians have completed this fellowship program.


 The overall goal of the program is to prepare new physician faculty for careers in primary care academic medicine. The program provides training in teaching, research, leadership, social context of medicine, instructional technology, scholarly communication and academic socialization skills.


The fellows are junior faculty in family medicine, general internal medicine and general pediatrics from medical schools and primary care residencies. While at MSU, fellows will participate in workshops, seminars, small group activities, mentor groups and practice teaching assignments.  Fellows also interact with fellowship faculty and mentors through web-based desktop video conferencing.


At their home institutions, fellows complete assignments and a major project. MSU faculty help each fellow design and implement a curricular development or research project. The results of their major projects are presented as posters and oral presentations at the annual Primary Care Research and Development Conference in May.


The Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program is supported by grants from the Division of Medicine, Public Health Service (HRSA). This program is also supported by the Office of Medical Education Research and Development (OMERAD), the College of Human Medicine and the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics & Human Development, and Family Medicine  at Michigan State University.

OMERAD Publications 2009-2010 

Publications 2009-2010
Click on the link to see a list of  OMERAD publications for the 2009-2010 academic year.
In This Issue
CHM Program Evaluation
Faculty Development
OMERAD Publications

An interactive gallery featuring examples of CHM blended and online learning projects by B-CLR.
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 first 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