In This Issue
Director's Message
Director photo


I wanted to use this opportunity to alert you to a continually expanding resource valuable to anyone involved in medical education. MedEdPortal provides a rich resource for educators interested in developing new curriculum or in learning about how other institutions address particular content or instructional needs. MedEdPortal is also important as a venue for educators to disseminate and publish curriculum and educational materials as a form of peer-reviewed scholarship. This provides more opportunities for educators to demonstrate a scholarly approach and to connect with a community of educators.


MedEdPortal ( was created by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as a free online resource for sharing educational resources. The database is searchable and includes powerpoint presentations, documents, cases and other educational resources for medical and other health professions education. The website separates peer reviewed resources from non-peer reviewed resources and each group can be searched separately. Currently this site is accessed by over 10,000 national and international health education institutions in 195 countries
. As an example of the breadth of materials available, here is a list of the current featured publications:

This year MedEdPortal added a continuing education (CE) directory. All aspects of MedEdPORTAL, including the CE Directory, are available at no charge and there are no restrictions as to who can access resources in MedEdPORTAL. Only continuing education activities that are on-line and English-language are listed in the CE Directory. While some of the CE activities listed in the directory are free-of-charge, individual CE providers can charge a fee for their on-line CE activities; this fee is paid directly to the provider.


For more information about MedEdPortal or to sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter, go to



- The CGEA Spring Meeting will be held March 21-23, 2013, at the Westin Cincinnati Hotel, Cincinnati, OH. Details on registration (handled by AAMC) will follow later. 


- The AAMC Annual Meeting, the nation's largest forum for academic medicine, will be held November 2-7, 2012 in San Franciso, CA.


- Upcoming CHM Curriculum Town Hall meetings:


-Curriculum Town Hall

 Monday, November 26, 2012


 A219 Clinical Center/130 Secchia Center


-Curriculum Town Hall

 Thursday, March 21, 2013


 Location TBD  



Components and "Day in the Life" Scenarios

For the last two years the College of Human Medicine Curriculum Committee has been reviewing the current curriculum and based on that review working toward a new curriculum. While the current curriculum has been very successful in many ways, the curriculum committee looks to better integrate clinical, necessary science, and humanities throughout the whole curriculum.  

Creating significant clinical experiences in the first two years of the curriculum so upends the traditional curricular structure as to require rethinking the entire curriculum. Through a poster session open to the entire college, a series of college meetings, and the work of the CHM Curriculum Advisory Committee, the Curriculum Committee hopes to incorporate other improvements in the curriculum as well, including: better integration of disciplines, better use of educational technology, incorporation of public health and patient safety content, electronic health records, writing, clinical ultrasound, and simulation. To learn more, here is a short summary of the work so far.


Articulate Storyline
Interactive eLearning made easy!


This past summer B-CLR acquired a new eLearning authoring software called Articulate Storyline. The new software is a powerful standalone application that is part of the toolbox that will be used in the design and development of CHM curricular materials supporting the core principles outlined in CHM's "NEXT CURRICULUM" where the use of educational technology is called upon to create interactive and asynchronous (location independent) materials that are more than click-and-read eLearning.


B-CLR utilized Storyline's highly interactive features to create a dynamic web-based and mobile (iPad and Android enabled) module for Dr. John Fitzsimmons and his students in the Introduction to Clinical Human Gross Anatomy course ANTR 501 (Summer 2012) and for ANTR 551 (Fall 2012). The module contains a series of quizzes that provides students with independent exploration and self-testing of their knowledge about the Lower Limb (LL) bones structures.


The module is offered as supplemental material in the LL unit given at the end of the course and covers content related to following LL structures:

  • Femur anterior and posterior views,
  • Fibula,
  • Tibia anterior view,
  • Foot superior and inferior views

The material was designed so students can decide how they want to access it. This means that they have a choice to access it online, or download it to their mobile devices (e.g., iPad). Students can select any of the quizzes, do as much as they want in one quiz, or switch at any time to a new quiz. This provides ample opportunity for independent exploration, repetition and deliberate practice. At the end of each quiz, students obtain immediate feedback on their performance and have the opportunity to review correct and incorrect answers.    


This image shows one of the interactive questions
available in the module with labels highlighting
the general layout and navigation


The quizzes provided an excellent aid in reviewing the LL materials, using an enhanced and realistic visualization of the bones structures. Future planning includes adding additional interactive units for the Skull and Upper Limbs.


As an authoring tool, Storyline offers highly interactive features (e.g., simulations, screen recordings, drag-and-drop interactions, click-and-reveal activities, assessments and more) that will help B-CLR build the next level of eLearning curricular materials for CHM faculty and students. In addition, the software offers a great range of authoring flexibility that allows for low-cost production, customization and quick project turnaround when compared to more traditional eLearning authoring tools.    


To find out more about B-CLR, visit the B-CLR webpage.


Geraud Plantegenest

B-CLR Manager

517-353-2037 ext. 237

[email protected] 


programeval CHM Program Evaluation

Remediating the Clinical Skills Gateway Exam:  

Faculty "DiffInE" an Approach


In earlier issues of Vital Signs we have described the development and results of the Block III Clinical Skills Exam also know as the Gateway Exam. In this issue we focus on what we do when students fail to demonstrate competence on Gateway.


For the last two years, more than 90% of Year 3 students pass the Gateway Exam. This year, the Gateway included 11 clinical encounters requiring students to demonstrate skills in Communication, History-taking, and Physical Exam and writing a Post-encounter note. While we are pleased with this overall pass rate, we closely monitor performance across all the encounter stations and conduct our own assessment of what clinical encounters are most challenging to students. For students who don't demonstrate competence, we have implemented a remediation plan to diagnose and improve clinical skills.  

This year, the College used an educational strategy labeled, DiffInE. Developed by Robin DeMuth & Julie Phillips; it involves a sequence of 3 critical steps that integrate: Differential Diagnosis / Interview / Exam  (See a larger image of DiffInE)                                     

We used the following approach for the 12 students who required remediation in 2012:

  • A clinical faculty person reviewed a video performance and encounter note for each of the 12 students. Using a DiffInE diagnostic worksheet, the faculty identified strengths as well as gaps and weaknesses in student clinical performance.
  • Each student participated in one or more sessions with a Community Assistant Dean or clinical faculty member to discuss the student's performance and to develop a joint plan for improvement. A plan typically involved: the student's reflection and assessment of their own performance; reviewing the completed DiffInE diagnostic worksheet; video review; and practice.

Eleven of twelve students passed the remediation Gateway Exam. OMERAD is currently conducting an evaluation of the remediation approaches used across the communities to determine what elements were most effective for students and faculty. Some early findings from this evaluation reveal that Community Assistant Deans and clinical faculty are integrating the DiffInE Approach so it is presented to all students in sessions such as Core Competencies and other skill building events.   


facultydevFaculty Development

Designing Effective Slides According to Principles of Learning


When should you use PowerPoint slides?  

What standard slide designs make it more difficult for students to learn from the slides?  

How can you design your slides to make them easier to understand?  



OMERAD has a new online tutorial that will answer these questions by showing you how to design slides according to these four learning principles:


  • Ease Cognitive Load
  • Direct Attention
  • Ease Reception
  • Build on Experience

Short movies will demonstrate how to:

  • Ease cognitive load by emphasizing text using color and shapes
  • Direct attention to detail using animation
  • Ease reception by inserting multimedia onto a slide
  • Build on experience by progressively disclosing items in a list using animation
  • Build on experience by moving an object on a slide along a motion path

Then you will have an opportunity to practice these same skills on your own computer, using the step-by-step guide provided in the Resources section of the tutorial. Also included is a PDF file titled Learning Principles for Slide Design.


This tutorial, designed by OMERAD faculty and Professor Emeritus of Education Dr. Stephen Yelon, has been given twice to fellows in the OMERAD Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship Program, and several times in the OMERAD Faculty Development Seminar Series. Now it is available to you to use free at your convenience.  


The movies demonstrate the skills in PowerPoint 2011 for the Mac. A Windows version will be available in the spring.



To get the most out of this tutorial, you should already have a basic knowledge of PowerPoint.

The URL for this tutorial is:


If you have any questions about the online tutorial, please contact Deborah Sleight, PhD, at [email protected]


hotpressHot Off the Press

-Crazy Good Interviewing: How Acting A Little Crazy Can Get You The Job  

Written by Dr. John B. Molidor (Professor of Psychiatry and OMERAD at Michigan State University) was published by Wiley and Sons in June of 2012. 


It is geared to those individuals interviewing for medical school, business school, and graduate school as well as those you are looking for a job, whether it is their first one or an opportunity to advance within their organization. 


Finding a job is hard; reading this book is easy!  Crazy Good Interviewing uses a 'Psychotron' to rate 'Crazy Good' and 'Crazy Bad' behavior within an interview and utilizes actual interview stories to drive home its points. It provides all of the basics of interviewing before adding advanced tips and techniques that will set the interviewee apart from his or her competition. It is a fast and crazy good read. It is available in local bookstores and on Amazon.



-Open access versus subscription journals: a comparison of scientific impact  
  Bo-Christer Björkand, & David Solomon 

  BMC Medicine 2012, 10:73  


resourcesOMERAD Resources

B-CLR Showcase 

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



A medical education listserv maintained by OMERAD.


Medical Education Online (MEO)  

Peer-reviewed international open access journal for disseminating information on the education and training of physicians and other health care professionals.


Vital Signs Newsletter Archive

Click on the link to view past issues of our newsletter.


Medical Education Scholarship Group

Meets first Wednesday of each month in room A116 East Fee Hall from 1:30 pm-3:00 pm.For questions about this group contact Dr. Brian 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]


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

965 Fee Road 

East Lansing, Michigan 48824


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