Ideas that matter

Modernizing healthcare education for a new, mobile generation

nurse using smart phoneGiven the speed of advances in healthcare technology and treatment protocol, educators must keep pace with an ever-changing body of medical knowledge, while also ensuring that their students can adopt and retain these critical concepts when treating patients.

These challenges have taken on a greater sense of urgency as a new generation of connected students enters the healthcare field. Millennials have come of age with technology infusing almost every facet of their lives, especially when it comes to education, and they both value and expect learning solutions that fit with their “always-on” lifestyles.

In response, many universities and medical schools have begun to shake up their curriculum, moving beyond traditional, lecture-focused teaching methods in favor of digital approaches that can extend learning beyond classroom and hospital walls.

A perfect example can be found within the student body of the School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences at Charles Darwin University. This multi-disciplinary school in Australia offers courses ranging from basic clinical and laboratory sciences to clinical psychology and pharmacy training. Anatomy & Physiology units in the school have large student enrollments, and are core first year courses for several healthcare degree programs.

Given the abundance of critical information students were required to master, instructors sought a more innovative methodology to reinforce core concepts and enhance student knowledge retention. Instructors also needed a way to quickly identify knowledge gaps and address them proactively during the semester.

Professor Timothy Skinner, Head of School, had previously used Qstream in his own research and introduced the platform to Dr. Henrik Pallos, Senior Lecturer and First Year Coordinator of Anatomy and Physiology. Because Qstream’s unique approach is proven to improve retention of core content in medical settings, it was identified as the most effective way to boost knowledge while engaging students through its fun, easy-to-use platform.

When asked about his decision to implement Qstream, Dr. Pallos explained, “CDU has a large off-campus student cohort, and being an external student is an often challenging, isolating experience. I saw the Qstream mobile platform as an opportunity to help maintain the connection with my students and make them feel a part of a learning community. They need to feel that they are not alone in their studies.”

Throughout the 10-week program, 518 students in Dr. Pallos’ Anatomy and Physiology unit participated in “The Game of Brains,” delivered via Qstream. Student teams answered short, Q&A-based challenges via their mobile devices, earning points on the leaderboard (which translated into points toward their grade for the semester). At the same time, Dr. Pallos received real-time reports analyzing student response data, allowing him to identify team and individual strengths and weaknesses and address them with additional coursework before the semester had ended.

An end-of-semester survey really captured the excitement of the students enrolled in Qstream. Of the 264 students who responded to the survey, almost all (98%) said they would recommend Qstream to new students, and showed interest in using Qstream to support future clinical studies.

One survey questions asked, ‘What did you like about Qstream?’ and students responded with comments such as:

“It is easy to access from my mobile phone, anywhere that I am. And it’s a reminder every night on the topics covered throughout the week.”

“Loved it! Acts as a personal tutor to studying anatomy, constantly focusing on your weaknesses in areas that need to improve.”

“It was a fun way to learn and absorb information from the lectures.”

Given its success, Dr. Pallos already plans to include Qstream in future curriculum initiatives, a positive step towards innovating the university’s educational offerings while successfully keeping students engaged and connected.

Want to learn more? Read about Qstream’s success for a growing roster of global healthcare organizations and educational institutions, or contact us for a personalized demo.