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Core Tasks.

The Center for Medical Education is responsible for a variety of areas related to medical education.

Center for Medical Education

Curriculum Development.

Core tasks at the Center for Medical Education include the development and continual development of medical education based on empirically founded and internationally tested standards. We use innovative model courses and recommendations based on best-practices to restructure the medical degree program and successfully train aspiring medical professionals. By pooling concepts and content-related activities in teaching, the Center for Medical Education can continue to develop the program and include more interdisciplinary aspects. Experts from other faculties at the Johannes Kepler University as well as local physicians ("module managers") provide their expertise and are an invaluable part of the creative process. In addition, the Center strives to create a broad network of professionals and actively involve local physicians. Creating a harmonized educational concept that is recognized and undisputed throughout Austria (such as clinical-practical year, CPY) will result in close cooperation with the other Austrian universities.

 

The Center for Medical Education is currently focusing on developing and continually developing the curricula for the:

  • Bachelor's Degree Program in Human Medicine
  • Master's Degree Program in Human Medicine
  • Doctorate Degree program in Human Medicine

Examination Development Program.

The examination process has strongest controlling influence on a student's learning behavior and is thus a highly recognized quality tool in medical education. The Center for Medical Education aims to develop uniform, fair and effective examinations and include expertise-oriented examination regulations in to the curriculum. For example, as yearly examinations can take a heavy toll on students, written module examinations offered immediately after completing each module can be more effective. In addition, cross-curricular, oral practical examinations are held at the end of each semester and test student knowledge pertaining to the semester material. Internships and problem-oriented learning are assessed through logbooks, protocols and active participation. The following examination formats are being considered as part of the effort to continually develop the examination process:

 

  • Immanent examinations (logbooks)
  • Written examinations (interdisciplinary module examinations, multiple-choice examinations, medially supported examinations)
  • Oral examinations (interdisciplinary examinations, examination senate, practical examination formats)

New Media / eLearning.

The Center for Medical Education coordinates the development of inter-faculty methods in the area of multimedia learning and testing. The goal is to create and develop electronically supported learning scenarios as part of the program in medical education. A student's sense of personal responsibility and aspirations to pursue life-long learning can be strengthened by implementing targeted eLearning technologies. Interactive multimedia techniques will also be used in the classroom (such as virtual anatomy and pathology with cinematic rendering, MobiTED, digital Clinical Skills Guide (dCSG), 3D transmission from ORs). In cooperation with institutes at the JKU Linz and external research partners, the medical degree program includes incorporating and evaluating the latest findings in the areas of gamification, mobile learning, virtual reality and microlearning.

Clinical Skills Lab.

In cooperation with departments at the JKU's Faculty of Medicine, clinical module managers, and primary care cooperation partners, the Center for Medical Education is currently planning, developing and coordinating a program designed to teach competent medical practices at a state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Lab. By providing a realistic clinical environment, students will focus on learning how to communicate effectively in order to take a patient's medical history, for example, hone cognitive skills needed to make medical decisions, learn to speak clearly with patients about various diagnoses and treatment options as well as learn how to conduct a physical examination.  The Clinical Skills Lab will incorporate simulation models and model parts, clinical equipment, and people who will pose as patients.

 

The Clinical Skills Lab is currently being equipped to adhere to modern medical standards and in addition to supporting classroom teaching, students will be able to book "free practice" sessions.

Evaluation and Quality Assurance.

A core task lies in structuring evaluation methods and quality assurance and utilizing them effectively when reviewing numerous development projects and processes in the field of medical education. Evaluations in the classroom allow us to focus on continually improving the quality of education and teaching. At the Center for Medical Education, we are developing an institutionalized evaluation system to record and understand the experiences of both educators and students in order to integrate the findings in to the advancement of the curriculum. We are currently focusing on evaluating the following areas:

 

  • Modules and courses
  • eLearning courses
  • Examinations
  • Conducting an international comparison of student learning progress (Progress Test Medicine)
  • The curriculum as a whole

Teaching and Studies Administration.

Administrative procedures at the JKU are generally decentralized and organizational responsibilities to coordinate the educational program, create new courses, monitor resources, work in the JKU's information system, serve as a contact point for faculty members and students, etc., are completed at the JKU faculties by the institutes that offer academic courses. At the JKU's Faculty of Medicine, the legal service model in Linz boasts a unique feature in that educators are generally not affiliated at an institute, especially when a faculty is in the development stages. The Center for Medical Education then assumes the central study responsibilities, tasks and duties to perform the following:

  • Administrative teaching planning and processing, applying for courses, reserving classrooms, matching the timetable, submitting grades, etc.
  • Provide administrative to med students in Linz during the semester (initial point of contact)
  • Administrative Unterstützung der Linzer Lehrenden während des Semesters (initial point of contact)
  • Coordinate any overlapping scheduling, cancelled appointment, instructor absences during the semester
  • Provide support to organize non-curricular events for students by faculty members, instructors, or students (Austrian Student Union)

Medical Didactics –  Training to Become a Clinical Lecturer.

A more contemporary, integrated, organ-focused and topic-centered curriculum means having to re-design classes and re-focus on how we interact with students. The JKU Linz has drafted new types of educational formats (case demonstrations, problem-oriented learning, medical skills and abilities, clinical internships) and educators will apply advanced didactic teaching methods in the classroom in order to convey content. Under the direction of the Center for Medical Education, the JKU's Faculty of Linz has developed workshops and courses designed to help educators prepare to teach using didactic methods. In cooperation with the Austrian Medical Association, DFP points will be awarded for participation. In the future, these workshops will be encompassed to create a university program consisting of mandatory and elective courses. Program participants will be certified as a "Clinical Lecturer".