University of Nebraska Medical Center
Revolutionizing Health Care Education
The Interprofessional Experiential Center for Enduring Learning (iEXCEL) is a bold, visionary initiative at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMX+C) designed to transform health care education. Through iEXCEL, learners acquire knowledge, and experience hands-on training in a wide range of realistic but simulated healthcare environments. Through iEXCEL – using a wide range of simulation technologies they can practise and become proficient in procedural and professional skills before encountering real-life patient care situations.
While the overall mission of iEXCEL has everything to do with patient safety and enhancing the outcomes of training and patient care, part of the vision is to provide digital learning experiences that encourage students to interact, engage in critical thinking and guide them through competency based learning experiences.
iEXCEL has invested in several emerging simulation technologies from advanced human patient simulators and task trainers, to augmented, virtual and immersive reality, as well as adding the MultiTaction iWall.
“The iWall is very intuitive and a great first introduction to visualization and interacting with images,” according to Dr. Boyers, “It literally gets students out of their seats and working together on projects.”
The iWall is used to create a very realistic, hands-on, interactive, scenarios for students to learn and practise. It offers more than learning the “how-to” of a procedure. Students learn how to relate to think through problems and practise the critical thinking skills they will need under fire.
The MultiTaction solution has low bandwidth requirements with ultra-low latency, even replicating high resolution video in perfect synchronisation with no loss of image quality. Schmidt reports this was a big differentiator for the selection of MultiTaction.
UNMC satellite campuses cannot count on a lot of bandwidth being available on demand, because the ISP providers in some areas of Nebraska are not always robust. This meant that iEXCEL had to find a low bandwidth solution for collaborating across distance. The MultiTaction iWall is the ideal solution when bandwidth is a concern.
The interactive screens have been used to study how touch technology can be used to create a new way to advance human computer interaction. The department has also used it to show how students across all age groups can benefit from collaborative learning and how technology can support general learning.
“Traditionally when we look at collaborative learning in technology, you think of three children fighting over a single mouse,” says Dr Mercier. “There have always been a lot of issues with in-person collaborative learning just with access to who actually gets to participate.”
Professor Mercier and her team spent a year looking at what was happened in a classroom that is free of technology and then built an app called ‘Food for Thought’. This demanded the use of technology. Specifically it could be run on the tables in the university learning lab.
The study and set up in the lab made it easy for the team to study how pupils engage in collaborative learning. Data analytics of the school children’s work on the MultiTaction tables provides insights on how students engage with tasks, based on the frequency of touch and type of interaction.
The data that the research team collected during the trial with the University Laboratory High School students will be used to better understand how learners engage in collaborative problem-solving and to develop technologies that support collaborative learning about climate change.
The University carried out similar research with college-level engineering students and used data analytics of what the high school children did on the MultiTaction table to give provide teaching assistants with insights into how collaborative school groups work.
Those of us that work in healthcare education are very aware that we need to ensure students are trained in the best possible way to avoid medical errors and provide the safest and highest quality care not only upon graduation, but throughout a life-time of practice.