With the advent of technology in teaching and learning, the exponential growth of medical and dental informatics, the dire need of specialty instructors in these fields globally, and the mandate by the Santa Fe Group encouraging a new curriculum reform that combines digital curriculum, there is clearly a need to find a more efficient and effective method of delivering educational material. The new model needs to combine solid principles of learning and teaching theories, but take advantage of new concepts and technologies to support both linear and nonlinear learning, integrated cross-referenced curricula, interactive visualization and simulation, novel platforms for web-based and mobile (eg, iPhone) access, and provide this in a reliable, secure, online service available 24x7. In addition, providing authoring tools to facilitate the easy introduction of new content, for continuous updates and refinement of curricula, and for local customization is also important. Finally, providing methods for objective quantification of student performance and standardization across populations to evaluate academic performance, but also to gauge and optimize the efficacy of different teaching methods is also extremely important. This application is the first step in addressing this new paradigm, by exploring the fundamental theoretical, curricular, and technical elements required for developing an innovative, high quality and accessible solution for medical and dental education.
Recent advances in the power and accessibility of personal computers along with the advent of technology in teaching and learning have given us the potential to transform the educational delivery system for medical information. This Phase I grant addresses the important need for substantially improving the delivery of education content to health care providers and will eventually help us find a more efficient and effective method of delivering health information to the general public.