ICOM's Strategic Leap Forward: Leveraging Leo for Educational Efficiency
The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) is a private medical school affiliated with Idaho State University. ICOM was founded by Daniel Burrell, JD, and John Hummer, in partnership with Idaho State University and other senior Idaho healthcare and government officials to help address the current and growing shortage of physicians in the Mountain West region and beyond.
ICOM focuses on training osteopathic physicians to care for patients in rural and underserved areas, particularly Idaho and its neighboring regions. Though Idaho is one of the fastest growing regions in the U.S., the state ranks 50th for the number of active physicians per capita. Before ICOM was formed, Idaho was the most populous state without its own medical school. To achieve its goal of introducing more physicians to the area, ICOM needed a software platform that would streamline its operations. Enter Leo.
Before settling on Leo, ICOM looked at different software platforms like Canvas and Blackboard, but at the time, these platforms required schools to meet a minimum number of students and users. ICOM ultimately chose Leo, since the platform accommodated the number of people they expected as users, and had a robust curriculum mapping functionality.
Director of Academic Operational Systems, Amy Nguyen, had the benefit of joining ICOM after Leo had already been implemented. At this time, there was only one person handling Leo, and within a month, that person had moved onto another organization. The team at ICOM reached out to DaVinci Education to set up trainings that could help streamline this staff transition.
Nguyen recounts that DaVinci’s client success team came in with only two-and-a-half weeks’ notice to deliver an in-person training. “They brought a full agenda and treated us like we were a brand new institution—they started from the bottom up.” The Dean and Chief Academic Officer of ICOM was very excited and appreciative when he saw that DaVinci had physically come to campus and was impressed that they were able to make the platform work in such a short time.
As a show of continued support after this training, DaVinci set up bi-weekly check-ins for additional education and to allow new users to ask questions. Nguyen especially praises the helpfulness of DaVinci Education’s client success team. “Leo is the one because of the customer support. They are so attentive and so quick to respond. They know your institution so well. They have never made me feel like I'm bothering them. I just think they are amazing people.”
The DaVinci Difference
Nguyen identifies Leo’s calendar as the most valuable tool for ICOM: “It is the center of the system. It is how faculty can make sure all of their lectures, labs, etc. are showing up and how students are managing their events… that is what keeps us going every day.”
Curriculum mapping has also changed the way ICOM supports their students. Nguyen explains, “If we think about the students, they need to have a centralized location for their information, for their classes, for their schedule, for their materials—and that's what Leo does. It has all the information students need to be successful. Our faculty uploads rubrics, and all of that is in Leo. All lecture recordings go into Leo. Students are logging into Leo all day everyday.”
One clear piece of evidence that Leo has improved ICOM’s communication and operations is the fact that their staff receives fewer emails from faculty and students asking for guidance: “Before, it used to be constant emails. Now it’s silence. No news is good news,” Nguyen smiles. The evaluations feature has also added significant value: “[it’s] very important to us because students evaluate faculty at the end of each course. The information that has been coming back has been super helpful. Students are able to openly share their feedback in the way that faculty and courses can improve.”
Nguyen’s enthusiasm for Leo was reinforced yet again when she attended an American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine conference where a colleague from another institution reflected on the positive impact Leo has on that organization. Nguyen recalls that “[like ICOM], because of Leo, they were able to eliminate outside resources for curriculum mapping, like Excel sheets, Google docs, and external files to manage their curriculum mapping. It’s crazy to not have something be centralized. With Leo and the curriculum mapping built into that centralized system, we can eliminate all of these pages and sheets and have it in just one place.”
Nguyen appreciates that Leo has resulted in “centralized locations, happier students…the gradebook feature is also a positive too. You can set it up in a way that there are different grade metrics. The gradebook will now line up with the registrar system. We can continue onward with our accreditation and COCA compliances.” The team at ICOM is excited to see how Leo will continue to facilitate their administrative processes and improve student satisfaction.