Streamlining Student Scheduling at a Private Medical School in an Urban Setting
This case study focuses on a private medical school (“the Medical School”) with a main campus in a suburban setting and affiliate hospitals in a major urban center and more rural areas throughout the region. The school has trained generations of students from all over the world to deliver skilled and compassionate medical care, explore the basic science questions that lead to important discoveries, and provide leadership in the field of public health and essential services to people with specialized care needs.
The Medical School is situated near a major urban center, which allows students to treat and work with culturally and economically diverse populations. Within the past 15 years, the school joined a larger university system, started a new center focused on clinical skills, and launched a Biotechnology Incubator to provide students with more opportunities for growth. As the team began looking for a new education software platform, Leo stood out as a preferred vendor on the chat boards, listservs, and websites that medical schools use to get recommendations.
The Medical School was looking for an education software platform that operated as an all-in-one system. At the school, students’ schedules vary greatly from day to day, so a customizable calendaring system is very important. Rather than a schedule where courses always meet on the same day, at the same time, and in the same location each week, The Medical School’s courses function more like topical sessions that could be held at different locations from week to week. Students have to actively and frequently use their calendars to see where they need to be each day and who their instructor will be.
The school’s previous system was built for medical schools, but it still did not provide an at-a-glance look at all student data. Due to their niche needs, many medical schools end up either using several different technology systems at once or building their own systems to meet all their needs.
The Director of Education Technology at the school had worked with many different LMS vendors and products before Leo. He shared that “Leo was the first system to give us full customized scheduling that was easy to manage.” He also describes Leo as a platform that “merges traditional didactic functionality” (that might be provided by an LMS like Canvas) with the tools needed for a “clinical system that you would see in residency programs.”
Since the school’s students are spread out across many sites in the region, they had a fairly complex environment and needed to determine if the product was flexible—that faculty and staff would have enough time to learn how the platform worked and that it could grow with them. The Medical School appreciated that DaVinci Education gave them sufficient time to learn the Leo system before deploying and licensing it. The customer support team was “very committed to providing training (remote/in-person) as needed.” Once Leo was deployed, the Director of Education Technology reports that “it was pretty smooth… worked well right out of the box.”
The DaVinci Difference
Since Leo is built as a calendar-driven system, this makes the scheduling process much easier for students. Using the Medical School’s previous scheduling system was more complex because students had to keep track of their schedule with a series of lists, and they needed to be notified via email anytime a schedule change occurred. With Leo, students can rely on the calendar within the platform to be accurate. This alone has improved the student experience by removing a significant source of frustration. The Medical School’s previous scheduling system was more complex because students had to keep track of their schedule with a series of lists, and they needed to be notified via email anytime a schedule change occurred. With Leo, students can rely on the calendar within the platform to be accurate. This alone has improved the student experience by removing a significant source of frustration.
Another important feature for the Medical School is curriculum mapping. This functionality allows the school to provide detailed “tagging” so that students can view specific content related to each session. The way the school maps sessions can also be built around the accreditation body standards. Users can go into the platform and identify what type of teaching session is occurring, the objectives involved, the key words and themes, and the resources used. Platform administrators can also create calendar events and even generate reports based on this information.
The Medical School’s team also especially values the Evaluations Module. In their former survey system, administrators found it challenging to manage users, find survey results, and transfer the information to a separate system so the data could be linked to students’ profiles. With Leo, the team is able to access survey information all in one place.
Now that Leo is in place, Director of Education Technology observes that a benefit of using a product that is specific to the medical school environment is that the workflow fits their needs more precisely than a more general tool might. He states, “Anyone who is interested in looking at a product that is all-in-one has to look at DaVinci. I have to recommend that everyone looks at it. It has a lot of value for us! They have added functionality to their system that has applied to almost every aspect of medical education and covers all the bases.”