Although there is an abundance of medical educational content available in individual EU academic institutions, this is not widely available or easy to discover and retrieve, due to lack of standardized content sharing mechanisms. The aim of mEducator BPN is to implement and critically evaluate existing standards and reference models in the field of e-learning in order to enable specialized state-of-the-art medical educational content to be discovered, retrieved, shared and re-used across European higher academic institutions.
Educational content included in mEducator covers and represents the whole range of medical educational content, from traditional instructional teaching to active learning and experiential teaching/studying approaches. It spans the whole range of types, from text to exam sheets, algorithms, teaching files, computer programs (simulators or games) and interactive objects (like virtual patients and electronically traced anatomies), while it covers a variety of topics.
mEducator aims to:
- examine to what extent existing standards for the description of educational material can address all the possible types of medical educational material listed above, and make respective recommendations for standards extensions;
- examine to what extent existing standards for educational material packaging and exchange among learning management systems are adequate to support state-of-the art educational content sharing in medicine and provide respective recommendations for standards extensions
- examine to what extent a recently proposed standard-based reference model for automated educational content discovery, retrieval and sharing can be deployed for medical educational content delivery and sharing and whether extensions are required.
As a BPN, mEducator will attempt to compare two contemporary ways of achieving this content sharing, namely, a solution based on Web2.0 technologies, and a solution based on Semantic Web Services.
mEducator will work closely with MedBiquitous Europe standardization body to adopt and implement MedBiquitous technology standards for medical and healthcare education in order to make medical content interoperable and shareable across the European Union. For this to succeed, material is re-purposed for multilingual, multicultural use and access. Provision of the material to non-partner institutes is planned with the foreseen (sustainability) aim to invite more institutes in the distributed pool. Last but not least, mEducator will invite students, educators, and health professionals (continuing education) to evaluate its outcomes.