Tufts Hackathon: But1 – Outcomes-Based Learning System

But1_schematicHackathon: http://tuftsmedstart.com/

Problem: Students have a lot of resources available to them.  Which resources should they use to optimize their learning?

Solution: But1 (http://but1.co) – a site > syllabus > learning units, which consist of learning modules (as provided by external publishers) and assessment modules (as provided by But1).  Students take assessments after learning, thereby giving them an idea of how well they know the material, how they are progressing with respect to other students, and system can assess efficiency of educational resources.

I should note that the naming of But1 was the fastest and strangest naming process I’ve had to date.  Behold:

Team: we need a name…

Nikita: ha… worst option?

Hialy: Butt

Nikita: (writes) “Butt…  but…  but whole…  but one…  But1”

Hackathon: and we are done with practice pitches.

Team: wait, but one more!

Fate: Amen!

So a good weekend.  Some things I learned:

  • 1st/2nd year med students are being stuffed like turkeys on Thanksgiving with all sorts of knowledge without actually understanding any of it
    • first priority: memorization – goal is to pass Step 1 exams.
    • second priority: what second priority? There is no time for a second priority.
    • They want to memorize better and faster.  This looks like either constant review of multiple sources laboriously moving it from paper into the brain, or hacks to achieve the same purpose (mnemonics, for example).
  • Resources used:
    • FirstAid – cause everyone uses it.  Just an outline.
    • Pathoma – cause it’s better than their professors
    • Sketchy Micro – cause it works.  Creators are still in med school
  • Cool gadgets I saw
    • Myo – measures hand position.  Application: training, monitoring, interface. One company applied to compliance, another to training.
    • Leap Motion – effectively a Kinect for your hand.  Super cool. Nobody used it.
    • They also had an Oculus, another VR headset, but whatever. That ain’t even news anymore. Although I did find Oculus very cool and even with the VR headset (which uses your phone), going on a rollercoaster made me freak a bit.  Head tracking pulls you into the world…

Anyway, I’ll throw our PPT up shortly.  Just need to make sure that all of the participants are ok with it, since some of them may be continuing with the project.

Speaking of continuing: I think we may be able to give a lot of these projects a boost with JoMI and it might help us reach the audience.  Food for thought.

On a broader note: I am really liking the idea of modularizing consumption of educational information and forcing publishers to compete on educational outcomes.  That feels so good, and would quickly beat the crap out of publishers for overpricing resources.

Also, the ongoing assessment seems so much better than studying to a test at the end of whatever…  I am not sure whether having large tests even makes sense anymore, if it’s possible to verify knowledge acquisition on an ongoing basis.

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